Road trip from California to Alabama and back need lots of barbecue joint location suggestions

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dr rat

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Nov 27, 2011
276
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OK I have to help somebody move in a couple months. I’ll be driving from California to Alabama and back not sure of the route yet but will be solo on the trip back and not pressed for time so I’m looking for suggestions for can’t miss barbecue places! I plan on eating an extensive amount of barbecue on this trip lol so be it Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee post up your suggestions. I appreciate it.
 
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If traveling I-40 there's the Whole Hog Cafe; the original in Little Rock plus one in North Little Rock. Then Craig's BBQ in DeVall's Bluff, and Jones' BBQ in Marianna. I've yet to eat at Jones but it's Arkansas' only James Beard Award winning restaurant and on my list to try.

In Memphis I'd recommend eating at Central BBQ and avoiding the great tourist trap known as the Rendezvous.
 
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Going through OKC, there's Travis Clark's " Clarks Crew " restaurant. Travis is a well known in comps, he dominates regionally and has won all the big ones, Jack Daniels, American Royal, etc . Famous Dave teamed up with him to create this place. Its good.

If you want central Texas style brisket and ribs, there's Edge Craft barbecue. This post oak smoked on a 1K propane tank pit. He's open Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to sell out. And he sells out. If it means anything, it got Daniel Vaughn's approval.

If you're traveling I-44 between OKC and Tulsa, there's Butcher BBQ Stand along I-44 in Wellston. Its run by Dave Bouska's son. Dave is a successful comp cook who was on BBQ Pitmasters two or three seasons. This joint was also visited by Daniel Vaughn and did not get his approval. He gave it a thumbs down. I think its excellent. Its just not Texas style barbecue, closer to KC style.
 
Depending your route…in Mississippi on I-55 at the horn lake exit is Memphis bbq co. Owned and run by Melissa Cookstone She’s won the Memphis in May comp several times. Also in Southaven MS is Central BBQ. As 1MoreFord 1MoreFord said, skip the Rendezvous. If you’re coming on 78/22 from Alabama into Mississippi check out The Rib shack in Tupelo, Ms. I live close to Memphis. Depends on when you come through hit me up. I’ll meet ya for some que!

Jim
 
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If traveling I-40 there's the Whole Hog Cafe; the original in Little Rock plus one in North Little Rock. Then Craig's BBQ in DeVall's Bluff, and Jones' BBQ in Marianna. I've yet to eat at Jones but it's Arkansas' only James Beard Award winning restaurant and on my list to try.

In Memphis I'd recommend eating at Central BBQ and avoiding the great tourist trap known as the Rendezvous.
Amen on Rendezvous. Just a tourist trap.
 
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Just got back from Austin and San Antonio to go see Tedeschi Trucks Band with a stop in Lockhart. First of all Franklins is the real deal. Was worth the wait. Interstellar BBQ which is near where my friends live was also excellent. Their smoked pork belly was one of the trip's culinary highlights. In Lockart we tried Black's and brisket excellent, ribs too damn salty and Smitty's was a disappointment. Brisket was good, not great and ribs terrible. Line at Kreutz too long to wait so didn't stop. Avoid Bill Miller's chain, they don't even smoke brisket at the stores, they truck it in from a commissary and reheat.
 
OK I have to help somebody move in a couple months. I’ll be driving from California to Alabama and back not sure of the route yet but will be solo on the trip back and not pressed for time so I’m looking for suggestions for can’t miss barbecue places! I plan on eating an extensive amount of barbecue on this trip lol so be it Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee post up your suggestions. I appreciate it.
Wanna tow a smoker from CA back with you? I can meet you in AL to pick it up :emoji_sunglasses:
 
Just got back from Austin and San Antonio to go see Tedeschi Trucks Band with a stop in Lockhart. First of all Franklins is the real deal. Was worth the wait. Interstellar BBQ which is near where my friends live was also excellent. Their smoked pork belly was one of the trip's culinary highlights. In Lockart we tried Black's and brisket excellent, ribs too damn salty and Smitty's was a disappointment. Brisket was good, not great and ribs terrible. Line at Kreutz too long to wait so didn't stop. Avoid Bill Miller's chain, they don't even smoke brisket at the stores, they truck it in from a commissary and reheat.

You had me at Tedeschi Trucks.
 
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Oh and bring a extra credit card when you come. Cause you know you gonna want to take at least one bottle of sauce from each place you stop.

Jim
 
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Depending your route…in Mississippi on I-55 at the horn lake exit is Memphis bbq co. Owned and run by Melissa Cookstone She’s won the Memphis in May comp several times. Also in Southaven MS is Central BBQ. As 1MoreFord 1MoreFord said, skip the Rendezvous. If you’re coming on 78/22 from Alabama into Mississippi check out The Rib shack in Tupelo, Ms. I live close to Memphis. Depends on when you come through hit me up. I’ll meet ya for some que!

Jim

Sounds good looks like the last week of July first week of August

Wanna tow a smoker from CA back with you? I can meet you in AL to pick it up :emoji_sunglasses:

If it's a trailer type that has to be pulled I'm out. I have to pull a trailer for them unless things change.
I'll let you know
 
Oh and bring a extra credit card when you come. Cause you know you gonna want to take at least one bottle of sauce from each place you stop.

Jim
Good idea!!

Lots of great suggestions keep them coming!!!!
Looks like there's a few already that are cant miss
Don't think I've ever been this happy helping someone move lol
 
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OK I have to help somebody move in a couple months. I’ll be driving from California to Alabama and back not sure of the route yet but will be solo on the trip back and not pressed for time so I’m looking for suggestions for can’t miss barbecue places! I plan on eating an extensive amount of barbecue on this trip lol so be it Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee post up your suggestions. I appreciate it.
Big Bob Gibson's barbecue in Alabama. I think it's in Decatur, but not 100% sure. I can Google it. His sauce won world's best.
 
If you are up for a whiskey tour on the way, the wife and I really enjoyed the Jack Daniels Distillery Tour in Lynchburg, TN...it would be a good leg-stretcher. Took about an hour for the tour we went on.
 
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Leaving cali 7/26 should be there by Friday Hanging out for a couple days heading out again July 31
Hope you have a great time and are able to enjoy some of the good bbq joints out that way. Don’t forget pics of the places you try out. I hope the banjo is ready for the knee on your way back from Alabama.
 
An addendum to my post above about hitting Butcher BBQ Stand that's on I-44 in Wellston. You will most likely be on I-40. But there's a new turnpike from I-40 to I-44 that takes you within 9 miles of Wellston.

I've been to Butcher twice this past month and took the Kickapoo Turnpike. The speed limit is 80. I did 90. Very little traffic. Could divert to Butcher BBQ stand quickly.

Butcher is only open Friday through Sunday.
 
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