Tag Archives: BBQ Ribs

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

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Sheryl’s Buffet Does Live Oak FL Proud

16 Apr

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The last time we ate at Sheryl’s it was on a tip from a web site we have come to trust. This time we didn’t need anyone pushing us in their general direction. We made the trip gladly! Live Oak is a nice little Southern town. It feels much more like Alabama or Georgia than it does Florida. But I guess that could be said for much of the northern third of the Sunshine State. The people are so darn friendly at Sheryl’s — we have been treated like family each time we have visited.  In fact, we arrived just a few minutes from closing time (they are open from 11:30 a.m. ’til 2:30 p.m. daily) and they suggested that we call ahead next time if we are running a few minutes late and they’ll keep the place open for us. How ’bout them apples???

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The fried chicken and the charcoal-kissed pork ribs (yes, they were cooked outside over coals) were the stars of the show on this particular afternoon. I added some turnip greens and some stewed okra and I was ready for business! Step one was to grab myself a big glass of ice cold sweet tea (they make it right here at Sheryl’s); step two involved splashing some Texas Pete Pepper Vinegar on my greens; while step three was to annoint the slimey okra with a few drops of Tabasco hot sauce. Finally, I ladeled out a small cup of the sweet, dark BBQ sauce (step four). It was all pretty amazing — the chicken some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with none of that typical  greasy aftertaste.  

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I was bummed to find that they were completely wiped out of Sheryl’s homemade banana pudding, but that disappointment soon disappeared when I spied the squares of red velvet cake on the nearby dessert table. Our server Debbie was super pleasant and highly efficient. She dished out the “sweeties” and “darlins” with the best of ’em while anticipating our every need. We were even awarded with a complimentary cartoon map of Live Oak and surrounding Suwannee County. This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to receiving a key to the city.

The true key to Live Oak, FL is good folks and good downhome eats. So please stop in the next time you’re on the road between Gainesville and Tallahassee. It will stimulate the local economy and your taste buds, y’all!

Wall’s BBQ in Savannah, GA

9 Feb

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Savannah’s lanes run behind and between the big houses facing the streets of the historic district. They have a private feel to them that may discourage sightseers, but they give an inside/backside view of the city worth experiencing. Most give a glimpse of private gardens spilling over brick and wooden walls and the unpolished edge of city living- garbage cans and parked cars. Most are largely unpaved, as is E. York Lane near Price Street. Running behind the houses on the north side of E. York, this quiet lane harbors a BBQ hot spot.

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Wall’s could be easily missed, what with Oleander cresting the high wooden gate to left and palmetto and trees tangled on both sides of the small white façade and dark door and windows. There us nothing flashy about the signage, but the aroma of slow cooked, smoke laced meat is all it takes to know you have arrived.  Inside, fake wood paneling and orange laminated banquettes fill the spaces not occupied by the oscillating fans.  Order at the counter and have a seat. It is too dark to read the books lining one wall, but the food comes in a hurry and once it arrives there will be little time for anything beyond those sighs of contentment between the bone sucking and finger licking. The ribs are fabulous. The sauce is served on the side. It is thin but not watery, a fine blend of catsup and mustard with all the necessary spices and sauced ingredients like cayenne and worstershire that let you know you are not in South Carolina, Alabama or Memphis, but in Georgia. The coleslaw is crisp and cold, creamy but tart- perfect. Tourist do find their way to Wall’s but mostly locals walk in, catch up, and carry out food to their families.

More reviews like this can be found online at:

www.savannahoffthebeatenpath.com