Smoked Pig and Pig Iron: A Weekend of Barbecue and Industry
Welcome barbecue aficionado! You have just entered the land of fine Southern barbecue. If it’s not too late, and you’re feeling peckish, we’d like to start you off under a Full Moon – as in Full Moon Barbecue. With ten locations in the greater Birmingham area, no matter where you’ve chosen to stay, you’ll find yourself in the shadow of a Full Moon.
If your Full Moon dinner has you feeling revived from your trip, we recommend heading over to The Atomic Lounge, a mid-century modern dive bar with a vibe that’s liable to bring out the George or Jane Jetson in you after a couple of exquisitely crafted cocktails.
You may want to start your day with a light breakfast considering the fact that we’re going to recommend barbecue for lunch and dinner. You did come down here for the barbecue, didn’t you? A good light breakfast can be had at The Essential.
After breakfast, we recommend working up your lunch appetite with a trip up the mountain to see the iron man. At Vulcan Park, you can do several things: enjoy the view from the statue itself, walk the two-mile walking trail, and take the tour to learn a little bit about Birmingham’s history.
Lunchtime, Day 2 brings us to a Birmingham institution, Carlile’s Barbecue. Since 1945, this location has been teasing the neighborhood with the smell of smoking meats. As many barbecue gourmands will tell you, the seasoning of the pit counts. In this case, more than five decades of seasoning make this one of the best pits in the Southeast.
You’re gonna want to work off some of that good barbecue. What say you to tossing the axe around? Yes. Axe. As in axe throwing. Drop into the Civil Axe and let them help you get a handle on tossing this ancient weapon.
Dinner tonight takes you to one of the newest barbecue joints in the ‘Ham, Rodney Scott’s BBQ. If the name is familiar, it may just mean you’re up to speed on the James Beard Award. This award-winning whole hog barbecue house is smokin’ hot, with ribs rubbed, sauced, and beyond-words delicious. In the interest of decorum, try not to lick your dining companion’s fingers.
Beer is the ideal follower of barbecue, and not just because they both start with “B.” While we can recommend any one of our breweries, we figure, since you’re right on top of it, you may as well head over to Avondale Brewery. Helpful safety tip: the Miss Fancy’s Tripel drinks awfully easy for a beer that is 9.7% alcohol. Be careful.
On the outside chance you didn’t heed our warning about Miss Fancy’s Tripel, we recommend a hearty breakfast at one of Birmingham’s other longtime barbecue joints, Demetri’s. Ask for a toasted biscuit and honey and they’ll mistake you for a local.
Lunchtime takes us to on of Jim ’N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q’s several locations. If, by chance, you’re tiring of pork barbecue, we can highly recommend the grilled catfish. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with any of the barbecued meats. Complement your meal with Jim ’N’ Nick’s famous cheese biscuits.
From Jim ’N’ Nicks we recommend a trip over to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Wander through what was once the longest continually running blast furnace. At the visitor’s center, enjoy a more in-depth look at Birmingham’s industrial heritage.
Saturday’s dinner takes us to SAW’s BBQ. While there are several locations in town, we recommend SAW’s Juke Joint if you like live music. There’s almost always a musician or two hanging out there. With a full bar, there are plenty of reasons to just hang out there. But, if you’re feeling itchy for a change, you can also head on down to Avondale where you can find a number of bars worth checking out.
We wouldn’t want you to leave the “Dinner Table of the South” hungry. So, before you hit the road, we recommend a trip to Bogue’s. If you’re a biscuit and gravy person, this will definitely be your jam.
Those who love barbecue – long the preferred delicacy of hard working southern Americans – all have their opinions about which region does it best. Those are simply opinions. We happen to know that the best barbecue in the Southeast is found in Birmingham, Alabama, the Dinner Table of the South.
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