It’s a noun, and for some, it’s a world all its own. Walking into a true hole-in-the-wall barbecue such as SAW’s BBQ is more than just a place to get some really good food to go, or to sit and enjoy a leisurely meal. It’s an experience.
Restaurants that spend a lot of resources on high-end décor, large open spaces, overly comfortable furniture, glossy menus, overstaffing, may put these things as a priority. These might be the features that get people in the door in most establishments, but that is not the case with a stellar barbeque joint. Locals, regulars, and people who will drive out of their way for good barbeque have come to expect the exact opposite. A place that focuses on great food and great value survives by word of mouth.
What brings ‘em back? Founder and owner Mike Wilson aka “Sorry Ass Wilson” (SAW, get it?) is the founder and head chef. Growing up in North Carolina, Mike started messing with the art of barbeque with buddies in the backyard. Even after culinary school he was still dabbling on days off. He would sell or trade bags of roasted meat for beer! Word was spreading and people were raving. His perfected style of slow roasting meats was known around the region as exceptional. When the time came to open his own place, things started rolling (like the Tide) from there.
From the pulled pork favorites, to fall off the bone ribs, Mike has taken the art to a new level. He is such an expert at the craft, that he has bottled his own barbeque sauce based on demand (available in grocery stores around Alabama).
The combo platters are the best things to try on your first visit. Other favorites are typical of barbeque side-show fare, but Mike puts his own spin on everything. For sandwiches there’s a smoked chicken sandwich that is different from anything else. It’s piled high with a signature Alabama white sauce. The baked taters are huge, a meal in themselves. Load them up with everything from cheese, pulled pork, green onion, broccoli, and smoked chicken. Ribs come with sides of your choice and there are many to choose from. They include Southern regulars like macaroni and cheese and tangy coleslaw, to deviled eggs and potato salad.