Old Joints

...I miss mom-and-pop restaurants, beer joints, country stores, ice-cream shops, and side-of-the-road barbecue pits with waitresses bearing double first names. And I don’t want to lose them.

This place used to be a barbecue joint. It’s not anymore. It’s under new ownership. They’ve renovated. They have a summer beer menu with eighteen-dollar maple-bacon flavored beer.

Do what?

Years ago, this place was duct-tape on the seat cushions and a water fountain in the back. Pork sandwiches for three bucks. People asking how your mama’s doing.

Now it’s burgers made from Colombian black beans for eleven dollars. What’s next? Rapping in country music? Say it ain’t so.

“There are no hole-in-the-walls left,” my friend suggests, screaming over the music that’s playing overhead. “I think we’re seeing the end of the local dive. Everything’s going big-business corporate.”

I can hardly hear what he says over the techno music. This particular song sounds like a young woman brought a guitar to a chainsaw fight.

So, I walk to the jukebox to look for something with more fiddle. And I’m remembering when this place used to have a traditional lit-up jukebox that played Patti Page, Haggard, and Ernest Tubb.

This new juke-shaped super-computer has a digital screen. No quarter-slot, only a credit-card reader and a keypad.

Shoot me.

“Corporations,” my friend says again. “They’re taking over the world, I tell ya.”

I hope he’s not right. Because I miss mom-and-pop restaurants, beer joints, country stores, ice-cream shops, and side-of-the-road barbecue pits with waitresses bearing double first names. And I don’t want to lose them.

I don’t know where they have gone, but I miss them enough to go look for them. I miss vinyl stool-cushions, dartboards, rotating pie-coolers, and servers who make small-talk because you look like you “ain’t from around here.”

And jukeboxes.

Daddy used to carry me to a barbecue joint that had a jukebox. For a dime, I’d enjoy “Waltz Across Texas” while I ate. The restaurant menu consisted of three things. Smoked pork, fries, and Arctic-cold beer. I was allowed two of the three.

I was much too young for fries.

A few years ago, I visited a joint in South Georgia, a cinder-block building with a steel door and glowing signs in the windows. A dog named Charles roamed the place.

“Charles is here to keep away feral cats who always hang around,” the owner told me.

Patrons got in the habit of feeding the dog, and they told me Charles gained twice his bodyweight in his time there. A wonderful place.

They tore the joint down to build a Hardee’s.

Now, I don’t have anything against Hardee’s, iPads, computerized juke-like machines with thumbprint readers, or burgers made from beet syrup. But I’d like to see more cheap decor and less maple-bacon beer.

Yesterday, a man named Dave wrote me:

“My dad used to own an old bar and grill… He had to shut it down…”

The county widened the highway. It was a scene you’ve probably witnessed before. Men in neon orange vests running bulldozers straight into an old building. They knocked down a few live oaks, too.

“I grew up in that place,” Dave writes. “It was like they were killing my childhood.”

Dave’s father sold his kitchen equipment for pennies. A local church bought the tables and chairs for their fellowship hall. The jukebox and the pool tables went down with the ship.

“Some of our old regulars stood and watched,” Dave goes on. “One guy took his hat off and put it over his heart when the bulldozer hit. It was sort of a funeral.”

Anyway, I don’t mean to depress you. In fact, I’m writing this for the opposite reason. The truth is, I’m looking for All-American Hole-In-The-Wall joints. Real eateries with real food, and waitresses who call you, “sugar.”

Barbecue is appreciated. Burgers, catfish, or collards work, too.

There are rules:

Jukebox would be nice. Dog friendly would be nicer.

No bacon beer.

81 comments

  1. Kimberly - May 8, 2018 6:06 am

    Hunter’s Pub & Steakhouse. Hamilton, Georgia. Don’t you dare leave without their peanut butter pie. You’re welcome.

    Reply
  2. Chip - May 8, 2018 6:17 am

    Still have one….but they are fading fast. Only bikers keeping them open, law trying to shut them down. Good ol’ Texas ice houses…
    Try “Jake’s”…highway 16 between Helotes and Bandera…Pipe Creek. Ask for Joe….first time in, he’ll buy you a beer.

