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Birmingham recs needed please

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I'm a southeast Florida chowhounder here hoping to get some help. I have read most of the recent B'ham posts and am looking for the best BBQ joints and other places in town. We prefer mom n pop BBQ instead of the chains. We will be staying just south of Trussville and have about 3 days there. We are also interested in anything outside of BBQ except seafood and will drive up to 20 miles. Thanks!

Any input on these from the posts I have read?
Saw's
Golden Rule
Jim n Nicks

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  1. Trussville is only 15 miles from Bham anyway.

    Avoid GR except for their griddled burgers.

    I think on its best days, Jim and Nick's (Southside location only) can equal Saw's but they have a bit of an issue with consistency. I do love JnN's habanero sauce better than Saw's single option for sauce. But for the pure pulled pork, Saw's has probably the best in town. The Soul Kitchen is cool but *tiny* so I would try one of the other locations if you want to try it unless you combine the SSK visit with a visit to Avondale Brewery next door. I know that you said no seafood but Saw's fried oyster sandwich is actually pretty awesome too; just fried apalachicolas (I think) but very good.

    Jim and Nicks is a smaller chain by the way.

    Not barbecue but the fried chicken at Seafood and Chicken Box in tville is also amazing.

    http://www.seafoodandchickenbox.com/

    1. I've not gone for BBQ in B'ham. My favorite places to dine are Frank Stitt's Highlands Grill (make a reservation), Chez Fonfon-they are next door to each other. My other love is Hot and Hot Fish Club. Dinner there in August was a real treat, again make a reservation.

      1. For BBQ you might consider Miss Myras in Cahaba Heights, a small authentic southern place. The other places mentioned are certainly good as well.

        1. Thanks for the recs. We will stay away from GR. We will have a lunch and dinner spot open. If we need to find a Valentine's Day spot that is not too dressy, is there anything worth trying to get a reservation for? The places Candy mentioned look to be too high end menu wise for our taste. We don't want to dress up too much, so hopefully casual please.

          2 Replies
          1. re: freakerdude

            If you like upscale Mexican try El Barrio downtown,,,,,,fun,lively, good. ever good place will be busy that day. Try Bottega on the Southside.

            1. re: freakerdude

              Valentine's Day is a nightmare for busy anyway plus throwing in a Friday night and you will see long lines anywhere.

            2. Saw's Juke Joint. Just go down 459 to I-20, get off the Montevallo road exit, and it's not too far down a side road.
              I highly recommend the pork and greens.
              http://www.sawsbbq.com/locations/saws...