4 & 9 November 2015
One of the nice parts about this trip is all the BBQ I’m enjoying. There was some fantastic stuff at Abrams BBQ near BWI (Baltimore) Airport, and there were some excellent stuff at both Smoque BBQ (Northside) and Lem’s Bar-B-Q (Southside) in Chicago. But now I’ve taken the game to Alabama.
Sure, most people say the best BBQ in Alabama is in the north, around Decatur. However, this trip took me only to other parts of the state, first the Gulf Coast then the centre of the state. During the early stop I visited the much-praised Brick Pit in Mobile on the Gulf Coast. The Coast is not known for its ‘cue but I was told this was the place to go.
I got to the place after a long morning and drive from Jackson, still enjoying the excellent dinner at Parlor Market. I pulled into the dirt lot in back and went in to grab my ribs to go. I hate always taking things to go, but I tend to have busy early afternoons and rather get things done before tucking into so much food. So when I got my hotel across Mobile Bay I opened the box and smiled…
Now they may look dry, but they are not. Smoked perfectly, the aroma was just brain-melting. Lovely flavour in the meat, deep smoke that made any sauce unnecessary. A wonderful job. But I forgot this is Alabama and the portion was voluminous… It ended up partly as breakfast the next day (since I had to skip lunch for a long, long drive) as I had a wonderful dinner at Kitchen on George.
Then a few days later I had arrived into Montgomery, the capital, in the heart of Alabama. Another busy day in dreadful weather, white-outs everywhere, as I drove in from Atlanta in a nasty storm. After a few stops I stopped at Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que Ranch in the north-west suburb of Prattville. Once again I took it to go and when I got to my hotel room I smiled again when I opened the box…
These smelled wonderful. Again, it looks dry, but these are the juiciest ribs I’ve had in ages. Wonderful stuff, rich and deep in flavour. A little less smoke than in Mobile, but the flavour was richer. Some of the best ribs, ever. Again a crazy portion, but since I was skipping lunch again the next day it worked well as breakfast (thank you hotel room for the microwave!).
So as people talk about north Alabama and Decatur for the best BBQ in the state, I found the ribs in both Mobile and Montgomery to be fabulous. Alabama BBQ certainly has my attention!
5456 Old Shell Road
Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Que Ranch
154 1st Street