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Auburn AL bbq advice

What's your favorite place (aside from your backyard) to eat BBQ?
Post Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:21 pm

Posts: 187
So I just made the big move to the Auburn-Opelika area in Alabama and while I'm happy to be out of KY (Q-wise; they eat sheep bbq there...) and further south where bbq is closer to what it is supposed to be (but still not quite brisket :D), I'm not familiar with the area and I was wondering if anyone could guide me through all of the bbq possibilities here. Here's what I've found online and on the radio. Any info from anyone who has actually been to these places would be greatly appreciated.

Chucks - Apparently, they cook the butts over a HOT fire, not low and slow. You can get ribs Thurs-Sat I think. BOGO on chipped sammiches on Saturday

The Barbeque House (Price's?) - Don't really know much about this place accept that they serve breakfast.

Byron's - It was recommended to me by an old-timer sitting next to me at a place called the Creole Shack, but I don't really know much about this one either.

Country's - Apparently has an all-you-can-eat bbq chicken on Tuesdays and a $3.99 pork and two side special on Monday and Wednesday

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I've also been working my way through the types of bbq and lingo in AL.

Chipped - sounds like its basically finely shredded (not pulled) and soaked through with sauce. Not my kind of thing. I like chunks of meat.

Chopped - Closer in size to pulled pork.

Chipped on the block - like chipped, but not soaked in sauce, only topped. Seems maybe exclusive to Chuck's?

I've also heard that typically Alabama Q uses a white, mayo based bbq sauce which I've made before but never eaten it from a professional. However, I'm not really seeing any of that on in any of the reviews.



Sorry for the long post. Any help would be great as I'm about to start trying these places out and don't want to just walk in and waste my money.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Posts: 187
I'll go ahead and write reviews of the places as I go. I plan on hitting:

Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's
Chuck's
Papa Joe's

And any others that are suggested. I ate at Price's BBQ yesterday:

Name: Price's Barbeque House

Sauce: Seems to be a mustard base. Has a tangy, very vinegary, slightly sweet, zero spice flavor to it. The bbq slaw is slaw with the house sauce rather than mayo.

The Meat: I think it's cooked over higher heat than I'd normally like. The meat was tender enough that you could easily bite through a sammich without pulling a whole slice of meat off. When you order "sliced" they actually slice thin pieces off of a cooked shoulder. No shoulder I ever smoke would slice that well - it'd fall apart first. The bark was very good and the meat had a good flavor - just not cooked the way I'd do it.

Price: We ate there for $12 for the two of us - but I ate less than I normally would.

What I orderd: I got a sliced pork sammich. They ladle a good bit of sauce over the pork, and topped it with their bbq slaw and pickles unless you request otherwise. The lady got the same thing with beans as a side and they were pretty good. They were served with good shreds of pork mixed in. I got the bbq slaw as a side.

My Advice: Don't get the country slaw as a side. It's just a bit too much. On the sammich, it's great. Ask for them to put the pickles on the side if you get a pork sammich. The pickles push it to the borderline of too much vinegar, but if you like vinegar (and pickles) it's probably perfect.

Other Info: They have ribs on Friday (and said that they were aiming to have them more often in the near future). They use St. Louis style ribs (trimmed spares), but I didn't try them so I can't speak to the bark and cooking method. All of the employees/owners that I spoke to were very friendly.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:30 pm

Posts: 187
Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's
Chuck's
Papa Joe's

Name: Mike and Ed's

Sauce: They have three sauces: regular, spicy, hickory. I tried the spicy which was basically like their regular (which I have a bottle of in the fridge), but with maybe some hot sauce. I kind of wish I would've tried the hickory. Their regular is a vinegar, mustard, sugar (actually, they use HFCS) sauce with some spices that really don't seem to come through in the sauce.

The Meat: Again, I think the meat here is not cooked to the point of fall-apart-tender as when I cook pork - but I also think they didn't use a shoulder here. If they did, it was leaner than any shoulder I've purchased. However, the taste and tenderness was good - possibly a little better than Price's. The bark was great and the smoke flavor permeated through the pork.

Price: I ate there for $6 for and got enough food to consider it a good lunch. (you can find their menu online, but they've slightly raised their prices).

What I orderd: The pork plate with one side which I chose to be beans. I had an option of the pork being shredded or "bite-size" so I chose bite size. The beans were slightly sweet with some shredded pork mixed in - no spiciness in these beans.

