Bluegrass Barbeque, Moody AL

The final stop on our Memphis trip was a fairly new barbecue place on the outskirts of Birmingham. It simply isn’t right to go through Alabama and not try some barbecue, you know? Continue reading “Bluegrass Barbeque, Moody AL”

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Sneaky Pete’s, Moody AL

The detour to Amory really was a big one. Even outside the time spent at the two restaurants, it added more than an hour to the drive, as we rolled lazily along US-278 through the small Alabama towns of Sulligent and Guin before rejoining I-22. The connection between I-22 and I-65 is still not quite complete, but it felt like they have done some work repaving those streets that connect the two – Coalburg and Daniel Payne – because I certainly remembered those roads being very, very well traveled and *full* of potholes, but they’re not bad now. Continue reading “Sneaky Pete’s, Moody AL”

Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, Bessemer AL

We try to avoid letting personal sadness get into the blog much, but, as some of our friends know, we had some pretty terrible turmoil in our lives some months after my dad passed away in 2011, and, the following year, it got a lot worse before it got resolved. The bottom line is that, for many years, my daughter has seen very, very little of her mother, who lives in Kentucky, and we have, for many of the same reasons, seen very, very little of my older son, who lives there with her. Continue reading “Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, Bessemer AL”

Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, Irondale AL

For our final stop on this road trip, we visited one of the oldest restaurants in the southeast. Golden Rule Bar-B-Q is on at least its fourth set of owners, and the current home of its flagship store is, again, at least the fourth, but it traces its history back to 1891, when a family named Williams opened the original stop on the long Alabama to Birmingham highway. In the late 1930s, a gentleman named Jabo Stone, who had married into the Williams family, became the owner. He sold it in 1969 to Michael Matsos, and, in 2010, CM Foodservice, LLC took over Golden Rule as well as Matsos’s popular Michael’s Steakhouse. They run a few other small brands with locations dotted around the southeast, including La Paz, which, until recently, had a store within walking distance of my childhood home in Vinings GA. Continue reading “Golden Rule Bar-B-Q, Irondale AL”

Gus’s Hot Dogs, Adamsville AL

On Sunday afternoon in Memphis, our daughter bought a very nice blue dress. On Monday, she wore it and received more compliments from the crowd at Gus’s Hot Dogs in Adamsville than the local homecoming queen probably got last fall. There’s a whole bunch of really friendly people in this town, and by 11.15 each day, they’ve swarmed into Gus’s. We were lucky to find a table. Continue reading “Gus’s Hot Dogs, Adamsville AL”

Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part nine

I left Leo & Susie’s ahead of schedule, and I’ll tell you folks, it is a good thing that I did because Birmingham’s rush hour turned out to be every bit as bad as I’d heard. I won’t complain about Atlanta’s again for at least three weeks. Complicating things up front, there’s about a two-mile stretch between not-quite-finished I-22 and I-65 that hasn’t been completed yet, and eastbound traffic exits onto a road called Coalburg, and absolutely everybody takes that down to 41st Avenue and cuts over. These roads were not meant for this volume of traffic. It’s like driving across trenches. Then you get on the I-59/I-20 connector and it’s every man for himself. For the rest of my life, I’m going to do my level best to avoid Birmingham Fridays between four and six. Continue reading “Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part nine”

Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part eight

Of all the restaurants that I planned to visit on this circumnavigation, Leo & Susie’s Famous Green Top Bar-B-Q – my heavens, what a great name! – was the one that I looked forward to the most. About three years ago, I discovered the work of the Southern Foodways Alliance and their “Southern BBQ Trail.” This is, if you have not already found it, an invaluable resource for barbecue lovers. In Alabama, this restaurant is one of twelve to be spotlighted via one of Amy Evans’ completely terrific oral histories. Please go give this a read and a listen if you’ve not already, and if it doesn’t leave you craving a visit, something might very well be badly wrong with you. (Evans covered all the details about how the meat and sauce are prepared in her interview with Richard Headrick, so I’ll point the curious among you that way.) Continue reading “Circumnavigating the Tennessee River Valley – part eight”