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Oct 28, 1999 10:08 PM

Barbecue: ALABAMA

  • c

Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, Bessemer, AL
The Brick Pit, Mobile
Dreamland Bar-B-Q, Tuscaloosa
Johnny Ray's, Birmingham
Ollie's, Birmingham
Big Bob Gibson, Decatur, AL - white sauce

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  1. Cathy, a magnificent effort. We're still gearing up toward critical mass on these regional boards (big national press is coming, which will help a lot).

    I'll try to post what I know, am on a busy binge right now. good that you don't split for a bunch more weeks.

    Anyone else? The more we post, the more these threads will get rolling and we can accrue some really good tips for the archives

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      Not a lot of detail for this because it's second-hand, but Veggie-friend, for obvious reasons, could not in good conscience recommend Pierce's in Williamsburg, although he remembers liking it a great deal in a previous, um, incarnation.

      Can anyone in VA, uh, flesh this out?

      Sorry for the groaners. VF would sock me in the snoot for them.

      1. re: MU

        Good barbecue in VA is very difficult to find. Pierce's is no longer worth the effort. The meat seems to be pulverised and drenched in an overly sour sauce. I doubt that wood still plays a part in the cooking process. The best Q in the commonwealth is likely found at Silver Pig in Madison Heights (just north of Lynchburg) or Wallace Brothers Barbecue in Lambsburg. Both are Lexington style and excellent. If passing through Waverly, stop by Cowlings Barbeque. The meat is passable and the sides were excellent on my visits.
        Most other places don't cook with wood and therefore can't be considered REAL barbecue.

    2. Dreamland on southside of Birmingham is great and has more than just ribs - it's a franchise of Tuscaloosa but MUCH better -- also now in Mobile
      Ollies has moved to Hwy 31 so of Galleria and has dropped off the chart in quality
      Try Green Top on HEY 78 W about 30 miles west of Birmingham
      Best in Birmingham is actually in Bessemer @ Bob Sykes

      1. kynfolks above lake tuscaloosa is the best.
        melt in your mouth ribs


        1. In early June, we plan a lazy trip through Alabama. Any opinions on which branch of Dreamland is best? Any other chow stops that shouldn't be missed?

          We're travelling from Mobile to Atlanta GA, but we will probably veer up to Huntsville area to check out Space Museum and Little River Canyon. We will gladly detour for good food!


          4 Replies
          1. re: Val G

            Archilbald's in Northport ALA (across the river from Tuscaloosa). Complete with that lousy, soft white bread that, somehow, is perfect for the BBQ.

            Archie's sauce is great and not, as with many other efforts, sweet. Nice pit with an artfully arranged water-dousing system.

            1. re: Val G

              With all due respect to those who have written about the Birmingham "branch" of Dreamland (this includes Jane and Michael Stern in their new book), there is only ONE Dreamland and that is the original in Tuscaloosa. If you are in Birmingham go to Johnny Ray's for dessert and have a slice of any of their cream pies. In combination with the Tuscaloosa ribs and, maybe as Hazelhurst will accurately steer you to, Archibald's, you will have found a Dixie nirvana.
              Sorry, Jane and Michael. But like Bob Sykes the Birmingham outpost of Dreamland is more of a disappointment than a good night's sleep.

              1. re: Val G

                And lest you be confused, I made the horrible mistake of going to the Mobile Dreamland, and the ribs were miserable. As a friend of mine said "I've had better ribs at Applebee's". Ouch. Tuscaloosa Dreamland or No Dreamland.

                1. re: Val G

                  There is only ONE Dreamland that you should stop at and it is in Tuscaloosa. In Birmingham you should have chopped pork bbq at Johnny Ray's along with his cream pie. In fact skip the bbq altogether and have a slice of EACH of the cream pies.

                2. Leo and Susies Green Top is the best BBQ in the country in my opinion. Hwy 78 just outside Sumiton.