My Advice: Maybe try the hickory sauce. I don't personally find sweet bbq sauce appealing, but it might be better than the other two choices. The pork is great so I'd recommend a plate, sammich, or the ribs maybe. For the sauce, I'd get it on the side. Maybe mixing the hickory or spicy sauce with some ketchup and tobasco (which they have at every table) would make it better.

Other Info: They used to have all-you-can-eat ribs, wings, and chicken, but they got rid of it. However, they do offer everything else on the menu every day, including ribs, chicken (comes in 1/2 chicken portions) and smoked turkey. You can get as much sauce as you want from their sauce dispensers. Two pieces of white bread and pickles come with each order. Sweet tea is served out of the 50 gallon trash can. :)
Last edited by CookinWithFire on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:56 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7131
Location: Stoughton, WI
Excellent start to a good thread, CWF. I always enjoy reading about restaurants even if it's not likely I'll be visiting them anytime soon.

Please keep up the good work!

Brad

Post Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:02 am

Posts: 187
ScreamingChicken wrote:
Excellent start to a good thread, CWF. I always enjoy reading about restaurants even if it's not likely I'll be visiting them anytime soon.

Please keep up the good work!

Brad


It's a tough job, but I suppose I can keep trying out the local Q joints... :D
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Sun May 15, 2011 5:14 pm

Posts: 187
This is an update to Mike and Ed's. I went a second time and had their ribs with a different sauce. I'll update the sauce, price, meat accordingly.

Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's x2
Chuck's
Papa Joe's

Name: Mike and Ed's

Sauce: They have three sauces: regular, spicy, hickory. I tried the spicy which was basically like their regular (which I have a bottle of in the fridge), but with maybe some hot sauce. I kind of wish I would've tried the hickory. Their regular is a vinegar, mustard, sugar (actually, they use HFCS) sauce with some spices that really don't seem to come through in the sauce.I tried the hickory sauce on the ribs with much better success. While it may taste a little mass produced, it's a great improvement over the mustard based sauce. I would say it's primarily a tomato based sweet sauce, but there was definitely some smokiness to it as well - likely achieved via liquid smoke.

The Meat: Again, I think the meat here is not cooked to the point of fall-apart-tender as when I cook pork - but I also think they didn't use a shoulder here. If they did, it was leaner than any shoulder I've purchased. However, the taste and tenderness was good - possibly a little better than Price's. The bark was great and the smoke flavor permeated through the pork. The ribs were baby-backs, and the meat was most definitely done to my liking. That is, the meat didn't fall off the bone, but remained tender. I usually like a bit of a firmer bark, but this isn't really a big complaint. Another little nit-pick was the trimming of the ribs. When I have baby-backs, I look forward to not having to deal with what I assume are little inedible pieces of cartilage dispersed throughout the trimmings on spares. But whoever cut these missed it, as well as some of the silver skin. Just a nit-pick though

Price: I ate there for $6 for and got enough food to consider it a good lunch. (you can find their menu online, but they've slightly raised their prices).

What I orderd: The pork plate with one side which I chose to be beans. I had an option of the pork being shredded or "bite-size" so I chose bite size. The beans were slightly sweet with some shredded pork mixed in - no spiciness in these beans. I order the meat-only rib plate - I hadn't planned to go so I'd eaten recently and didn't need a full meal, but I'm not sure there's ever a time when I can't eat ribs. For around $6.50, I got 4-5 ribs and 3 pieces of bread - not bad I think. For sides I think it would've been an extra 2 bucks

My Advice: Maybe try the hickory sauce. I don't personally find sweet bbq sauce appealing, but it might be better than the other two choices. The pork is great so I'd recommend a plate, sammich, or the ribs maybe. For the sauce, I'd get it on the side. Maybe mixing the hickory or spicy sauce with some ketchup and tobasco (which they have at every table) would make it better. Hickory sauce is definitely the way I'll go from now on, regardless of what meat I get.

Other Info: They used to have all-you-can-eat ribs, wings, and chicken, but they got rid of it. However, they do offer everything else on the menu every day, including ribs, chicken (comes in 1/2 chicken portions) and smoked turkey. You can get as much sauce as you want from their sauce dispensers. Two pieces of white bread and pickles come with each order. Sweet tea is served out of the 50 gallon trash can. :)[/quote]
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Tue May 31, 2011 2:21 pm

Posts: 187
Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's
Chuck's
Papa Joe's

Name: Byron's

Sauce: I guess there are two sauces. Mild and hot. I tried the hot and it was really light and slightly sweet. Only slightly vinegary and barely spicy. If I added some Tobasco to it, this one might be my favorite sauce so far, although it also had the LEAST bold flavors.

