Here’s a handy resource from AL.com, the online vestige of daily newspapers in Alabama’s three largest cities. It’s a stab at the best barbecue place in each of Alabama’s 67 counties.
With refreshing candor, the authors admit that they haven’t tried all of the places that they recommend. Rather, the list is sort of patched together, as most “best” lists are. In a number of counties, they also mention one or more other worthy barbecue places. They also admit that reasonable people (and probably unreasonable people) will disagree with their picks. I, for one, at least can see the logic behind their choices in the counties with which I’m familiar.
To the eternal shame of Alabama, there are three counties — Choctaw, Macon, and Wilcox — that seem to lack a barbecue place worthy of the name, and the writers had to resort to festivals or, in the case of Macon County, football tailgates. All three counties have desperate economic problems. A truly compassionate state government would step in and subsidize decent barbecue places or offer free bus service to neighboring counties, but the legislature, like the priest and the Levite, seems to prefer to pass by on the other the other side.
And, as often is the case with “best” lists, some of the accompanying photographs show really unappealing food, which probably isn’t fair to the restaurants.
At any rate, this is a good link to remember. It probably opens new doors for a meal on the way to the beach or the lake or up to the mountains. And you never know when you’ll get hungry in some out-of-the-way place.