100 Dishes in Alabama: Bates House of Turkey

As we continue on our journey through the list of “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die,” we come to Bates House of Turkey. Bates Turkey Farm has been delicious hickory-smoked turkey since the 1920s. Their free-range birds aren’t given any hormones or preservatives. One look at their website, and you’ll be ready for Thanksgiving in June!

They opened their Greenville restaurant in 1970. As it sits right on I-65, we decided to stop in on our way to the beach. Their website describes several of their dishes as “Healthy Eating Menu – No Fried Foods.” On that list is the hot open-faced turkey sandwich. I love a good open-faced sandwich, so I gave it a try.


Now, in all fairness, it’s actually their roasted turkey sandwich that is on the list. But I figured that if their roasted turkey sandwich was turkey on a bun with pickles, the open-faced sandwich would be basically the same, with the possible addition of a LITTLE gravy to top the turkey. I couldn’t see the sandwich for the gravy covering the entire plate. And when I tried to salvage some of the turkey, I found that it was almost all dark meat. I left scratching my head to figure out why this dish had been included in such high company.

Y’all, I really tried to like it. I so want to celebrate the wonderful food culture that our state has to offer, because we do. But I came away more than a little disappointed that Bates had been included on such a prestigious list. I mean, I get it that the list is produced by the Alabama Tourism Board and that their mission is to bring people into ALL areas of the state. And I get it that the Bates Turkey company employs a lot of people in Greenville and Fort Deposit, and goodness aren’t we thankful for that! I just wish we’d had a better experience with the sandwich, that’s all.

Did I miss the mark? Have you had a fabulous dish at Bates that you’d love to tell us about? I’d love to hear about it!

And now onto the next stop!


  1. Hmmm, that IS disappointing. I’ve got a friend that often stopped at Bates as she traveled up and down the state. She always had good things to say about it too. I’ve had an inkling to go ever since I first saw the ‘House of Turkey’ signs. Oh well. . .I hope you had a good time at the beach though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thehillhangout says

      Hey, Hope. I had another friend tell me that they like to stop there, too. Maybe mine was just an isolated incident or I ordered the wrong thing. They’ve been in business for a long time, so they must have a lot of happy customers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.