Greenbrier Bar-B-Que – Axel Tegtmeier – Huntsville, AL

Greenbrier Bar-B-Que

There are actually two places in Greenbrier, a small farming community a few miles west of Huntsville, where you can get your Bar-B-Que fix – the Greenbrier Restaurant is located in, well, “downtown” Greenbrier, whereas the Greenbrier Bar-B-Que is next to the Greenbrier Exit (3) of I-565, on old Hwy 20.
Although they are easily confused with each other, bearing very similar names (the locals refer to the “downtown” location as the “Old Greenbrier”, although the other one claims to be the oldest Bar-B-Que in the Huntsville area … yes, things can be confusing here in Alabama at times), they are not related or otherwise connected to each other.
The Greenbrier Bar-B-Que next to the I-565 Exit is there since 1961, and has since become a Huntsville area landmark.
They serve the usual Bar-B-Que items, but also catfish, shrimp and crab. I am no big seafood fan, so I rather stick with the pork plate in those places.
One of the signature dishes at Greenbriers Bar-B-Que is their Hushpuppies. Not unlike the chips and salsa in a Mexican Restaurant, you get a basket full of those fried cornbread balls as a snack before the meal. Them puppies are not good for you, of course, but in all their fried, trans-fat glorifying, calorie burdened splendor, they are just a piece of the southern lifestyle. Soul food, if you will, that makes your heart sing, until your arteries are so clogged that the singing will stop eventually.
The variety they serve in the Greenbrier Bar-B-Que is actually Continue Reading »

KC Pit BBQ – Jason Key

KC Pit BBQ
As I pulled into the parking lot of KC Pit BBQ, I received a call from a very confused Justin Schoendorf.  He was already inside and reviewing a menu that can only be described as “all the meats except BBQ”  or more specifically, “all the bone-on meats”.  After I entered we both spent a good 10 mins in a state of pure befuddlement.   There was nothing on the menu that I felt qualified as BBQ.  They had chicken breast, ribs, beef tips, rib tips, brisket, fried fish, shrimp, and more.  Finally we found a “lunch menu” section and noticed that they had a “chopped pork plate”.  WOW.  I asked for the sauce on the side and sides of slaw and mac&cheese.  When the plate came, it was the strangest looking BBQ I had ever seen.  It was not chopped in the fashion that I am accustomed, but rather in large cube-like chunks.  Taking a bite of this Q was a different experience, but I was VERY impressed with the flavor of the meat.  KC BBQ wet-marinades their meat over night, prior to smoking it in a pit.  I could definitely taste the deep marinated flavor and sweet, smoky taste.
Although I was impressed with the flavor of the meat, after a few bites I began notice a serious problem.  The reason that this meat did not appear chopped in the usual BBQ context, was that this was not a shoulder or butt.  This was a completely different cut of the pig that was much fattier.  This meat was not slow cooked for hours, but grilled and chopped – the leaner parts were plenty tender, but there were way too many Continue Reading »

Blues City Cafe – Memphis, TN – Crash

Blues City Cafe – Memphis, TN
There are few moments in life where everything seems at peace and no matter where you are; it was if at that moment you were exactly where you were supposed to be.  It’s at these moments that you feel that you belong to something bigger than yourself and you forget about prejudices and differences and you become engulfed into a culture so much that it consumes you, but instead of fighting for air, you sit back and let it take you a place that transcends class and race and suddenly…you just “are”.
I can recall sitting under a Caribbean sunset washing down a roti with a bottle of CSR and a few ice cold Ting’s listening to Bankie Banx from the beach right next to a bar because I couldn’t afford the cover.
I remember eating .25 cent oysters and $2 Dixie’s in the French Quarter while the sound of brass horns blew New Orleans Jazz through the humid air.
A few more events rolled through my mind and the constants in every episode involved three things: Food, Music, and Drinks, and there was no exception as I stepped into Blues City Café on Beale St.
Walking in to BCC, I was greeted by the sounds of Rockabilly in this diner style setting with a bustling, open kitchen adorned with a large sign telling all who enter to, “Put some south in your mouth!”  I watched the organized chaos behind the counter as old black men with the agility of Olympic athletes put plate after plate of steaks, ribs, and catfish into the window to be run.  It was after midnight, but this place has only started.
I was lead through the packed dining room to my table and ordered a Yazoo Dos Perros from the diverse selection and scanned the menu that boasted all of the MS Delta favorites, right down to the homemade Tamales.
I skipped the BBQ Shrimp, the Gumbo, and the Crab Au Gratin and went right to “The Best Meal on Beale”   Despite the fact that there was still a wait, well after midnight the service was attentive and the food hit the table within 10 minutes.
In front of me was placed a humongous platter with a ½ slab of ribs, a perfectly fried catfish fillet that had been coated in a peppery, cornmeal mixture, grilled Texas toast, steak fries and beans…a plate large enough to feed two.
The beans were great and the fries and catfish were Continue Reading »

Golden Rule Bar-B-Q – Madison, AL – Axel Tegtmeier

Golden Rule Bar-B-Q

The Golden Rule Bar-B-Q in Madison, AL belongs to a franchise of 15 restaurants across Alabama, and soon also in Georgia.
While there is certainly nothing wrong in spreading out from humble beginnings, when you have a good product and the chance to grow, more often then not, a franchise does not bode well for quality and uniqueness eventually.
The first Golden Rule restaurant that opened 1891 in Continue Reading »

Flavors BBQ – St Louis, MO – Braddog

Review: Flavors BBQ

With a new day, hope springs eternal. And, after yesterday’s failed excursion I was hopeful that I’d find better eats at a place called Flavors in South St. Louis.
Before I got to the door, I spotted what appeared to be a Southern Pride cooker out back and I could smell the smoke. That’s always a good sign.
When we walked in, I found what is quite possibly the nicest BBQ joint I’ve ever been in. All that was missing was white table clothes and fine wine. This place was very nicely decorated and spotless. I wouldn’t have been surprised If I’d been handed a fine Italian or French menu, but I was really happy that what I got was pure BBQ.
My lunch mates ordered up the Continue Reading »