Big Bob Gibson’s earns the awards. Dreamland has the name cache. Saw’s is the up-and-comer.
But, if you love ‘cue, and if you want the full, undistilled experience of what Alabama barbecue is and should forevermore be, there is one place that immediately comes to mind for the experienced porcine gourmand.
Archibald’s BBQ, in Northport, is a small cinder-block shack built in the backyard of the property of owner, George Archibald, Jr. It’s been in business for more than 50 years. The restaurant isn’t much to look at, but I dare you to drive past it with your windows down and not stop in. The aroma is absolutely seductive. The ribs are basted only with water as George believes in letting the smoke do most of the flavoring. The ribs are served with George’s secret vinegar base sauce that’s so good that you wouldn’t hesitate to drink it straight from a shot glass. There is a reason that Archibald’s BBQ has been featured in USA Today, Southern Living magazine, and on “Good Morning America.”
If you have ever drank vinegar sauce straight from the styrofoam plate, licked the last bit of hickory from the rib marrow, reveled in the sopping white bread covered with tender pulled pork, then I need say no more. But, if you’ve not had this slice of heaven on earth, then make it one of your bucket list items.
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