The aluminum siding flanking the walls of The Purple Daisy Picnic Café invokes an image of the charcoal-lined smokers that beget the eatery's bounty of juicy barbecue. Hand-pulled pork and smoke-kissed chicken bundles itself in sandwiches or arrives solo with a procession of sides to adorn the space's window-lined booths and open-air patio tables, filling the space with a smokier aroma than that of the Human Torch blowing out his birthday candles. Inside, a single rustic woodstove warms shelves lined with antique lunch boxes and sporting equipment as diners savor their saucy harvest at an eclectic assortment of tables and chairs.
Despite the establishment's lack of interior dining space, the menu printed beneath Dixie BBQ's walk-up window reveals the vast scope of its barbecue selection. Chefs slather slabs of ribs in tangy sauce and plate hunks of smoked chicken, pork, and beef. They also serve up a dozen sides, including fried pickles, baked beans, and hot fries, a customer favorite.
When Granville Bruner envisioned Granville's BBQ, he imagined a casual restaurant in which he could share his time-tested recipes for slow-cooked meats such as dry-rubbed hams, succulent turkeys, and tender chickens with the foodies and families of Huntsville. Noting that the establishment "proves good barbecue isn't limited to hard-to-find back country shacks," Jon Busdecker of the Huntsville Times praised the ribs as "tender, smoky, and so, so good." The menu is filled with flavorful, pleasantly uncomplicated platters of catfish, brisket, and ribs that hit the spot, apologize to it, and then give it a barbecue-sauce-slathered hug. With a few TVs turned to the big game, walls hung with understated art, and modest tables and chairs, Granville's no-nonsense approach charms diners as they enjoy a comforting meal that leaves chatty bellies all talked out.
In 1958, spirits were high in Tuscaloosa as Paul “Bear” Bryant began his long career as coach of the Crimson Tide football team and John “Big Daddy” Bishop opened up the first Dreamland Café just south of town. Bishop was a brick mason by trade and began selling simple meals of grilled barbecue pork ribs with his wife, Miss Lilly, as a way to get a little extra cash. Little did the Bishops know that their bustling barbecue shack off of Highway 82 would blossom into 8 locations. A bona fide southern institution, the Café is famous for its tangy secret barbecue sauce, meaty slabs of slow-cooked ribs, and creamy, ambrosial banana pudding. Today, the slightly larger menu satisfies cravings for old-school Alabama barbecue recipes with pulled pork, hickory-grilled chicken, baked beans, and coleslaw.
Living up to the Café's motto—“Ain't Nothing Like 'Em Nowhere"—Dreamland's famous ribs are a cultural touchstone of the state of Alabama, like a haunting Hank Williams tune. At each location, a friendly, country-style hospitality shines forth in every door held open, earning the loyal patronage of families and local fans, as well as a raft of visiting celebrities and elected officials.
Dickey?s Barbecue Pit has smoked beef brisket in-house nearly every night since 1941, painting each morsel with a tangy house-made sauce. Pulled pork, turkey breast, and polish sausage round out the menu with meals that are heartier than a burrito wrapped in Paul Bunyan?s plaid shirt. Boxed lunches and catered buffets brim with homestyle sides such as coleslaw, mac 'n' cheese, and jalape?o beans. Once the last pickle has been crunched and the last finger has been licked, guests can savor one of the restaurant?s most cherished traditions: a vanilla cone, on the house.
At Kirkenburt's Smokehouse Grill, guests sink their teeth into succulent smoked meats, ranging from tender pulled pork and chicken to peppery kielbasa, that are accompanied by backyard barbecue fixin's such as corn on the cob, slaw, and baked beans. Its signature smoked wings have even earned top honors for six consecutive years in the Kappa Delta's annual Wing Fling. When they are not paying carnivorous homage to all things off-the-bone, diners feast on savory meals of St. Louis?style ribs, chow down on Black Angus burgers, and cap off meals with housemade pies, banana pudding, and peach cobbler.