Chasing BBQ: Alabama & Georgia Stops

with Mike Johnston
June 30, 2016

After getting my fill of BBQ in Texas and Memphis, I headed to Alabama and Georgia for some Southern hospitality and, of course, more 'cue. In this region, chicken and ribs are the stars of BBQ menus. Smoked chicken with white sauce (a regional specialty invented by Alabama's Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que) is a must-order whenever it's available. It's so tasty, in fact, that we had to come up with our own version. Try this Alabama classic next time you fire up the barbecue with our tangy Long's Peak White BBQ Sauce. I tasted ribs made a few different way in the South, but one popular and unique method used high heat. This hot and fast method is perfect for recreating in your own backyard since it means you don't need to spend hours waiting to eat.

BBQ sides always add something to the experience, but in the South, the sides really stand out. Slow-simmered greens including turnip and collards, rich mac and cheese (we've got an easy to make and crave-worthy smoky version), and delectable coconut cream pie are staples at BBQ joints in Alabama and Georgia. Another Southern BBQ favorite is Brunswick stew. Recipes for this regional dish usually include featuring corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and whatever leftover BBQ protein happens to be on hand - or try our version with shredded chicken for a hearty 'cue-inspired meal.

Click on the name of the BBQ joints listed below to read more about my experiences Chasing BBQ in the South. Then pick up some regional spices to bring the flavors of Alabama and Georgia home.

Archibald's is a real joint - and that's a great thing!

Archibald’s BBQ
1211 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Northport, AL
(205) 345-6861
Owner: Tray Washington
Highlights: It’s all about the ribs! Wash them down with sweet tea.

Dreamland BBQ
5535 15th Avenue
East Tuscaloosa, AL
(They have multiple locations)
(205) 758-8135
Pitmaster: JD
Must Have: High heat ribs with the dang good vinegar bbq sauce. Finish it off with banana pudding!

Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot
2115 Minter Ave
Selma, AL
(334) 874-4478
Owner: Miss Lula Hatcher
Don’t Miss: The “just right” sauced ribs and a side of potato salad.

Don't skip the ribs at Hancock's.

Hancock’s Country BBQ
72 County Road 46
Selma, AL
(334) 872-5541
Owner: Mike Hancock
Gotta Try: Ribs and chopped pork (sauced) with beans and fresh grated slaw.

Saw’s BBQ
1008 Oxmoor Rd.
Homewood, AL
(205) 879-1937
Chef/Owner: Mike Wilson
Top Pick: Chicken with white sauce, ribs or pulled pork, and Miss A’s sides (turnip greens and mac & cheese).

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que
1715 6th Ave SE
Decatur, AL
(256) 350-6969
Proprietor (and BBQ Champ): Don McLemore
Claim to Fame: Originators of the Alabama white sauce. Try it or one of their other sauces on turkey, brisket, pulled pork, or ribs.

Hanging with the crew from Chuck Wagon BBQ.

Chuck Wagon BBQ
8982 Madison Rd.
Madison, AL
(256) 772-5179
Owner and pitmaster: Mike Holley
Highlights: The best Texas ‘cue in Alabama - go for the brisket and sausage with a side of campfire beans. Stay for Francis’ fried peach pies!

Boarhog's Barbeque
2064 Highway 72 E
Huntsville, AL
(256) 851-2762
Owner: Roger Owens
Try: Cherry wood smoked bbq: pulled pork biscuit or sandwich and tender wings. Don’t forget the sides: hush puppies, cole slaw, and hash brown casserole.

Grand Champion BBQ
982 Canton St.
Roswell, GA
(770) 98-2800
(See website for other locations)
Co-Owners: Celia Vivier, Greg Vivier, Robert & Anne Owens
Must Have: Redneck lasagna (mac & cheese topped with meaty Brunswick stew), brisket, sausage, and pulled pork.

Heirloom Market BBQ
2243 Akers Mill Rd. SE
Atlanta, GA
(770) 850-1008
Chef Owners: Cody & Jiyeon
Gotta Try: Spicy Korean pork, brisket, Brunswick stew, and Texas-sized beef rib.

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