Alabama’s BBQ Scene

Alabama BBQ Trail

When you grow up in Sweet Home Alabama, a good plate of BBQ is not just dinner, it’s a way of life. You cut your teeth on rib bones, and you learn early how to look for the best bark on a brisket. Alabama has an existing and solid reputation as a food destination, but Alabama’s BBQ scene has exploded in the last few years. Our state’s BBQ restaurants and traditions are consistently featured as some of the best in the US and in national media publications. Our state’s tourism department has even declared 2015 as “The Year of Alabama BBQ.” If you’ve ever thought about a trip to the historical civil rights landmarks, the Space and Rocket Museum, or a visit to our beautiful beaches, plan to make several stops along the BBQ trail. You can find a fun list of road trips to Alabama here.

While the best BBQ joints in Alabama are rarely fancy, you will no doubt experience the friendliness and hospitality for which Alabama is widely known. We are a laid-back bunch who knows how to relax and enjoy good food and good company. Life, as they say, moves slower in Alabama, and enjoying a slab of ribs or a BBQ sandwich with friends is definitely a favorite pastime. Every Alabamian has their own personal favorites when it comes to our long list of BBQ restaurants, and I certainly have my favorite spots to meet up with friends and family for dinner.

I live in Birmingham, so the BBQ spots in our area are near and dear to me. First fave: Full Moon.

Full Moon

At Full Moon, you really can’t go wrong with the pork plate, the black angus beef brisket, or the hickory smoked turkey. But whatever you meat you choose, be sure to pair it with their famous vinegar-based slaw, top it with their chow-chow, and round it out with a half-moon cookie for dessert.

Jim ‘N Nicks is a Birmingham landmark, and it is always a crowd-pleaser. I’m a fan of the pulled pork sandwich and fries, but don’t miss their cheddar biscuits. Yeah, you’re gonna ask for another round of those!

Jim Nicks Biscuits

The newest BBQ joint in town is Saw’s, and it has quickly made a name for itself on Alabama’s BBQ scene. Saw’s serves a delicious pork sandwich, served with fried pickles. But if you aren’t in the mood for BBQ, be sure to try the pork on cheese grits, piled with greens and topped with curls of light onion rings.

Saws sandwich and fried pickles

We frequently head north to visit the US Space and Rocket Center or various other north Alabama attractions. When we are in Decatur, we never miss Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ, home of the original Alabama white sauce.

Big Bob White Sauce

They have other great sauces as well, but my preference is the white sauce on smoked chicken.

Big Bob White Chicken

Football is king in Alabama, and in the fall we are a state divided right down the middle. Half of us are yelling “Roll Tide” for the University of Alabama, and the rest of us are yelling “War Eagle,” the battle cry of Auburn University.

If Tuscaloosa is your destination, Dreamland is a must-do. I’ve been going to Dreamland since the original location was the only location.


To get the true Dreamland experience, order ribs and white bread. You’ll get a rack of ribs and several pieces of white sandwich bread. That’s it. And you’ll be in heaven.

If you’re headed to the Plains for a ballgame, be sure to stop in at Mike &Ed’s. Like I said, we don’t make things fancy in Alabama. We serve our sweet tea nice and cold, but at Mike & Ed’s you’ll have to get it right out of a trash can. DOn’t worry… it’s clean.

Mike Ed Tea

One of the most notable attractions in Alabama is our coastline. Alabama beaches are the most beautiful anywhere around, as far as I’m concerned. They are sugar white and surrounded by the most quaint and charming small towns. They are definitely worth staying a few days! When in south Alabama, don’t miss the small town of Fairhope, home of lovely shops and fun restaurants like Ben’s BBQ. While I’ve never been to Ben’s, I have it on good authority that it’s the best BBQ in town.

Bens BBQ Fairhope

Fairhope isn’t the only coastal town with good BBQ. Mobile is home to two notable joints. The Brick Pit was featured on an episode of “Man vs. Food.”

Brick Pit Mobile

And I have it on good authority from friends who KNOW good BBQ that Saucy Q is the place to be. With a menu like this, I know the food is the real deal!

Saucy Q Menu

Planning a foodie trip to Alabama is made simple with the new Alabama Travel app, available for Android and iPhone. I’ve downloaded it, and it will notify me when I’m close to one of the BBQ restaurants that I want to try. So fun. You can follow the Alabama Tourism Department on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Y’all leave me a comment and let me know your favorite Alabama BBQ spot.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alabama Tourism. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comeback Sauce

Comeback Sauce

If you’ve ever eaten at one of the chicken finger chains like Zaxby’s or Raising Cane’s, you’ve no doubt wondered how they make their special sauce taste so good. It is, after all, the crowning glory of their chicken finger dinners. It’s the perfect dip for the chicken fingers, the fires, and even the bread. We southerners are a little crazy about dipping our food. While the actual recipes used by chains are closely guarded secrets, you can make a batch of Comeback Sauce at home that will rival any of the chain sauces.

Comeback Sauce is simple to make, as it only requires mixing the ingredients – no cooking whatsoever. It does have quite a few ingredients, but most of them are items most family households would have on hand anyway. If you’re in a pinch, go ahead and make it without the missing ingredients, as it will still be good. You can mix it with a whisk or in a blender, whichever you prefer.

Here’s what you’ll need for Comeback Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chili sauce or Heinz 57 Steak Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon sriracha or Tabasco hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or blend in blender. Store in air-tight container in fridge.

Comeback Sauce

Comeback Sauce is great on chicken, but it is also good on shrimp, steak, hamburgers, oven fries, and just about anything else you like to dip. It is a great staple dip to have on hand because you can always find something else to try it on.

I hope you all like it!

Comeback Sauce
Yields 1
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  1. 1 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  3. 1/4 cup chili sauce or Heinz Steak Sauce
  4. 1/4 cup ketchup
  5. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  7. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  8. 1/4 teaspoon sriracha or Tabasco hot sauce
  9. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  11. 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk, or blend in a blender until smooth.
  1. Comeback is a delicious dip that can be used on chicken fingers, steak, shrimp, or fries. It's also terrific on veggies.
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