Birmingham AL & S. TN...cheap & good meat&3 or BBQ for motorcycle trip
I am taking a motorcycle trip next week from St. Louis MO, through Memphis, Southern TN to Birmingham AL.
As I will be on a motorcycle, fancy is out of the question (jean/leather jacket/helmet etc. and I like to be able to see the bike while I eat since all my worldly possessions will be piled on it). Really looking for GREAT bbq (as I am a huge BBQ snob) and good mom and pop type diners/meat & 3 type places. No chains pls.
Good bars for a icy cold beer or cocktail in the evening after I park the Ducati for the day would also be appreciated.
All of my answers are for the Memphis area.
For BBQ, Interstate BBQ is on South Third near I-55. You'd go North from I-55 on South Third and it'll be on your left. Not a fantastic part of town, but you can probably park in the front. Exceptional BBQ.
For casual/mom and pop type diners, try Alcenia's on North Main in Downtown Memphis. It is located at 317 N. Main, Memphis, TN. Also, try the Arcade on the other side of Downtown at G.E. Patterson and South Main. (http://www.arcaderestaurant.com/). You can then go down a few doors for a cold beer at Calhoun's. They serve beer only but the regulars are great, and you won't meet a nicer staff.
None of these places are far from the Interstate.
If you are in Memphis for lunch, you want Cozy Corner which is located at 745 N Parkway. In Birmingham (I am from Tuscaloosa), the Golden Rule in Hoover (1571 Montgomery Hwy, Birmingham, AL) still churns out an excellent small sliced sandwich, but avoid other locations as the franchise stores are generally terrible. Niki's West is a very good meat & 3 if you filled up on Q in Memphis. Also avoid the Dreamland franchise in B'ham (unless you just want a jar of sauce for the road) and certainly don't come to Tuscaloosa as the original has gone the way of most once great places that lose their original pit master.
Naw, for good barbecue and beer in Birmingham, just go to Cahaba Heights (off of U.S. 280 near I-459). Miss Myra's is the barbecue joint. It's at the corner of White Oak Rd. and Cahaba Heights Road. It does good pork (try the ribs) and also does barbecue chicken with white sauce.
In the same plaza is Primavera, a great coffee house (roasts beans in-house and has a small cafe).
About a mile away are two places for beer (and pub grub), Mudtown and Blackwells. If you take White Oak Road from Miss Myra's, it will become Green Valley. Just past Crosshaven is Blackwell's (in plaza on the left) and Mudtown (to the right, past Walgreen's). All your needs in one fairly compact area.