    Reply
  3. Betty King - May 8, 2018 7:32 am

    Archibald’s Barbecue, Northport, AL, suburb of Tuscaloosa. NO buns, BBQ on white bread.

    Reply
    • Sue Arnold - May 8, 2018 12:02 pm

      Archibald’s – a prime example of a dive – and I only wish you could have gone to the original Archinsld’s that we enjoyed while I was at Alabama in late 70’s.
      Please visit Nicks in the Stick’s out from Tuscaloosa and take me with you when you go! You will love it. Nothing but filets, taters, salad and rolls. Home of the Zombie and Nicodemus signature drink. An icon!

      Reply
      • Megan - May 8, 2018 5:35 pm

        Nicks in the Sticks is the best.

        Reply
  4. Todd - May 8, 2018 8:39 am

    Lovey’s Home Plate, Echo Alabama
    Homemade Tarts too!!

    Reply
  5. Wally - May 8, 2018 8:39 am

    Faunsdale Cafe. Faunsdale,AL. Chalkboard daily menu with Special, no music just local chatter, wall mounted French fry cutter in the cafe and best of all – free cookies at cashier on the way out!

    Reply
  6. Deborah Bundy - May 8, 2018 10:41 am

    Go to Green River BBQ in Saluda, NC. It has picnic tables outside and mismatched tables inside. Great mac & cheese, BBQ, fish, etc. Small but wonderful. I hesitate to tell you about it because it’s perfect as it is.

    Reply
  7. Edna B. - May 8, 2018 10:47 am

    Sad to say, I don’t know of any to refer you to. When I was a girl, we had local drug stores ([pharmacies) that had a soda bar and padded seat stools. We would go there and share an ice cream soda or a frappe. We had the A & W Root Beer stand where we all gathered for a meal that was served by waitresses on roller skates. (outdoors) It seems that all the good stuff is fading off into the sunset. I hope you find your little hole in the wall diner. Have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  8. Starr - May 8, 2018 11:15 am

    We have one left in my hometown, Robertsdale, AL. It’s called Mac n’ Jerry’s. We ate there in high school, on our 30 minute lunch break, back when you could leave school for lunch! That was over 30 years ago! We ate burgers and fries everyday! There are family pictures on the walls, little knick knacks and glass figurines like your Grandma has in her china cabinet. Cheap furniture. Cheap curtains. Random decorations. Tomato Gravy. Biscuits. Fried Chicken. Vegetables soaked in butter and I’m pretty certain you can’t get anything grilled. It’s the real deal. Good old country cooking at its best! They wave at you when you come in and tell you to sit anywhere. They ask how your Mama is and they sincerely want to know! The same family has owned it since I can remember. I love that place. Will be a sad day when corporate takes over. I hope it doesn’t happen in my lifetime. I think I may go there today. Makes me smile to think about it. Have a great day and thank you for reminding me of simpler times! Starr

    Reply
  9. Xan Morrow - May 8, 2018 11:22 am

    Wiley’s Smuteye Grill in Smuteye, Alabama… That’s in Bullock County where The Red Door Theatre is. I don’t think they have a jukebox but many evenings they have the best steel guitar player in the state of Alabama and I’m not kidding! As a side note, the fan you sketched ooks just like the fans that were attached high up on the walls in the Red Door when it was still an Episcopal Church and didn’t have air conditioning. They oscillated… I think there’s still one of them up there that we didn’t take down. Have a great day Sean… Give my best to Jamie and Thel.

    Reply
  10. Howard Humphreys - May 8, 2018 11:25 am

    Come to Austin if you want to see some real music and BBQ joints. None better!

    Reply
  11. Peggy Branch - May 8, 2018 11:28 am

    Love reading Your blog! Makes me laugh out loud!

    Reply
    • patricia - May 8, 2018 10:33 pm

      Yes, and also remember…..

      Reply
  12. Alane Duncan - May 8, 2018 11:53 am

    The backwater crew still enjoy a dive called Dukes Backwater Super Club. It’s not really a club cause anyone can come. The folks from Atlanta have found this little lake and buying up all the cabins and building big nice homes call the backwaters Lake Harding. I’ve always told my husband it’s brst to get to Dukes early before the cook gets drunk. People can still smoke inside and the waitress still calls you honey!
    You can camp out at Poor Boys Landing.
    It’s about 30 minutes from Auburn Alabama.
    We live on the Alabama side of the lake, those folks on the Georgia side of the lake are stuck up and most from Atlanta.

