Southern barbeque is at its best in the hills of Northern Alabama. The wonderful cooks of true southern traditional fare may not be called chefs, but they should be. The area of North Alabama encompasses a large mountainous and Tennessee Valley area it shares with both Tennessee and Georgia.
Barbeque in North Alabama has a secret many barbecue enthusiasts may not have even heard of across the country, and that is White Barbeque Sauce. This sauce is indigenous to Northern Alabama. You will not find it in Georgia. You will not find it in Tennessee. You will not even find it in southern Alabama on the coastline, or in central Alabama. Birmingham, Montgomery, Gulf Shores and Mobile have nothing that evens comes close to the white barbeque sauce of North Alabama.
Four of the best barbeque restaurants in North Alabama are institutions and they are tradition. Folks will travel miles out of their way to visit these established houses of barbeque. The best barbeque can be found in the small towns of Madison, Anniston, Decatur and Gadsden.
Pruett’s Bar-B-Q in Gadsden, Alabama
Pruett’s in Gadsden, Alabama is almost as well known for its potatoes as it is for its cooked to order barbeque. You will find sweet potato fries, sweet potato fluff and potato salad on the menu. They also offer pond raised catfish, fried okra, baked beans and cornbread. One specialty of the restaurant is a BBQ Salad, which is very popular along with the Sweet Tea. Finish it all off with chocolate pie.
Pruett’s Bar-B-Q, 1617 Rainbow Drive; Gadsden, AL; 256-547-4118
Goal Post BBQ in Anniston, Alabama
The first thing that will grab you at the Goal Post is the wonderful neon sign, especially at night. It has a neon football player that ‘kicks’ a football across the other side of the large sign. Along with great barbeque, they serve up hamburgers and provide everything at a great price. One of their signature desserts is lemon icebox pie.
Goal Post BBQ, 1910 Quintard Avenue; Anniston, AL; 256-236-9280
Greenbrier Bar-B-Que in Madison, Alabama
This barbeque restaurant is located in Madison, and they have been in business for over 50 years passed down from generation to generation. They are one of the North Alabama barbeque establishments that serve up the white barbeque sauce. Their newer location will seat up to 380 people and they have many items on the menu.
Greenbrier Bar-B-Que, 15050 Highway 20 West; Madison, AL; 256-355-6062
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B Que in Decatur
This establishment has been a tradition in Decatur, Alabama since the 1920s when then-owner Big Bob, a 6’4, 300 pound railway worker began cooking barbeque in pits for his family and friends. He was told that barbeque, not the railroad, was his future. Big Bob embraced that idea and now the business is being run by a fourth generation of the family. There are two large locations in Decatur and another one in North Carolina. White barbeque sauce is a specialty here as well as well as many items on the menu. If you are in the Decatur area of Alabama, Big Bob Gibson’s is definitely worth a stop.
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, 1715 6th Avenue SE (US Highway 31), Decatur, AL; 256-350-6969
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, 2520 Danville Road SW; Decatur, AL, 256-350-0404
Some locations in this article are closed on Sundays, because this area is the Bible Belt of the South and church-goers take Sundays seriously. If traveling in North Alabama to check out some of these places, it is always best to give the restaurant a quick phone call to verify any days and times of service. This is a very rural area between the small cities listed here. If you love barbeque, it is certainly worth a day spot on a southern traveling itinerary. Barbeque in North Alabama is not just served up, it relished and admired.
Source: Alabama Department of Tourism