The Meat: The pork is cooked about the same as Mike and Ed's and Price's. It has a great - probably the best so far - smoke ring. The rub must've been a simple salt and pepper with not a lot else so they let the smoke do the flavoring. The pile of wood I saw out back looked like hickory, but I can't be sure. The chicken was great. Just like the pork, the chicken has a great smoke ring. The reason I like it so much is that the skin is crisp and I'm not really sure how they do that. I'm guessing the smoke first to get the smoke ring, then maybe oil the skin and throw it over a hot fire. The salt level was perfect and it seemed like there was some herb in the rub like coriander or thyme.

Price: I got food for the fiance and I for $12.90 which was 1/2lb sliced pork and 1/2 a chicken with two sides, corn bread, and regular bread. The pork is $10/lb for sliced.

What I orderd: We split the chicken plate and the pork by the pound. I'm going to guess that the half pound measurement refers to the pre-cook weight. It sure didn't seem like 8oz, but then again, I might just be really strong :D. The cornbread was entirely too buttery and white for my taste. It seemed more like cake than cornbread. The slaw was typical mayo base, slightly sweet with minced (rather that rough chopped) cabbage. I prefer it over the type that I had at the first two places which used the mustard q sauce in them. The fried okra was perfect.

My Advice: I'd go with the chicken over the pork honestly. Or wait until Thurs-Sat. and try the ribs. The smoke ring is good so you'll likely get a good smoke flavor on whatever you order.

Other Info: They apparently have GREAT breakfasts and they open at 6am. Three fried eggs and meat is only $4 and each extra egg is only $0.60 - from a guy that eats around 4 every morning, you can't beat that.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Tue May 31, 2011 2:23 pm

Posts: 187
Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's
Chuck's
Papa Joe's
Moe's

I need to add a new place to this list. Moe's bbq just opened up in downtown and I think there's one I'm forgetting in Opelika...
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:57 pm

Posts: 187
Had breakfast at Price's. The hashbrowns were plenty crispy, eggs were cooked perfectly, bacon was decent, and as a bonus, I got the great smell of the pits going in the background which just makes everything taste better.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.

Post Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:18 pm

Posts: 187
Finally ate at a new BBQ joint here in Auburn

Price's Barbeque House
Country's BBQ
Byron's
Mike and Ed's
Chuck's
Papa Joe's
Moe's BBQ

Name: Moe's BBQ

Sauce:They do two different sauces. One is the typical Alabama white BBQ sauce, but less spicy and peppery than I typically make it. The other is a thin tomato based sauce that's vinegary and slightly spicy. I couldn't put my finger on it, but once the missus said it, it was obvious - it tasted like a spicy marinara kind of. BUT...it was ok on the pulled pork.

The Meat: The meat is clearly smoked low and slow(oak and hickory I think). I tried some of the pulled pork off a friends sammich and it was cooked perfectly. Smokey flavor through the meat and cooked to perfect tenderness. I also tried the chicken wings since I read that that was the best thing on the menu. I think that might be true. Amazingly, they had a perfectly smokey flavor, but extremely crispy skin. I'm thinking they smoked them halfway first, then direct grilled or deep fried the rest of the way. The white sauce went great with the wings.

Price: YIKES! The wing platter was $10, came with two sides and a piece of cornbread. The missus, for some reason, got a shrimp po' boy...The sammiches were $9 (came with two sides), the platters ranged from $10-$15 and included chicken and ribs and turkey. They do a brisket special on Tuesdays, but I'm not sure what that costs.

What I orderd: The wings and they were amazing. For my sides, I got collard greens (special side for the day), and bbq beans which were also great. They were perfectly spicy and peppery, with just a hint of sweetness and vinegar. The cornbread was to my liking too - not sweet, and crisp around the edges. And they served a peppery vinegar out of a makers bottle which was great over the collard greens.

My Advice: Of course, I've sung the praises of the wings, so I at least recommend splitting a side of them with someone. I also tried the pork and I can say that you won't be disappointed with it - however, the sauce might be better if you mixed in a little hot sauce with it. The greens were nothing special (just fit within my dietary protocol), but the beans I highly recommend.

Other Info: It's also one of the only BBQ joints that also has a full bar. Turns into a blues/rock club at night but the music gets a little loud for such a small place. I've read that the ribs are sub par, but I'll reserve judgment until I try them. Pretty cool atmosphere. The food is expensive, but the quality of it almost justified the price.
A bbq is only PARTLY about the food. It's MOSTLY about getting together and hanging out in the backyard with friends.


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