    Reply
  13. Jim Harris - May 8, 2018 11:53 am

    Come to Rutherford Co. TN I’ll show you around.

    Reply
  14. Ellen Walters - May 8, 2018 12:06 pm

    I am now 72 and I remember traveling with my parents and we would eat at different local restaurants. There weren’t any Applebee’s or Hardy’s. The food was good and cheap. Oh how I miss those days!!!!

    Reply
  15. Laurence - May 8, 2018 12:08 pm

    Carliles BBQ. B’ham, 6th Ave. South

    Reply
  16. Pam Burleson - May 8, 2018 12:12 pm

    You should try Tonys Hot Dogs in Pelham Al—no jukebox but Joe and his wife run this place and have had it for 20 something years-best people around and best burgers ever!!!!!!!!! Joe gets there every day but Sunday at 3:30am and gets all prepping done for each day-a guy you would love to chat with –When anyone walks in -he knows them by name and even if busy will take time to chat while cooking on that good old seasoned grill he has cooked on for years—Every construction worker or blue collar person in area eats there and just my Happy Place-I think you would enjoy-Pam b

    Reply
  17. Gerri Johnson - May 8, 2018 12:21 pm

    In Montgomery: The Hamburger King on Dexter: Sorry, it’s not big enough for a juke box or a dog. But it has absolutely, sincerely The Best hamburgers I ever put in my mouth. And Sam’s BBQ on the Atlanta Highway between Coliseum and Dalraida. They’re only open for lunch and you better get there early because when they’re out – they’re out and that’s it. And of course, Chris’ Hot Dogs down town – better get you some of that special sauce! And out towards Grady is Red’s Schoolhouse – best veggies EVER! Just ask anybody, they can tell you where it is.

    Reply
  18. Melinda - May 8, 2018 12:25 pm

    I’m heading to Wetumpka tomorrow. Is there a joint there?

    Reply
  19. Marty from Alabama, Oakman, Alabama that is - May 8, 2018 12:26 pm

    Come over to Walker County, Alabama, and wander around for a while. I’m sure you will find something akin to what you are searching for. Don’t look in the cities, look in the country.

    Reply
  20. Curt - May 8, 2018 12:28 pm

    Have you been to Pirate’s Cove on the Alabama Coast?

    Reply
    • Bill T - May 8, 2018 4:14 pm

      Yep, sailed and overnighted there. Had the famous cheeseburger.

      Reply
  21. Miriam Rolen - May 8, 2018 12:44 pm

    Bush Grocery in Eclectic, AL. Best burger, great people, and may often find a dog hanging around outside.
    Country music blaring from the radio of an old truck left running while the owner runs inside to get a burger.

    Reply
  22. Barbara Reynolds - May 8, 2018 12:52 pm

    Try Stacie’s in Faundale, Alabama. Best burger and fries anywhere. Daily Blue Plate special of country cooking.

    Reply
  23. Paula Link - May 8, 2018 12:52 pm

    231 Barbecue between Midland City and Ozark.

    Reply
  24. Kimberly - May 8, 2018 1:01 pm

    Recently, my husband and I took a stroll through the beautiful town, Watercolor. I have a love for architecture and find peace studying structures. This is my first degree from college. As we walked passed this lovely home, I noticed a Mississippi license plate on the black Mercedes parked in front. There was an older couple probably in their late 60’s sitting on the porch. My husband quickly said, “Hello from fellow Mississippians.” The gentleman lowered his reading glasses as he looked up from reading his paper and the lady laughed. I could hear the man say, “What did they say?” She quickly told him. I swear it was a stared off with no hello in return. We kept walking, trying to enjoy this “charming” town but I was kind of heartbroken. I thought to myself, the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket. Southerns can’t even say hello anymore. We quickly left and went to Eastern Lake! Mother nature was putting on a show that morning. Eastern Lake had broken through the beach barrier into the Gulf. Man, it was breathtaking. It was my birthday that day.

