Mike and I had lunch with my brother Jim and his sons, Jimbo and Henry, while we were in Birmingham for Anne Rain and Hunter’s wedding. (The ladies were at a bridesmaids’ luncheon.) There was an initial miscommunication as to location. Jim said they were going to SAW’s, which I assumed meant the barbecue-focused Homewood SAW’s. I should have known that music-centric Henry would steer them to SAW’s Juke Joint. Perhaps more important, as it turned out, SAW’s Juke Joint has gluten-free beer for Jim — which I did not know and had not considered. Mike and I got there about a half beer late, but before anyone had ordered food. They had a table, which was fortunate since there was crowd waiting to get in.
And it’s easy to see why. SAWs’ Juke Joint has very good food. Jim and I both got the same thing I had ordered last time: the pork and greens, which I previously described as “a sort of Big Hungry Boy Napoleon: a layer of cheese grits, a layer of greens, a layer of pork, and a layer of onion rings, all composed with less attention to appearance than abundance.” Each element is great. The pork at SAW’s Juke Joint is as tender and juicy as pork can be, with a good smoke flavor. It has everything that barbecue should have except for the bark that you only get over an open pit. The grits are real, honest grits and the greens are very good; and the onion rings are about as good as onion rings get.
Henry got the pork sandwich, and Mike and Jimbo got the smoked chicken sandwich.
Now that’s a good-looking chicken sandwich. And those fried dill pickle chips look good. (Always insist on chips: never, ever accept spears.)
Jim and Henry were right. SAW’s Juke Joint was the perfect place for the five of us to get together and spend some time talking. Weddings are good to get our far-flung extended family together, and we tend to show up in battalions. Family is important, more and more important every year. It’s good to spend time with people you love and who love you, and who know enough not to talk about the election.
Give SAW’s Juke Joint a try.
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