Big Chief Drive-In, Glencoe AL

So, on this trip to Alabama, we took a quick break from barbecue to visit a terrific A-frame restaurant. The Big Chief is in the town of Glencoe, right outside Gadsden, and it was originally built in 1963 as a Jack’s Hamburgers – although this was not the same Jack’s as the large fast food chain with locations all around Alabama and southern Tennessee, and in the towns of Tallapoosa and Carrollton in west Georgia. This Jack’s was owned by Jack Locklear, and he had one store here and another in Fort Payne. I’ve not found any evidence that there were any Jack’s Hamburgers other than these two, but would love to be corrected on that point. Continue reading “Big Chief Drive-In, Glencoe AL”


Pruett’s BBQ & Catfish, Gadsden AL

For the second stop on our mini-tour, I picked the closest place to me on the Year of Alabama BBQ app that I had not previously visited: Pruett’s in Gadsden AL. It opened in 1976 and a wonderful blog called The Great North Alabama BBQ Quest paid them a visit in the spring of 2013. Sadly, this blog is no longer being updated; the writer moved back to Europe last year, but it is a terrific resource. Continue reading “Pruett’s BBQ & Catfish, Gadsden AL”

Ray’s Bar-B-Q, Atalla AL

I really got a kick out of how the Alabama Department of Tourism declared this to be “The Year of Alabama Barbecue,” and so I resolved to make one more swing through the state to sample some good chopped pork. I looked around for the best opportunity for a quick day trip with four or so places I’d not been before and home by sunset. I picked pretty well. One of the four was on the state’s list, and two more were on the inaugural edition of Governor Bentley’s Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame, as announced in June. The newest of the four is thirty-nine years old. A lot of history on this drive, as you’ll see. Continue reading “Ray’s Bar-B-Q, Atalla AL”