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Smokey C's Bar-B-Que

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Chase made the greatest discovery since Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant.  What I don’t understand is, “Why wasn’t there any evidence of Smokey C’s?”  I mean, this place is amazing and the only mention I had of them was a listing in an article.  I realize they’re in a market with perhaps the most nationally famous Alabama barbecue brand, but to have no evidence of their existence?  Even Indy had evidences of the Ark from The Bible and the headpiece from the Staff of Ra that Marion’s father collected, plus Sallah’s expertise and secret information gathered from the Germans.  I can’t believe there isn’t more proof out there of Smokey C’s existence, but I’m gonna do my part to bring them to light.

Let’s jump into it, Smokey C’s has the best ribs in the state!  Those things were massive, meaty, and so tender.  They weren’t fall-off-the-bone but all they needed was a gentle pull and they came right apart.  They were juicy and a smoky flavor permeated every bite.  Just as magnificent was the crust, formed by a dry rub that locked in the moisture and unleashed flavor.  These ribs needed no sauce.  I ate all but one bite without sauce so I could enjoy the full taste of the spice blend.  To do anything else would have been settling for less than the best.

There’s a story about Paul Newman and how he was fiercely loyal to his wife.  He was the Hollywood oddball for being faithful to his wife for their marriage of more than 50 years.  He was asked about it once and said, “Why should I go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?”  It’s a stretch to draw a parallel between the Newman’s and Smokey C’s ribs, but I borrow Paul’s sentiment.  Why add sauce when they’re already the best without it?  Maybe I exaggerate for effect, but those were the best ribs I’ve ever had in Alabama and maybe second best ever!

The pulled pork stood up to the standard of the ribs.  It was smoky, soft, and beautiful in color with a little bit of bark for textural contrast.  The red sauce is very sweet with a bit of tang, so I preferred the white sauce, even on the pork.  It was velvety, smooth, peppery, and creamy enough to cling to every bite.  I found it luxurious and a fitting pair with the deep flavor of the pork.

The sides were very nice.  Baked beans that were meaty, rich, and savory.  They were sweetened with brown sugar which gave them a familiar flavor and feel.  The potato salad was made with reds and had bacon and ranch flavors, very creamy and indulgent.  They offer three kinds of slaw, including a yellow slaw that had some bite from the vinegar and tang from the mustard base.  It was a tasty break from the usual cole slaw blends.

Some other observations in case you need more convincing.  We arrived at 11:15 and were in line with 22 people with eight already seated.  The restaurant sits in an industrial area so we were present with a very factory, blue collar crowd.  To me that’s always a good sign.  The menu contained unusual items like smoked pork loin and pork burritos, and I did a double-take on the prices.  A pork plate with two sides was just $7.99.  Rib plates were around $13.  You won’t find prices that low for food this good anywhere, (but don’t tell the owners).

Hanging above the door to the kitchen was a sign that had some house rules that were displayed in good fun.  One in particular caught my attention, “Running out is better than reheating.”  Keep that in mind if you’re thinking of going.  They’re only open for lunch and are closed on the weekend.  Plan to go and get there early, then you’ll plan on getting there often.  Smokey C’s is a destination stop!

Bonus points:

Order at the counter

Fountain drinks

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