February 24, 2013 § Leave a Comment
There are a great many things Birmingham has to offer that let you feel that you are enjoying life to the fullest. I’ve often found myself searching for just the right suggestions for out-of-towners searching for somewhere to go, somewhere to truly experience Birmingham. The city has several attractions: the Civil Rights Institute, the Vulcan, Birmingham Museum of Art, Sloss Furnace, Railroad Park (just to name a few), or just driving around beautiful, historic neighborhoods and experiencing the architecture and the culture.
If this locale fits the crowd you’re with, I suggest a boozy afternoon at Avondale Brewing‘s taproom.
First, head two doors down over to Saw’s. (I reviewed this place some time ago, when their only location was in Edgewood, but the city now boasts two more locations: Saw’s Soul Kitchen in Avondale as well as Saw’s Juke Joint in Crestline. This little establishment has seen some well-deserved growth.)
Back to your to-do list: place an order at Saw’s. I recommend one of their Baker’s—the pork one is incredible. On top of this oversized baked potato, you have an entire layer of tender, juicy, divine pulled pork with crispy, charred edges. Then as you dive deeper in, you get a layer of cheesy potato with green onions and more pork. And if you order a side of white sauce, it’s just all over.
Or you could also get the Saw’s Burger, which is a darn good burger. And on the side, order onion rings or fries—you can’t go wrong either way.
Then carry your food over to the Avondale taproom, and find a spot to sit and eat while sipping a beer, perhaps a seasonal Peach Saison, which is light, crispy, and delicately sweet.
Finish that beer, then order a flight of their flagship beers.
My personal favorites are the Spring Street Saison which is citrusy and crisp (I’ve mentioned this before), the Scottish Ale with its sweet flavors and buttery aftertaste, and the Vanillaphant Porter, with chocolate and coffee undertones.
September 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Big Bad Wolves is a barbecue stand that sets up camp the night before home football game days in Tuscaloosa. You can smell the pulled pork slow-cooking Friday nights, and then all day Saturday, they sell their food right beside the Houndstooth bar on the Strip. If you go to Big Bad Wolves, there is something you need to order. And that something is their Barbecue Nachos.
When Charlotte came to visit Labor Day weekend, we went to the game (we sat at the very tippy top, tucked in the corner). Then, while waiting for James to pick us up, we ordered some of these to split. They’re served with tortilla chips, nacho cheese, and their tender, juicy pulled pork.
This is how you need to order these nachos:
1. Say yes when they ask if you want jalapeños.
2. After they hand them to you and you pay for them (they only accept cash), grab a bottle of their spicy barbecue sauce sitting on the counter and drizzle it over the nachos. Seriously, drown those nachos in that sauce. It will be worth it.
3. Grab a handful of napkins and a fork (or two, if you’re splitting).
Then feel free to throw down. If you can’t find a seat in the crowded Houndstooth (or if you aren’t 21), sit on the curb like we did! These are a Tuscaloosa football staple. Be sure to try them tomorrow if you’ll be in T-town!
August 25, 2011 § 4 Comments
It was at Saw’s where I first tried white barbecue sauce.
I’m sorry — white barbecue sauce? What had I been missing all that time? I mean I had lived in Alabama nearly six years before I tried that creamy, tangy, peppery sauce for the first time. It was invented in this state after all, so it’s just a shame it took us so long to be introduced to each other.
Anyways, it’s hard for me to order anything but that whenever I go to Saw’s.
Saw’s is located in the neighborhood of Edgewood in Birmingham. You can smell ribs smoking as you drive down the street looking for a place to park, and when you walk in, the atmosphere simply overtakes you. It’s got a simple, casual feel to it — there are posters, eclectic art, newspaper clippings, and sports paraphernalia all over the walls. And that sweet barbecue smell seeps into your hair and clothes. It’s beautiful.
Next time I go, I will make myself order the pulled pork sandwich with Saw’s own barbecue sauce. But I had to show the sandwich I crave so often.
What I ordered: Smoked chicken sandwich with white barbecue sauce; side of potato salad; a PBR
Where I ordered it: Saw’s BBQ
What’s in it: Slowly smoked chicken with white barbecue sauce (usually a blend of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, and lots of black pepper), topped with pickles on a bun.
What it tastes like: Oh, it’s creamy and tangy all at once. And the pickles add a delightful zip. Please go to Saw’s and order this. This is the sandwich that made me want to explore all aspects of barbecue.