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Alabama (Mostly) Eats

A group of us from the Boston area are going down to play some golf on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama. We're going to be staying one night each in the Birmingham and Auburn areas with one night in Stone Mountain, GA and we're looking for good chow in the following places:

anywhere between Anniston AL and Birmingham
anywhere between Birmingham and Auburn
anywhere between Auburn and Atlanta

Do any of you have any compelling barbeque/soul food/steakhouse/other regional specialty recommendations? We'll be playing 36 holes/day except for day 1, so we'll be looking for relatively relaxed, informal joints not too far off the beaten path.

Thanks.

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  1. In Auburn - Hamilton's (in downtown) and Amsterdam cafe are near downtown. The Yellowhammer is a little ways off 280 (if your taking 280 from Birmingham to Auburn) in Waverly not far from Auburn. Niffers in Auburn is more hamburgers, sandwiches, that kind of thing and is casual local place. Good but not outstanding. There is Provino's italian restaurant off I-85 Exit 57. Its decent Italian food. Nothing to write home about. Ariccia (spelling?) in the Auburn Hotel and Conference center last time I ate there was great but I haven't been there in a while. I realize most of that is stuff in Auburn and not really on the way from Birmingham or to Atlanta. If I think of anything else off 280 or 85 I'll let you know. Hope that helps.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kerryd

      Any thoughts on the Olde Auburn Ale House? We're kind of a brew-pub-centric group.

      1. re: GrowingBoy

        If you like brewpubs, I would recommend Five Seasons Brewing at the Prado in Atlanta. Very tasty brews and VERY good food, IMO. It's a little out of your way, but not so bad if you stop on the way from Opelika to Stone Mountain.

        http://www.5seasonsbrewing.com/?q=nod...

        1. re: GrowingBoy

          I like the atmosphere there a lot and the beers they brew are pretty good. I like their Tiger Tail Ale. The food has been on a steady decline but I haven't eaten there in awhile so maybe its gotten better. I really like Mike and Ed's Barbecue in Auburn if your looking for barbecue. Its very laid back but I'm not sure if they serve beer, I would guess no. But it is close to all the downtown bars if you want to get a beer after dinner.

      2. What courses are you playing? That will actually make some difference in my suggestions. Are you staying in Birmingham? Also, how much do you want to spend pp?

        11 Replies
        1. re: KateMW

          We're flying into ATL early and then we're playing Silver Lakes in Anniston the first day. We'll be staying in Birmingham (Best Western Carlton Suites) that night. We're playing 18 on Ridge and 18 on Valley at Oxmoor the next day and moving on to Auburn where we'll be staying that night (at a Microtel, yes I know it's ambitious). The next day we're playing 18 on the Links and 18 on the Short Course at Grand National in Opelika, and staying in Stone Mountain, GA that night. Final day, 18 at Stonemont, 18 at Lakemont in Stone Mountain. Flying out of ATL late.

          We're looking for reasonably priced places. Hopefully not "family dining". Steak places, barbeque, Southern Homestyle, and the like would be perfect.

          1. re: GrowingBoy

            So, you want "boy" food? ;)

            I only know Birmingham, so hopefully the Auburn ones work for you.I have BBQ suggestions that are reasonably priced...I would try Dreamland, if you like ribs. I love their smoked sausage, but I'm not a rib girl, so we don't go there a ton. If you like pork or chicken bbq, my preference is Pat James Full Moon BBQ. IMO one of the best steaks in town at Chez Fon Fon, which is done in the 5 points area of town. It's a French bistro type place, very laid back and good for a group. Kinda trendy, but they've got good food.

            1. re: KateMW

              Well, Chez Fon Fon looks a little out of our range but Dreamland is cllose to where we're staying and looks pretty good from the web.

              1. re: GrowingBoy

                Byron's in Auburn is my favorite bbq. If you like fast food- foot long hotdogs try Ms Story's in Opelika. It's like Dairy Queen and take out only...might be good for lunch between rounds....

                1. re: GrowingBoy

                  Chef Fonfon is not very expensive and it's a great cafe.

                  While it is steam table, you might want to head to Finley Blvd to try Niki's West for meat and three options, for which Boston is sorely lacking (I lived there for 8 years).

                  Honestly, I do not think Dreamland, Full Moon, or any of the local 'cue joints that I have tried are any better than Blue Ribbon in Newton, MA.

                  1. re: Dax

                    Honestly, I do not think Dreamland, Full Moon, or any of the local 'cue joints that I have tried are any better than Blue Ribbon in Newton, MA.

                    Seriously? That must be some good darn BBQ.

                    1. re: KateMW

                      I admit I am biased towards NC 'cue.

                      I haven't been to the original Dreamland in T-Town but the Dreamland here cooks their ribs over an open fire, which is not nearly as good as smoking low and slow. I realize that yes, they cook them for a relatively long time but there is no smoke ring and little to no rub. They're not bad by any means, but I prefer real smoked ribs with a spicy but not caked rub, which makes a good bark. I haven't tried their pork - I just hate that all of the pork here is of the chopped variety, not pulled.

                      Full Moon has decent pork, but on a good day I would choose Blue Ribbon's over it - it (BR) reminds me the most of Eastern NC style. I mean it's not Allen and Sons style of long ribbons of pulled pork but it's good. I haven't tried their ribs.

                      Golden Rule is mostly a bad joke. Their ribs, except for the ones with that really spicy rub, are bland. The ones with the rub have 6 lbs of rub so you can really only taste the rub. The chopped pork was bland and covered with a lame sauce. The sausage? Come on supermarket kielbasa thrown on a grill is your smoked sausage?

                      Miss Myrna's was maybe some of the better chopped pork I've had here but not THAT much better than Blue Ribbons. The sides were lame.

                      I still need to get to Jim and Nick's and I haven't tried Bib Bob Gibson's which I will try to remedy soon. Point me in the right direction - I love 'cue and I'm willing to admit if I am wrong and I find something better.

                      1. re: Dax

                        Big Bob Gibson's is great, Dax. It's worth trying. I am not a Golden Rule fan either, but the sausage at DL is great. Makes me want to go get some for lunch. But, I don't think Southern woman are supposed to eat BBQ for lunch. :)

                    2. re: Dax

                      So I'm in for a disappointment due to my long-term Blue Ribbon consumption? And what has Redbones done to me?

                      1. re: GrowingBoy

                        I'm not a big Redbones fan. They over-sauce everything.

                        The best barbecue is found right off the smoker, preferably whole hog or at least a nice shoulder with a rub, PULLED from the bone(s), than maybe, maybe roughly chopped if the strands are too long. I don't even do that.

                2. re: GrowingBoy

                  Wow! Good luck with that schedule. I would be too tired to eat!