Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Barbecue in the 'Boro

I recently came across an article which ranked each state in the country according to how much the citizens of the states love barbecue. Estately, a national real estate search site, ranked the states by looking at five different sets of criteria: 1) Barbecue restaurants per capita, 2) Facebook interest in barbecue, 3) Percentage of restaurants that are barbecue, 4) Google searches for barbecue, and 5) Barbecue accessory stores and charcoal producers. After compiling all the data, the states were ranked from Barbecue Hell, those states where barbecue is a rarity, to Barbecue Heaven, where barbecue is treated with reverence. And that stairway to barbecue heaven? Well it leads right up to the state that reveres barbecue more than any other. Yep! Alabama is right at the top of the stairway, number one in barbecue enthusiasts.

 When Relay Rides, a peer to peer car sharing company that seeks to connect those who need transportation with those who have vehicles they are willing to rent, contacted me again to write a second post about another local hidden gem, I knew exactly what I wanted to focus on. If Alabama is the king of barbecue, Scottsboro is the diamond in the king's crown. In our small town, we have no fewer than six barbecue joints. Here they are!

1. Tate's Barbecue
This little shack, and it really is a shack, serves up some tasty, smoky pulled pork. There is no indoor seating at Tate's. You walk up to a window, place your order and either take your food with you or sit at one of the two picnic tables in front of the tiny building. I suggest you try Tate's pulled pork sandwich or get a family pack to take home.

Rob Carlile smokes his wonderful chicken on Friday nights.
Carlile's offers a Sunday buffet.
Carlile's salad bar has lots of tasty options and wonderful homemade sauces.
The grilled and fried shrimp at Carlile's are fresh and wonderful.
Cobblers are always on the buffet at Carlile's.

2. Carlile's
Carlile's is way more than a barbecue joint, but smoked meats are an important part of their menu. They have an extensive salad bar and Sunday buffet. One of the things I especially love about Carlile's is all of their homemade sauces and dressings. Their tartar sauce, blue cheese and thousand island dressings are delicious. If you visit Carlile's on Friday night, you can order Rob Carlile's
delicious smoked chicken with white sauce. Yum!

3. Triple R Barbecue
Triple R is in a large building cobbled together from the logs of some old cabins from around Scottsboro, so it has lots of down home ambience. The menu features all sorts of grilled and smoked items, including all the sides. In addition to all the smoked choices, try the fried catfish with hushpuppies and mustard slaw. Delish!

4. 50 Taters
If you happen to be cruising through Scottsboro from Wednesday through Sunday, stop by 50 Taters. It is conveniently located near Walmart, so you know it is easy to find. As the name implies, potatoes feature prominently on the menu. The pork barbecue stuffed potato is fully loaded and gigantic!

The ribs from Holy Smokes are tender and delicious.

5. Holy Smokes
The newest barbecue joint in Scottsboro is Holy Smokes. This little upstart began life in a trailer and recently moved to a renovated building just across the railroad tracks. The owner has taken a run down shack and created a darling restaurant. The pork ribs at Holy Smokes are fall apart tender, too.

Here is the view from the restaurant overlooking Mud Creek.
Mud Creek pulled pork
Grilled tilapia with Greek seasoning.
Smoked chicken with mustard slaw, fries and baked beans

6. Mud Creek Barbecue
Ok, technically Mud Creek is not in Scottsboro. It is down the road a bit in nearby Hollywood, but it is such an institution for Scottsboro locals,  it has to be included on any list of local barbecue joints. Mud Creek sits right on the banks of Mud Creek, hence the name. Like the other restaurants on this list, there are all the usual barbecue suspects from pulled pork to chicken to ribs. Additionally, I happen to like the grilled tilapia with greek seasoning. The hush puppies are a favorite, too.

So, if you want good barbecue, come to Alabama where barbecue is truly appreciated. And if you want great barbecue, follow the pig tracks to tiny Scottsboro in the northeast corner of barbecue heaven. Try one or take the Scottsboro barbecue tour and try them all. In Scottsboro, we're smokin'!

(By the way, do not go to Connecticut looking for barbecue. Connecticut came in 51st place in Estately's ranking. Maybe we should send barbecue care packages to our Connecticut friends, bless their hearts!)

Since this article was written, Scottsboro has added another carat to the diamond in Alabama's BBQ Crown. KC's Bar-B-Q opened in 2015 making Scottsboro home to seven fantastic barbecue restaurants.

Carlile's Restaurant on Urbanspoon 50 Taters on Urbanspoon Mud Creek Fishing Camp Restaurant on Urbanspoon Tate's Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon Triple R BBQ on Urbanspoon KC's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon
Three Friends and a Fork
Three Friends and a Fork

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