I’m slowly making my way around the barbecue shrines of the South.
Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que in Memphis. Check
Louie Muellers in Taylor, Texas. (and most of the other noted central Texas barbecue joints) Check.
Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Check
McClard’s in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Check
Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City (is that considered the South?). Check.
And I had always heard of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama but had never eaten there until we stopped on the way back from Washington, DC earlier this month.
The real reputation stems from a tangy mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce, definitely unique in barbecue circles. I had to show proof that they also served a traditional red sauce before my husband would agree to go.
You get the feeling this is the real deal when (a) the parking lot is packed and (b) inside walls are covered with framed articles from publications as diverse as the local daily Huntsville Times, trade publication National Barbecue News for the championship teams with the big rigs, and swanky Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. There are two locations in Decatur, and I can only assume both are packed with patrons and mementos.
The pork ribs and pulled pork were indeed tasty. Sorry, there are no photos because we devoured our food quickly after a tiring ride. The ribs were some of the best we have ever tasted.
Unlike many barbecue joints, Big Bob has an extensive menu including huge barbecue-loaded baked potatoes (described by one publication “as big as a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier”). There are also pies.
Oh, and we did try the white sauce. It wasn’t bad, but we’ll stick to the familiar.