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B and I thought it might be fun to add a new column about the various restaurants we try out. We love to eat and try new restaurants, so it’s one of the few treats we give ourselves. Since I’m done with my soft-foods diet, we decided to celebrate with lunch at one of my favorite places: Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham, AL.

There are lots of places to eat barbecue in Alabama and across the South. But in Alabama, Saw’s is my hands-down top choice. It’s owned and operated by a guy who started off cooking ‘cue as a hobby on weekends, and started Saw’s as a side job. A week later, he quit his day job at Cooking Light magazine, and the rest is history. Come early or late, because at lunch they’re slammed. It’s a small place with a modest number of tables, but if you can, grab one where you can watch them take the slabs right out of the smoker, like we did on Friday.

Everything at Saw’s is fantastic, but we especially love their smoked chicken. (Their ribs are even better than the famed Dreamland BBQ everyone knows about, in our opinion.) I had my usual: a smoked chicken-and-broccoli baker ($9.25). It’s only the best baked potato you’ll ever eat. I’m not kidding. I don’t know what he does to them, but his potatoes literally melt in my mouth. The potato is cracked open, and dollops of butter and sour cream are placed in the center and topped with cheese, green onions, bacon, broccoli, and magnificent smoked chicken. I’m not talking small little shreds. I mean big hunks of pulled-from-the-bone smoked chicken. The entire thing is then doused in Saw’s signature tomato-vinegar bbq sauce.

B got the smoked chicken too, but in a different application: the smoked chicken with white bbq sauce ($9.99 with two sides and two slices of down-home white bread). This is the same chicken I get on the potato, but on the bone, so you get that wonderful dark crust along with the tender meat…yummmmm. And it’s slathered in white bbq sauce to boot. (If you aren’t familiar with white bbq sauce, it’s an Alabama thing. Try it, you’ll love it. I recommend this recipe for a homemade version.)

The sides range from baked beans (with shreds of pulled pork in it) to fluffy potato salad and collards. We always, always, always get a side of banana pudding. It’s the best banana pudding in the world—and I make some good banana pudding. I want this recipe so badly, I cannot even properly explain it.

So if you’re ever in Birmingham or the general area, do yourself a favor and stop at Saw’s. Then stop by our house and deliver us some banana pudding, will you?

SAW’S BBQ
1008 Oxmoor Road | Homewood, AL 35209 | (205) 879-1937

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