Rocket Drive Inn, Jacksonville, Alabama

Jacksonville, Alabama, is a college town that sits between Anniston (off -I20) and Gadsden (off I-59). It’s worth your time to detour to the Rocket Drive Inn for some barbecue. It is a small place — they used to have carhops — on the east side of AL 21 on the south side of town. I had lunch there with Rena Comisac, a former DOJ colleague who has escaped to the small-city life.  She gets to spend a lot of time with family, but I’m sure she misses the advantages of Washington: an abundance of traffic, high prices, and lots of self-important people.

Three generations of the Marbut family have been serving barbecue in the same location since the ’50s.  They’re very friendly, and the Rocket does a good business.

And with good reason. The pork barbecue is tender and smoky and abundant. There are limited vegetable sides, but you can order a salad which comes topped with about a pound of pork.  I saw a burger go by and it looked so good that I started to order one to go with my pork, but thought better of it  Instead, I ordered fried okra, which was good, and fried macaroni and cheese.  I had never had fried macaroni and cheese before, but it was quite good.  They use real macaroni and cheese, rather than just pasta in a cheese sauce.  I don’t know if frying is really necessary with macaroni and cheese, but you ought to try it at last once.

My lunch at the Rocket was a great.   Rena is a treasure, a really good person.  There was  lots of good food, good company, and good service from a friendly staff.  What more could you want?

 

If you’re driving between Atlanta and Birmingham and have a little extra time, why not head north to Jacksonville and check out the Rocket.

***

And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

One thought on “Rocket Drive Inn, Jacksonville, Alabama

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s