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Meat Boss

Stop for





Normally when I come to the Gulf I only eat seafood.  There’s not a lot of really fresh seafood in central Alabama, unless you consider catfish to be seafood, which I don’t.  So my theory has always been to take advantage of proximity and pound as much seafood as I could.  This trip is different.  Mary and I are in Mobile for our anniversary with plans to hit three different barbecue joints while we’re down here.  I’ve only had barbecue in one other Mobile restaurant so we’ll see how this goes.

Meat Boss was our first stop and it is totally a brown bag experience when you order at the counter, they use a printed checklist to mark your order.  You tell them your meat, sauce, bread, sides, etc. and it’s attached to a bag with your name on it.  Your entire order is then delivered in one bag and you’re good to go.  Most people do get it to go or call in for pick-up.  If you eat at the restaurant there are some nice wooden tables outside which would be wonderful in nice weather.  The interior dining room is small and down the hall from where you order.  Sitting in it feels like being banished, but if you like being alone it’s perfect for that.

One cool tradition they have at Meat Boss is customers writing messages on their bags and hanging them on the wall.  I love creative ideas that blend in with the vibe of a restaurant.  It looks cool and blends in with the rustic feel of the entry.  Hopefully there are plans to extend that identity into the dining area.  The whole layout is a bit awkward for dining in but if you’re getting it to go it works perfectly.  It feels like they’re not sure of their identity and are stuck in the middle, but I think they have a sweet business model as a brown bag barbecue joint and they brand it pretty well.

If you get more than a sandwich and chips you’ll definitely want to eat at a table.  Everything comes in separate containers so eating in the car with five or six containers would be dangerous.  If you want a variety of items, plan on finding a flat surface so there’s a place for everything.  If you like eating one item at a time until it’s gone then you’ll be safe anywhere.  Personally, I like having a bite of this, then a bite of that, keeps the taste buds hoppin’.

The pork is chopped boston butt.  It was moist with a hit of smoke and a nice, pink color on the inside portions.  It’s not smoked as low and slow as I prefer so you may get some bits of fat, which I know a lot of people like.  I had the sweet sauce which was mild, thick, and dark in color, possibly from a natural sweetener like molasses.  On its own the sauce had a bit of a gritty texture but mixed it with the pork it worked just fine.

The menu lists an item named Boss Beans, which is their take on baked beans.  They were sweet and peppery with a few bits of meat in there.  The beans themself had a firm texture which I liked.  As a whole they were a little one note so the texture was very much needed.  I also got the potato salad, which is done with my favorite, red potatoes.  They were bland but with a little salt and pepper were fine.  The mac n cheese was about the same.  Mary had that and the pulled chicken, which was crumbly and dry.  She mixed it with her mac n cheese and added some ranch and it made for a tasty bite.

Before leaving home I had studied the menu and found an item called rib candy, essentially rib bits glazed in their barbecue sauce.  I was excited to try them because I’d had a similar treatment at a barbecue joint in Virginia and it was amazing!  The rib candy didn’t measure up to the expectation I had set for myself so I won’t judge it.

They also have something on the menu called knuckles, which Mary and I learned about on the drive down thanks to Google.  I didn’t try them but it’s another unique item Meat Boss offers.  I really admire their adventurous spirit and the way they market themselves.  It’s a fun concept and everything is made super convenient for the customer.  Kudos for the branded souvenir cups.  I’ll be seeing the Meat Boss name for a long time.

Bonus points for:

Order at the counter

Coke products

Self-serve fountain drinks

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