Mr. Bill’s Southern Diner, Northport, Alabama

I’ve written about the Southern institution of the Meat and Three before here, and it’s always a treat to go to one again. This time, on my lightning road trip to Tuscaloosa and back, I went back to Mr. Bill’s, across the river from Tuscaloosa in Northport. I’d managed a good night’s sleep after eating more meat than the law allows at Rusty’s — more … Continue reading Mr. Bill’s Southern Diner, Northport, Alabama

Buc-ee’s, Leeds, Alabama: You will not Believe this Place

“If you vote for Pedro, all your wildest dreams will come true.” Napoleon Dynamite. The same may be said of Buc-ee’s. I had passed a Buc-ee’s on my way to a great dinner at Rusty’s, and made it a point to stop there on the way to my motel. Buc-ee’s completely redefines the very idea of a gas station. They do so by taking all … Continue reading Buc-ee’s, Leeds, Alabama: You will not Believe this Place

Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, Leeds, Alabama

I recently drove down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to teach an Honors College class for my good friend, Bob McCurley. I do that every year. Usually, I take my time driving down, stop and see family, and Nancy and I join Bob and Babs at an Alabama game. This year, I was a bit antsy about drinking, dining, and just being at close quarters with an … Continue reading Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, Leeds, Alabama

A Great Loss: Mike Wilson of SAW’s Barbecue

Mike Wilson, the genius behind SAW’s BBQ, SAW’s Soul Kitchen, and SAW’s Juke Joint, died over the Labor Day weekend, of all the weekends of the year. Mike opened SAW’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama, in 2009. The first time I went there, back in 2014, I posted that “SAW’s Barbecue in Homewood, Alabama, serves what may well be the moistest, most tender barbecue in the … Continue reading A Great Loss: Mike Wilson of SAW’s Barbecue

Have You Ever Had a Pig Ear Sandwich?

I have. I first had a pig ear sandwich at the Tired Texan, a food truck in Birmingham.  My good friend and then-vegan, Jean Webb, had recommended the Tired Texan to me — specifically their Damnit to Hell sandwich: pork barbecue with a whole lot of Tabasco sauce.  (Jean was a strict vegan at the time, although he continued to eat barbecue.)  I had the … Continue reading Have You Ever Had a Pig Ear Sandwich?

The Original Leo and Susie’s Green Top Barbecue, Dora, Alabama

The Green Top was among the first barbecue places inducted into the Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame during the Year of Alabama Barbecue.  It was chosen by virtue of having been in business for over 50 years.  I remember stopping at the original Green Top in Dora back in the day.  Leo and Susie were still working and it was a good place — very … Continue reading The Original Leo and Susie’s Green Top Barbecue, Dora, Alabama

Barbecue and Rocket Science

Barbecue and rocket science both require extraordinary ability and years of hard work and dedication.  You might have thought that no one can do both.  Not so.  Knapp Hudson, our Senior Portland, Maine, Correspondent and a fellow Indian Springs grad, pointed me to an article in Gastro Obscura about an expert in both fields. Dr. Howard Conyers grew up near Paxville, South Carolina, population 158, which … Continue reading Barbecue and Rocket Science

Rest in Peace, Jimmy Koikos of the Bright Star, Bessemer, Alabama

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions. Jimmy Koikos of the Bright Star has passed on.  The Bright Star is the oldest restaurant in Alabama, having opened in 1907, and it is known and loved for great seafood (the  Greek red snapper and the gumbo), great desserts (Nick Saban loves the coconut pie), and the warm, friendly presence of Jimmy Koikos … Continue reading Rest in Peace, Jimmy Koikos of the Bright Star, Bessemer, Alabama

Rest in Peace, Melvin Rogers

Huntsville, Alabama, was just a wide place in the road well into the 1950s, but today it’s the second largest city in Alabama, a booming, high-tech city, the home of Redstone Arsenal and the Marshall Space Flight Center (which is coordinating the next moon landing), and lots of associated industries.  They also have a biotech center, and Huntsville just landed a ginormous new Toyota plant. … Continue reading Rest in Peace, Melvin Rogers

Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Cahaba Heights, Alabama

I was very impressed by the whole hog barbecue places in Tennessee during my Great Memphis Region Barbecue Sandwich Tour.  You will, no doubt, recall my reviews of B.E. Scott’s in Lexington and Ramey’s, in Parsons, the friendliest town in the world.  After eating at B.E. Scott’s and Ramey’s, I was tempted to travel on to Nashville to try Martin’s, but Nashville is not in … Continue reading Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Cahaba Heights, Alabama