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Fantastic Eatery and a Great B & B with Stellar Owners in Henry County, Georgia

It is very fitting on this Labor Day 2023 to recognize some business owners I met recently who work hard and are passionate about what they do. They truly want to please the people who decide to come into their places of business. One is David Maiolo, owner/manager/chief grill operator at Sweet Auburn BBQ at 1828 Jonesboro Road in McDonough, Georgia, and the others are Marvin and Anita Johnson, who own and host guests at Stockbridge Lakes Bed & Breakfast at 112 Old Conyers Road in Stockbridge, Georgia.


Barbecue restaurants are plentiful in the South, but barbecue places with Asian flavors and banana pudding ice cream or five-layer chocolate cake for dessert are rare, very rare. The dishes Steve and I had at Sweet Auburn Barbecue were outstanding.

The first location of Sweet Auburn is on Highland Avenue in Atlanta. The one we visited in McDonough is new. Howard and Anita Hsu are the originators of many recipes and are the ones who started the original location. David Maiolo has continued that concept in McDonough.

David took us out back to get an up-close look at the massive smokers and grilling operation. He described the incredible number of hours involved in producing the meats served in his restaurant. Clearly, he is dedicated to this business and to his customers.

We started our meal with Brisket Egg Rolls, then continued to our main entree of Baby Back Ribs with pear slaw and wok-fired green beans. We shared a large banana pudding ice cream cone. If I'd had any room left in my stomach, I would have sampled the five-layer chocolate cake. Oh my!

I highly recommend this restaurant. Casual, but oh, so good. And, it must be said -- the name, Sweet Auburn, is a winner in my book. :) Supposedly, it refers to a certain section of Atlanta, but who cares about that? :)


Anita Johnson credits a 40-day course based on the book "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren as helping her define the best way to utilize her many years of experience in the hospitality industry. Everything she had done previously made her perfect for owning and operating a bed and breakfast with event spaces for reunions, parties, and celebrations of all kinds. She and her husband Marvin live on the property at Stockbridge Lakes Bed & Breakfast and are quick to address any questions or needs that might arise. Marvin is also happy to let you help him feed the fish in the lake on the grounds. They are wonderful hosts.

This B & B is conveniently located but still isolated enough to provide relaxation and a chance to enjoy nature. The downstairs suite is an exceptional space for a family or for several couples traveling together. Be sure Marvin gives you a tour if it is not booked at the time of your visit. You will certainly plan to a time to return.

Guest rooms are clean and comfortable, and the common areas are inviting and spacious.

The chef-prepared breakfast is the cherry on top. Read my post here about Chef Marcus Todd.

Steve and I enjoyed our stay at Stockbridge Lakes and believe you will, too.

Kudos to David and to Anita and Marvin. Your hard work has produced outstanding results.

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