top of page

Saw's Soul Kitchen

Stop for





If you’re not familiar with Saw’s there are a few things you need to know.  Most importantly…it’s delicious!  The pork is a beautiful light pink on the center portions and gets darker closer to the outside.  That’s a sign of a good smoke job.  The meat is slightly smokey but maintains its pork flavor.  It’s strictly pulled, which I love.  It’s moist but also has a good bark.  The founder, Mike Wilson, was a barbecue legend and a food celebrity in Birmingham.  In addition to multiple Saw’s locations, he was involved in other restaurant ventures and is credited with helping boost the Birmingham culinary scene.  Unfortunately, Mike passed away in 2020 but his barbecue genius and entrepreneurial spirit continue to energize the neighborhoods where his restaurants exist.

All Saw’s restaurants are in cool locations and occupy existing buildings that have plenty of character, but there’s one that’s extra special.  Saw’s Soul Kitchen was opened very early in the Avondale revitalization effort.  Its success helped draw other restaurants and breweries that now make up a hip, popular destination for food and entertainment and has helped resurrect a declining area into a destination neighborhood for couples and young families.  Mad props to Mike for his courage and vision.

The main reason to go to Saw’s Soul Kitchen in Avondale is for one unique dish, Pork n Greens!  It took some kind of mad scientist to come up with this combination.  Pork n Greens is a dish of stone ground McEwen & Sons stone ground grits, topped with collard greens, pulled pork, and crispy fried, string thin onion rings.  They do add barbecue sauce but sauce is also on the table.  Thank you for that.

When I first heard of this dish it made no sense to me.  Why would you ruin the most awesome grits in the world with vegetables, especially greens?  Why would you ruin awesome barbecue by mixing it with vegetables, especially greens?  I couldn’t wrap my head around it but took a chance on the recommendation of my friend Jamie Cottle.  Pork n Greens is one of the most unique barbecue experiences I’ve ever had.  I love stone ground grits for the course texture which contrasts against the soft greens.  The barbecue brings in a smoky flavor and gives the dish substance.  The thin onion rings add crunch and a tiny bite that perks your tongue up just a little bit.  The barbecue sauce is slightly sweet and acidic with a spice that hits you in the throat and back of the tongue.  It’s thinner than most red sauces which allows that beautiful sauce to seep through the meat down to the greens and into the grits.  I love it!

Saw’s has a bit of an iconic stature.  Each location is a bit different from the others but the barbecue is still the star.  Hit up any of their restaurants and you’ll get good southern barbecue with a bit of flare.  You can order something that’s old-school, backyard barbecue or try something that has a bit more imagination and a gourmet appeal.  The diversity is stunning as is the flavor.  Well done, Mike Wilson.  Very well done indeed.

Bonus points for:

Order at the counter

Coke products

Self-serve fountain drinks

Sauce on the table

Sports on TV

bottom of page