Saws BBQ – Homewood, AL – Wade Wilson

A disclaiming preface to my first blog entry: I am by no means an expert, but I am a self-professed aficionado of barbecue:

 

Politics, religion, and barbecue discussions can get you into trouble in the Southeast United States.

There is such a plethora of regional (and sub-regional) variations of barbecue and barbecue sauces. Different types of meat and cooking methods abound. From the sweet, tomato based Kansas City style, to Memphis dry-rub and Texas brisket, to the North Carolina vinegar based and the South Carolina mustard based styles of BBQ, there is something for everyone.

Perhaps no where in the Southeast demonstrates the schizophrenic nature of BBQ more than the Birmingham, Alabama metro area.  Almost all variations of BBQ are represented in and around Birmingham.  The choices are many and varied:

Pat James’ Full Moon
Golden Rule
Dreamland
Jim n’ Nicks
Carlile’s
Costas
Tin Roof
Demetri’s
Moe’s Original
etc, etc, etc.
There are literally too many to mention, but all represent a little something different.

I have always thought that BBQ was akin to beer, I tend to like them all but always come back to my favorites.  Accordingly, my Hefeweizen of BBQs is a slow, hickory cooked pulled pork doused with a spicy, slightly sweet vinegar based sauce.

Enter my new favorite in the metro area: Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama on Oxmoor Road in the Edgewood district (in the location of the former Broadway BBQ– which was sub par in my humble opinion).
saws bbq
Mike Wilson (no relation to this blogger), a professionally trained chef (University of Alabama and Johnson and Wales University in Vail, CO) and former employee of Cooking Light magazine, has quickly earned a large reputation for his North Carolina-style barbecue since opening earlier in the Summer of 2009. The 35-year-old Wilson started cooking barbecue with his buddies as a teenager growing up in Charlotte. Although he was raised in North Carolina, most of his relatives live in Walker County. He began smoking butts for friends, acquaintances, and co-workers on weekends or in his spare-time, trading ‘que for beer until he decided to go full time in the BBQ biz.

The name,”Saw,” in case you are curious, is his old-high school nickname, an acronym for “Sorry Ass Wilson.” It is, he says, the perfect name for “a product developed over the course of so many good times with good friends of days gone by.”
(quote and bio info courtesy of the Birmingham News).

For the past several years, Wilson has bottled and sold his own Saw’s Sauce, a thin, sweet, tangy, vinegar-based mixture. Saw’s house sauce is decidedly Carolina…think thin and tangy, but not too sweet, perhaps like a hybrid of Tuscaloosa, AL favorites Dreamland and Archibald’s…His Saw’s Sauce is available in the Birmingham area in Piggly Wiggly and Western supermarkets, V. Richard’s, Whole Foods, Overton & Vine, and Snapper Grabbers Seafood Market.

Wilson’s specialty is pulled pork and smoked chicken which comes served as a sandwich or on a plate with two sides and by the pound. Ribs are available by the half-slab and the whole slab.   For prices (and hours) peruse the website: www.sawsbbq.com
The pork is tender and hickory smoked, almost perfectly, then pulled and shredded and not sliced or cubed.

Sides include turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, potato salad and marinated coleslaw.  The potato salad reminds me of something that would be served under an oak tree at a Southern Baptist family reunion -creamy with enough texture and just the right amount of onion. The coleslaw is vinegary which accompanies the BBQ sauce well. The banana pudding that I had last week was also outstanding.

Additionally, the service is very friendly and particularly efficient given the small number of employees and the small spaces within the dining room. Mike, a.k.a. Saw, has always been in the back cooking during my several experiences there.

As a side note, very fittingly, in addition to the very sweet tea and soft drinks, Saw’s sells several different beers.  The Coors ‘Banquet Beer’ tallboys are a nice touch.

Try Saw’s; you won’t be disappointed.

1008 Oxmoor Road
Homewood, AL 35209

4 Responses to “Saws BBQ – Homewood, AL – Wade Wilson”

  1. on 10 Aug 2009 at 12:28 pm Mike

    I’ve been going thru BBQ recipes in blogs and just wanted to pass on you may want to checkout the multiple ebooks on BBQ’s, smoothies & things at http://showmemyebooks.com

    I have a nice collection from them and if your paypal verified it will bump up your paypal stats.

    -Mike

  2. on 15 Oct 2009 at 3:25 am Andrew

    I completely agree on your assessment that Saw’s has the best barbecue in the Birmingham area. I’ve been travelling the country eating barbecue for the past few months and it’s nice to hear the back stories to some of the places that I tried along my journey.

    I also appreciate your blog’s recommendation to try P’Cheens in Atlanta. I went on Monday and loved it, and have since written about it while giving a hat tip to your site for the heads up.

  3. on 07 Dec 2009 at 6:44 pm Sandra Gibson

    I write a blog called “Stars Fell On Alabama.” The link is http://alabamagreatamericans.blogspot.com

    I would love to blog about BarBQ!
    Thank you.
    Sandra Gibson
    cafegirl1116@aol.com

  4. on 08 Oct 2010 at 8:42 pm Kris

    I have to say that I very much enjoyed Saw’s when I was last in town. I had actually driven into Edgewood to eat at Broadway’s as it used to be my preferred BBQ place in town when I lived there (don’t know why you didn’t like it, but to each his own). I was surprised to see it was gone and was now called Saw’s. I didn’t taste much difference personally, I thought it was just as good as before.

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