I was in Alabama to speak at the Alabama New South Coalition’s annual conference, and stayed in Birmingham a few days to visit Dear, who recently moved to a new part of assisted living, and to seeing younger brother David and his family. On Saturday evening, Dear decided to stay in for dinner, so my brother David and I went to SAW’s to get some ribs to eat while we watched the Alabama-Kentucky game at his house.
I had been to Saw’s in Homewood once before, and I really liked the pork. https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/saws-barbecue-in-homewood-2/. I also have gone to SAW’s Juke Joint in Mountain Brook, which was also good, https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/saws-juke-joint-mountain-brook-alabama/ and David had tried the ribs at SAW’s in Homewood. https://johntannersbbqblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/guest-post-david-tanner-on-saws-homewood-alabama/. There’s also a SAW’s Soul Kitchen in Avondale.
SAW’s is small and crowded with people eager to get some barbecue. Most of the business is carry out. David was thrilled to be back.
We got there just ahead of a crowd of Auburn fans — Auburn had an early game against Louisiana-Monroe — and were in and out in good time.
I got ribs with greens and beans — I should have said green beans, but due to my imprecision, I wound up with baked beans. David got ribs with baked beans and slaw. I also got some deviled eggs, which will not surprise regular readers.
We ate in David and Debby’s kitchen. The food was good. The greens were good, and the baked beans were blessedly free of excessive molasses, so they avoided that cloyingly sweet taste that usually infects baked beans. The ribs were meaty, as you can see, and nice and tender (except, curiously, for one patch on one of the ribs: I’m not sure how that happened.) The ribs tasted very good, redolent of smoke and pork. They were really good, but not world-class good. (I know Eric Lee is going to get mad at me for that.) I think the bark was the problem. It didn’t have much texture, and I suspect that they were cooked in a box of some sort rather than over the direct heat of a pit. The sauce is nicely spiced but is on the sweet side.
SAW’s is capitalized because it is an acronym for Sorry Ass Wilson. The owner got the nickname SAW, probably in high school. Some nicknames are inevitable: if your last name is Rhodes, you’re going to be called Dusty. I went to school with a boy whose last name was Pitt, and he was immediately called Arm. There were other nicknames that I can’t really repeat here. But whoever came up with SAW was clever. It’s a great nickname, and it’s a tribute to SAW that he’s stuck with.
Definitely go to SAW’s if you get near Birmingham.
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 destination city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, often 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.