Ribs to die for?
When I told some of my friends I was traveling through Tuscaloosa AL they mentioned that I had to stop by Dreamland BBQ as it was one of their favorites places to eat when they were in college. With their suggestion in mind I plugged Dreamland BBQ into my GPS and decided to stop by for lunch.
I followed the course where my GPS led me and at first I was a little concerned. It was guiding me through some neighborhoods and industrial areas and I wasn't sure if I was going to to the right spot or not. Lo and behold I saw the huge Dreamland BBQ sign out front with a parking lot full of cars. I was in the right spot!
I arrived around lunch time on a weekday so the parking lot gave me a good indication of how popular this place was. I immediately noticed a few out of state license plates so my Texas plate wasn't the only one.
Walking up to the building I get the feeling that if there's anything that a old fashioned BBQ joint should look like then this was it. First thing that I noticed while I'm aware that I'm knee deep in SEC country is the building is painted very similar to the University of Alabama's colors.
Once I enter through the front I then realize that my thought earlier was exactly spot on. University of Alabama Crimson Tide memorabilia is everywhere. There's nothing I enjoy more than sports so to step into what felt like the den of a hard core Alabama fan was a treat! You just got to love the passion for college football that resides in the South, it's second to none.
I sat down and a waitress stopped by to take my drink order and asked what I'll be having for lunch. I asked for a menu and she pointed at the sign above the bar and said "All we have are Ribs and Sausage". Well alrighty then... I'll take a half rack of ribs, baked beans and potato salad. Now I know I'm in a BBQ joint when the only thing on the menu is Ribs and Sausage. Can't ask for more than that!
The food came out in short order complete with a side of sliced bread and dipping sauce. A nice added addition for sure. The baked beans were nice and sweet, a bit too sweet for my taste but the potato salad was delicious. Definitely home made and some of the best I've had. Now onto the ribs.... the meat was so tender and juicy that it literally came right off the bone with each bite. No overcooked, not undercooked, not dried out just perfect. The BBQ sauce was a little tangy, not as robust as I'm used to having in Texas but amazing nonetheless. It's always fun trying things such as BBQ in different parts of the South because every area/region has their own way of doing things, their own rubs, their own sauces and such.
These ribs were definitely worth the stop! I had to talk myself out of ordering another half rack. lol.
This location that I visited in Tuscaloosa is the original location which was started in 1958. They have since opened up other restaurants throughout the state and I'm told those other locations offer more than just ribs and sausage. Offerings such as BBQ chicken and pulled pork are some of the additional items on the menu.
I didn't know they had more locations but I can say that I'm glad I came to the original location and not some fancy facade in a strip center. Those are fine and dandy and good in their own right I'm sure but there's something special about stepping foot into the original spot. The spot that's been there for decades... The spot that started it all.
On my way out I noticed that they even ship to anywhere in the country. At first I thought they just ship their branded bottled sauces but no. They ship RIBS! Hold the phone! Yes, they'll cook, vacuum seal and freeze your order. Then they'll place it in a Styrofoam cooler with dry ice and ship it to your doorstep. That's something I was not expecting. I may have to try that one day since unfortunately I don't see myself back in Tuscaloosa anytime soon.
I'll have to thank my friends for telling me about this place, they made me a believer. Now if any of my friends tell me they're visiting or passing through Tuscaloosa I plan to tell them to make sure they stop and visit Dreamland BBQ. Home of some of the best Pork Ribs I've ever had...