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Huntsville, AL for one day

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Okay, we're actually arriving around 9:30pm Saturday and leaving very early Monday. Pair of Seattle natives, in town for a day for a family funeral. Where should we eat to avoid chain restaurants?

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  1. I grew up in Huntsville, and I only get back every now and then, so I don't know how up to date my information is. Try Franklin 101 (I think that's the name - the name is the address, downtown). If the Jazz Factory (also downtown) is still open, they do a good dinner and I think they do brunch.

    1. how about some authentic Bama BBQ from Big Bob Gibsons or La Michoacana for authentic Mexican. Both are highly recommended.

      1. A few good places to eat: Little Paul's BBQ across from the hospital, Dreamland (BBQ) out on University, Little Rosie's (Mexican), Tim's Cajun Kitchen on Jordon Lane, Wild Rose Cafe (Meat n 3) on court square, Po-boy Factory on Andrew Jackson (Cajun) near Five Points, Blue Plate Cafe (Meat n 3) on Governors Drive. If you want more, let me know.

        Mrs. Sippi

        1. Sorry I saw your post too late to help! Maybe you can get breakfast at Blue Plate before you leave. Where did you go? This is what I wrote before I realized it was too late:
          For fried catfish and hush puppies go to Greenbrier BBQ of I-565 between Huntsville and Decatur. If you want Alabama BBQ (get the chicken with white sauce) go to Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur. Little Paul's across from the hospital has great lemon pie but the BBQ is not as good as Gibson's in Decatur, which is not to be confused with Gibson's in Huntsille, which is also not as good for BBQ. For fine dining go to Pauli's in Madison.

          13 Replies
          1. re: glecroy

            Gibsons in Huntsville is terrible for bbq.

            DT

            1. re: Davwud

              I would like to point out a distinction between the several locations of Gibson's Barbecue and the vastly superior Paul Gibson Barbecue on Bob Wallace Ave.

              1. re: Hushpuppy

                We went to the one on Memorial Pkwy for an anniversary dinner. There were plenty of leftovers. I chose not to fill up a doggie bag.

                I'll have to try Paul Gibsons next time I'm down yonder.

                DT

              2. re: Davwud

                For any of them, you have to like Alabama bbq. Visitors might appreciate a description. It's vinegar based, kind of like NC bbq. I ate it once in my childhood growing up in HSV. I think it's awful. Many people like it.

                1. re: starbucksbrew

                  Seeing the white sauce may really confuse people.

                  DT

                  1. re: Davwud

                    The white sauce is great on BBQ chicken. We also sometimes put it on the Greenbrier hushpuppies, also on the chicken stuffed baked potato, or pulled turkey BBQ. If I get pulled pork I ask for the "rib sauce", which is a thick sauce, as I don't really care for the thin sauce either.

                    My husband found this little hole in the wall place out near Brown's Ferry Nuclear Plant that has the most amazing ribs, much better than Dreamland. Or any other place we've ever had them.

                    I guess the BBQ is all in what you get used to. I'm not a big fan of beef brisket BBQ, but in Texas I guess it's all the rage. My sister moved away and always wants AL BBQ when she comes to visit our folks since she can't get good 'Q in PA.

                    1. re: glecroy

                      I will put the white sauce on pulled pork from time to time for a change. I usually go for rib sauce as well.

                      You'll have to tell me the name of the place out by Brown's Ferry. We're heading "Down yonder" in a little over a month. We're always on the lookout for great food.

                      Dreamland ribs are the best I've ever had. The problem is, in the 20 or so trips I've made there, 3 times they fell into the "Just okay" class and once they absolutely sucked. Worst ribs I've ever had at a restaurant. When they're good though, "Aint nothin' like 'em nowhere." Although, I guess I'll have to visit BF to confirm.

                      We also like Little Pauls beside the hospital. It's quite good. Not great but we like it.

                      DT

                      1. re: Davwud

                        The name of it is Mr. Crite's Bar-B-Que, not open every day (Thursday - Sunday afternoons maybe). Phone 256-729-0015. I think it's on the way to Lucy's Branch, maybe on Snake Road. It's like Dreamland in Tuscaloosa was 25 years ago before it was on AL football every week-a little concrete building with a very limited selection of sides. To me the ribs are better than Dreamland. I think there is a window unit air conditioner, but I've actually been there only once. Other times hubby brought them home after work. There is this mural painted on one of the walls of someone chasing a pig with an axe. Definitely has character!

                        Little Pauls sometimes has the best lemon pie in the world. The brunswick stew is also good. I prefer both of these to the 'Q there. Thomas BBQ in Madison is good too, but you have to get to go orders in the drive through. They still use real hickory wood, you can smell it before you get there.

                        1. re: glecroy

                          Mrs. Sippi likes Little Pauls more than I do. I guess it's all subjective. We always get a turkey from Meridianville BBQ for Thanksgiving. Everyone raves about it. My turkey is better but I guess they feel that after a 15 hour car ride, I wouldn't be up to the task.

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            Where do you live now? I might be able to attach a photo of us eating at Mr. Crite's when my son brought his Yankee girl friend home at Christmas. The other wall has the pig with the axe murderer chasing him.

                             
                            1. re: glecroy

                              I have always lived in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) but married into a southern family in '00.
                              So we make 4 sojourns "Down yonder" to see her family. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the mainstays.

                              They live in Meridianville.

                              DT

                              1. re: Davwud

                                Maybe your relatives will think it too far from Meridianville almost to Athens to go to a BBQ rib dive, unless you're going there for some other reason. By the way, I think it's David Gibson's on Bob Wallace and Jordan (aka Patton), not Paul Gibson's. Don't know if all the Gibsons were related and had a feud or what, but Big Bob Gibson's is in Decatur, Little Paul (Gibson) is across from the hospital, David Gibson's is on Bob Wallace, and just plain Gibson's is on Memorial Parkway and Whitesburg Drive. David Gibson and Big Bob Gibson are the best of the Gibsons at BBQ IMO. Maybe they are like the Brennans in New Orleans.

                                1. re: glecroy

                                  I've been to Big Bobs and it was excellent. I've been to Gibsons on Memorial and it was the complete antithesis of BB's.
                                  As I said, Dreamland is a "Must visit" whenever we go down.
                                  Meridianville Pit BBQ is pretty good too.

                                  My in-laws wouldn't care about going to Athens. My MIL/FIL don't drive anymore so they'll go where ever we take them. My BIL has said repeatedly that we need to go to Tuscaloosa and visit the original Dreamland.

                                  We also head up to Lynchburg every summer for the BBQ on the Hill at JD. It's great too.

                                  DT