My last report on the Jim ‘N Nick’s at the Birmingham airport was quite critical of the quality of the pork. https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/jim-and-nicks-in-the-birmingham-airport/. It tasted as if it had been cooked the day before and reheated in an oven at 350, rather than warmed slowly, lovingly over a pit with lots of smoke.
I’m pleased to note a marked improvement. On my last trip, I got to the airport at 6:00 a.m. and, following the “If you fall off a horse you need to get right back on” philosophy, I went to Jim ‘N Nick’s. This time I ordered a pork biscuit — barbecued pork on a biscuit. That’s strawberry preserves on the side. They had sauce on the table.
The meat was freshly cooked, moist and tender.
The pork tasted good. It could have used more smoke, but at 6:00 a.m., that’s a quibble.
After one bite of the sandwich, I ate the pork and biscuit separately: the texture and flavor of the biscuit was strong enough to interfere with the pork flavor. You really need sausage or bacon or real country ham to stand up to a biscuit. But the pork was good by itself, without sauce. The biscuit was no better than average by Alabama standards — not nearly as good as the excellent biscuits at The Beast in Paris. https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/the-beast-paris-france/.
Actually, that may be a little unfair. The night before I’d eaten at Dyron’s in Crestline Village with brother David, he of the SAW’s guest post,* and sister-in-law Debby Tanner, the sainted mother of the quads. The biscuits there were sensational. So were the corn sticks, cooked in cast iron as God intended. And the grouper cooked over a hickory grill, served over a sort of Springtime Hoppin’ John in ham broth, was about as good as fish can be.
Jim ‘N Nick’s still needs to chop rather than just pull their pork. They also need to start using a lower case “‘n” in their name, but it’s a good place to eat barbecue at 6:00 a.m. And Dyron’s is a great place to eat. You should go there.