The Bright Star, Bessemer, Alabama

While we’re talking about Bessemer, voting rights, Willie Mays, and Bo Jackson’s Momma (here), I have to mention the Bright Star. The Bright Star opened in 1907, and has been in the Koikos family since 1920.  (The founder was a cousin, and at least one Koikos was a waiter.)   The Bright Star is the subject of a Southern Foodways Alliance film, and is on various … Continue reading The Bright Star, Bessemer, Alabama

Bob Sykes, Bessemer, Alabama

Greg Hawley is another Indian Springs friend, but not from my graduating class.  He’s much younger, smarter, and better looking — if that’s not damning with faint praise. Greg is yet another Indian Springs lawyer, a big time litigator, eminent in the Bar, but also the sort of lawyer who gets pro bono awards.  I met Greg through his pro bono work on voting rights … Continue reading Bob Sykes, Bessemer, Alabama

Rusty’s, Leeds, Alabama

Rusty’s is a great barbecue place.  But first, let me introduce you to someone:  Jean Webb  is my oldest friend. I first met Jean when I was 9 years old, which was well before you were  born.  Our family had just moved from Granville, Ohio to Vestavia Forest, then a lonely outpost on the borderlands between the Birmingham suburbs and reputed moonshine country.  Jean lived … Continue reading Rusty’s, Leeds, Alabama

Stan’s Idle Hour, Goodland, Florida

Nancy and I like to spend some time in Florida during the winter months.  The weather’s great, but, in my experience, the barbecue situation in Florida needs work.  On the other hand, you can get much better seafood in ‘most any part of Florida than here in DC, and I like to follow the Friends of the Earth motto –“eat locally, drink globally.”  It’s something … Continue reading Stan’s Idle Hour, Goodland, Florida

Dreamland, Southside Birmingham, Alabama

If there’s any doubt that Birmingham is a barbecue town, consider a comment on reddit, “Looking at buying a house near the Dreamland’s in Southside.”  How many cities do you know where people buy houses based on proximity to barbecue places?  Or how many cities are united in a truly ecumenical approach to barbecue?  Consider: Sam Cohn organized a trip to that particular Dreamland outpost … Continue reading Dreamland, Southside Birmingham, Alabama

Chez Hammons, Washington, D.C.

Don’t you just love it when something really good gets even better?  It doesn’t happen that often here in Washington, but when it does …. it’s a pearl of great price. That’s what happened in our little corner of DC.  I wrote about the cookout my next door neighbors at Stately Hammons Hall, Scott and Julie Hammons and AJ Guy, had last year.  It featured pork … Continue reading Chez Hammons, Washington, D.C.