Tag Archives: Pulled Pork

Saw’s BBQ In Homewood, Alabama Makes The Cut

11 Mar

Saw’s BBQ is found in the Edgewood District of Homewood, AL

Saw’s BBQ is a cool looking joint — if a good bit smaller than expected. We were curious about the restaurant’s unusual name, so I did a quick Google search. It turns out Chef and Owner Mike Wilson, who opened Saw’s in 2009, is a native North Carolinian. And his eatery’s moniker is based on the Johnson & Wales trained chef’s high school nickname, “Sorry Ass” Wilson. S-A-W. Funny — and true!

BBQ and Pabst Blue Ribbon — a match made in heaven

Saw’s decor is about what you would expect from a BBQ joint

Antique signs are nice – even if they don’t have much local flavor

I opted for the Pulled Pork plate with two sides (beans & slaw)

They are obviously Crimson Tide fans at Saw’s – no big surprise!

The beverages of choice here are Coca Cola or ice cold Budweiser

The Pulled Pork was excellent — well above average. The meat was moist, lean and tender. The smoked BBQ ribs were mighty fine too. My son Austin did a good job of methodically gnawing his half slab down to the bone(s). I just happened to snag a single rib before he rolled up his sleeves and really went to town. Best of all was the sweet vinegar-based sauce that adorned my platter of piggy meat. You should buy your own bottle to carry home for $5. Let me point out at this juncture that you will regret it if you don’t obey my suggestion. The sauce at Saw’s is world class and not readily available outside the Birmingham area.  

Saw’s Sauce – you had better get you some!

The beans were OK — nothing truly unique about them. I wasn’t really crazy about the slaw, which is a mega-tangy, finely chopped, vinegar-based affair. We found the slaw overly tart & acidic … making it hard to stomach more than forkful or two. Some may love it, but it’s not exactly our cup of tea. Personally, I prefer a rough chopped, mayonnaise-based slaw with big crunch and a little sweetness. Temperature is important too. I like it chilled.

I want to conclude this review on a high note — as I should. Maybe the slaw and beans were nothing to write home about. But the slow smoked pork and Saw’s delicious NC-style BBQ sauce are some of the best you will find anywhere in the great state of Alabama. Alabama is indeed the “Heart of Dixie” and serious BBQ country to boot, so that kind of praise is not easily come by.

Service at Saw’s is prompt and the surroundings suitably homey. We really like this little joint a lot and plan on returning one day soon. One trip certainly doesn’t tell the entire story — that’s for sure. In particular, we want to sample Saw’s Smoked Chicken with White BBQ sauce. When that happens, I hope to see you there. I’m pretty sure you will find this smoke-filled neighborhood dive anything but “sorry ass.”    

The fluffy Banana Pudding looked good too – maybe next time!

Saw’s BBQ – 1008 Oxmoor Road, Birmingham, AL 35209

(205) 879-1937; www.sawsbbq.com

Nancy’s Brings Real Deal BBQ to the Sarasota/Bradenton Area

28 May

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q arrived on the Sarasota dining scene not long after we moved out of the area. Too bad for us because Nancy’s is pretty darn good. Sure, it has a few minor flaws. Yet it has clearly set the gold standard for real BBQ in the Sarasota/Bradenton marketplace.  

The eatery’s design is modern and appealing. Part of this operation is financed by the Caragiulo family (some might call them the first family of Italian cuisine in Sarasota). It’s a beautiful place — and well thought-out. A nice blend of retro and modern.  

This tractor (parked permanently outside) provides some rustic charm.

The replica Sinclair Gasoline billboard further adds to the old school vibe.

Cooking BBQ with real wood??? What an amazing concept!

“This little piggy went to market …” and apparently didn’t come home.

The pulled BBQ pork (cooked for 12 hours) and the locally-made link sausage were outstanding. Owner and founder Nancy Krohngold obviously devotes a lot of time to her sauces too. There are several to choose from and all of them were right on point. Or should I say right on Q??? Be sure to take some home with you.

The side dishes (above) we sampled were just OK, but not great.

The link sausage had a nice kick to it. This was a highlight in my mind.

Follow this “Q” (above) on the sidewalk to Nancy’s Bar-B-Q. Stick to the meats and house-made BBQ sauces and you will surely not be disappointed. This is  real deal BBQ, friends — and Sarasota is quite lucky to have them in town.

Nancy’s Bar-B-Q – 301 South Pineapple Street, Sarasota, FL

www.facebook.com/pages/Nancys-Bar-B

(941) 955-3400

Late Saturday Morning in Robertsdale, Alabama

8 Aug

We took a day trip to Robertsdale and Foley yesterday. Both towns straddle Alabama State Highway 59. And who knew what a Southern food stronghold this area was becoming? Our first stop was Charley’s Chicken Outlet on Highway 59. Charley used to toil in the real estate business. But times are pretty tough and he decided that working class folks might want to purchase their chicken at wholesale prices. Not a bad idea, really.  

Charley’s boasts a memorable phone number — no question about that! He also offers fair prices on a wide variety of frozen bird parts. For example, we purchased a 10 lb. bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts for just $20. Shoot, a 2 lb. bag runs about $7 at your local grocery store. It was tasty bird too. Tried it tonight in my soon to be famous Green Enchilada Pie.

“You Get More Cluck for Your Buck at Charley’s!” OK, I just made that up. I guess I was just inspired by this majestic rooster (above) standing guard outside Charley’s front entrance. We surely enjoyed chewing the fat with him (Charley, that is; not the big ceramic bird) and we wished him the best of luck (or is that cluck?) going forward. OK, I’ll stop.  

Another interesting foodie stop along Highway 59 is Hickory House BBQ. And yes, they do use hickory wood here. It’s a rather tiny joint, but the aromas emanating from the kitchen were mighty powerful. The help was super-friendly and the clientele was raving about the Q before I could even take my first bite. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet, but I couldn’t resist ordering a BBQ pork sandwich, a couple ribs, and a heaping slab of Lemon Ooey Gooey Cake.

I stood looking on in glassy-eyed wonder as the pork for my sandwich was pulled to order. Yessir, the owner herself pulled the charred shoulder from the warmer, donned a pair of clear disposable gloves, and methodically peeled the lean, smoky meat from the Boston Butt. She then gave it all a rough chop, loaded it onto a fresh baked bun, and doused it with their homemade “SMOKEY” BBQ sauce.  

I sampled the ribs too — provided for free by the owner. They were good, no doubt about it. Probably better when slathered with a little sauce. I requested them sans sauce so I could taste the unadorned flavor of meat and hickory. My wife Eileen loves lemon squares … and the Hickory House’s Lemon Oooey Gooey Cake looked something like a lemon bar on steroids. All puffed up and flaky. It was, well, oooey and gooey and … incredible! I gotta try the Chocolate Oooey Gooey the next time I’m in Robertsdale — that’s for certain.

Ribs = Good, BBQ Pork = Better, Lemon “Ooey Gooey” Cake = Best!

A return trip to this area is definitely in the cards for this hungry dude. I’ve heard positive comments about The Magnolia Blossom Cafe. Mac and Jerry’s Diner is also worthy of a pop-in. We even spotted a tiny but promising Italian joint (Guttadauro’s) along the main North-South highway. Looked like a Mom and Pop establishment and that’s always a plus in our book.  

So when Robertsdale starts turning up on the Food Network, just remember you heard about it here first. OK???

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