19
Aug
17

MOJO’s BBQ TOUR: GREENBRIER BBQ (Alabama)

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I was down south recently to view the total solar eclipse (or not view it, depending on how semantic you want to get) .  Tennessee was along the path of totality, and a good friend of mine in Atlanta invited me to come down for the festivities (he was planning to drive to his friend’s place in Tennessee).

Of course, when you’re a BBQ nut, just thinking about the deep south makes your mouth water.  The Bible Belt is the birthplace of pulled pork and ribs and I’m pretty sure they refer to it as a “belt” since it has to regularly be loosened to accommodate all that delicious BBQ!

Basically, I let my stomach do the decision making when I have an offer to visit the south.  In this case, the eclipse provided an excellent excuse (although, if it means good BBQ, an invitation to view an empty parking lot would have been just as tempting).

We decided to take the long way during our drive from Atlanta to Tennessee, specifically so we could pass through Alabama and visit Unclaimed Baggage, the most unique and amazing second-hand store in the country (but that’s a story for another post).

Three hours and a car full of bargains later, it was time for lunch!  And when you’re hungry in Madison, Alabama, you visit Greengier BBQ.

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Not that there’s a lot of other choices.  The location borders on the surreal and for miles in every direction, there is nothing but dirt roads, farmland and abandoned gas stations. There’s so little competition that the restaurant itself doesn’t seem to care that you can’t even read their sign anymore – everyone “just knows” where it is (thankfully it’s named after the street it’s on.  Or is that the other way around?).

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Also, as if this place wasn’t hard enough to find, it’s been painted with a rolling, green landscape – essentially camouflage, given its surroundings:

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However, upon walking inside, I was reminded of the 14th Commandment: thou shall not judge a book by its cover.  When new BBQ restaurants aim for authenticity and the right atmosphere, they pretty much borrow the DNA from this place.  The staff doesn’t try to project Southern Hospitality because they embody it.  The family that runs the place is as sweet as the tea, from (literally) Grandma behind the register to the third grade bus boy.

The food came out on a plate larger than the place mat and consisted of carbs, meat, carbs, meat and carbs (I can’t remember the last time a baked potato was included as a standard side dish).  As we enjoyed another round of the free hush puppy refils, I could hear the faint sound of my left ventricle slamming shut.

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The food wasn’t the best I’ve had but, in this part of the country, I think quantity sometimes wins out over quality.  We all laughed when the waitress asked us if we wanted dessert but when she told us soft serve ice cream cones were just 25 cents, it was GAME ON.  I don’t care if you’re full and/or disgusted by your own weight – you just don’t walk away from a 25 cent ice cream cone.

Sweet home Alabama!

So, stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey, we waddled towards the parking lot and squeezed back into the car.  From here, it’s a two hour drive to Nashville and our friend’s house.

Where, I’ve just been told, there will be fresh BBQ waiting for us!

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