2122 S Brannon Stand Rd (corner of Brannon Stand and Fortner)
Dothan, AL 36305
Dothan is a nice sized city with several BBQ places. Riding around town I saw one place with potential which was Dobb’s Barbecue and another place that could be mistaken for a pizza parlor named Smokey Joe’s. Southeast Alabama is not necessarily known for lots of quality bbq joints so when I learned of a place that was owned by two North Carolinians I figured it was worth a visit. The BBQ Shack is just outside Dothan in a growing area just west of town. It is a gray cinder-block building with covered picnic tables outside, a big kitchen and pit in the back and a very small eating area inside. As you get out of your car, the smoke hits you in the face and warms the soul. From the outside, it has all the characteristics of a good bbq dive. As you walk inside the first things you notice are the quaint décor and the dozen or so of bbq sauces on each table.
I did not see a paper menu but written on two white boards on the wall were a daily special and the everyday lunch specials which were an entrée, 2 sides and drink for $7.25. The choice of entrees included a pulled pork plate, chicken fingers, rib tips, chicken salad, bbq, fried green tomato sandwiches, hamburger steak and a couple others. The sides were your standard fare: fries, baked potato, green beans, turnips, mac n cheese, onion rings, side salad etc. They also offered eight flavors of ice cream.
I chose the pulled pork with mac n cheese and turnips. It came with a slice of white bread and two hushpuppies. You order at the register and then sit at one of the few tables inside or out. Sitting down you are automatically drawn to the nine different bottles of sauce on each table. Basic tomato-based sauces were labeled Sweet, Mild, Medium and Hot. Mustard based sauces with the same levels of heat and one North Carolina vinegar-based sauce referred to as “butt” sauce. Using the white bread for sampling, I decided I like the regular Hot sauce mixed with the Butt sauce. The mustard based sauces were a little to thick for my liking and didn’t have enough tanginess.
My lunch was delivered to my table and my immediate impression was that the portions were a little small. I typically don’t gorge myself on lunch anyway so this wasn’t a big deal. The pulled pork tasted pretty good. It didn’t have a whole lot of smoky flavor but was tender and when mixed with the regular Hot and Butt sauces was good. The turnips were very good but the mac n cheese did not taste homemade and the hushpuppies were not crispy and were a bit plain. If I return, I would probably avoid the sides and extras and just try the ribs, chicken or pulled pork. I also really liked all the sauce options.