    Oddly enough today, I think of this couple while reading your story. You see, I am a nurse now. I truly help save the lives of strangers. And there will come a day when all the money in one’s pockets will not cross the mind. That day you will look at that nurse with great big eyes… humbled, and say hello. For you know she saved your life.

    Deuces!

    Reply
  25. Jack Darnell - May 8, 2018 1:08 pm

    I like it!

    Reply
  26. Jan - May 8, 2018 1:11 pm

    Ken’s Barbecue on Highway just outside of Pinson, AL. Located very close to Jefferson State Community College in Center Point, AL. No jukebox but the ‘cue is great!

    Reply
    • Jan - May 8, 2018 1:14 pm

      Ken’s is on Highway 79 just outside of Pinson and they open early for a great breakfast but close early as well about 6pm.

      Reply
  27. muthahun - May 8, 2018 1:26 pm

    “…brought a guitar to a chainsaw fight.” I love it, and you’re so darn right. When you do your Maine tour, you’ll have to visit Beale St. Barbecue in Bath. Pulled pork and cornbread, great slaw, beans, and fries.
    The “ain’t from around here” struck a chord that took me straight back to TX. Early morning, my hound had eaten my toothbrush, so I hit the local 7-11.
    “Where would I find a toothbrush?” I asked, and a half-dozen good ol’ boys looked at me like I had 2 heads, then pointed. I picked out a new brush, put it on the counter.
    “What do I owe ya?”
    “Say… y’all ain’t frum around here are ya?”
    “Nope. What gave me away?”
    He smiled. “Where y’all frum?
    “Maine.”
    “Maine… assat l’il bitty one up in the corner…”
    I’ll bet he knew where to get good barbecue.

    Reply
  28. Laura - May 8, 2018 1:31 pm

    I love this kind of place, too! Since I retired (mostly), I travel with my college roommate (whose hubby doesn’t like what we enjoy). We find these places every now and then. I live in Wallsboro (near Wetumpka, AL) and we have the best BBQ place around- Champs. The pulled pork is the best I have ever had anywhere. No Maple-Bacon Beer (or any other kind), but the fries, slaw and baked beans are great, too. You can take home a Champs pack with 2 sides, pulled pork, buns and sauce. The family who own the place love to chat with you and I love that they call my name when I walk in. Another BBQ place is up at Ft Payne- I loved it when we went to the Desoto state park up there. Sally’s Smokin Butt BBQ. One night, after a day of hunting waterfalls, we were hungry and it was raining. We had this place on our list to try but arrived at 7:10 to find the door locked. (We didn’t know they closed at 7. The lady saw us, invited us in. We said we can come another time, but she said “that’s ok- I gotta clean up anyway. What can we get you?” We had a lovely visit and great food. Other than a monument and museum for the group “Alabama”, we didn’t think there was much to Ft Payne, but we found the monument and another place called The Big Time Café with a antique (translate to “junk”) store next to it but it had life size cardboard pics of Roy Rogers and The Duke so you could make a picture. Great burgers and hot dogs there. Hope you get a chance to try these.

    Reply
  29. Sandra Smith - May 8, 2018 1:35 pm

    You & Jamie can come eat at my house anyday. My son does the best bbq in Alabama, and I do the best collards. We got ALL the old music, and if you bring your guitar, we’ll all sing a few of them too ( all the men are musicians…I do a mean butt-wiggle) Might have a little homemade wine, or even, Shine…but .No maple beer, anywhere near here !

    Reply
  30. Ted - May 8, 2018 1:37 pm

    Jim’s in Prattville, AL LAst time I was there the jukebox still had records from the ’60’s. Here is the menu http://www.jimsrestaurant.net/Weekly-Menu.html

    Reply
  31. Dal - May 8, 2018 1:49 pm

    Nickk’s on the Bay still has 60′ & 70’s charm, decor and great food. Bet you have been there. Should be a story.

    Reply
  32. Dal - May 8, 2018 1:50 pm

    Make that Nick’s.

    Reply
  33. Eduardo De Cardenas - May 8, 2018 1:51 pm

    Bar-B-Que Bills in Chiefland, FL. Best BBQ in Florida.

    Reply
  34. John Lewis - May 8, 2018 1:58 pm

    If you ever venture into East Tennessee anywhere near Crosby, you owe it to yourself to stop by Doc’s 321 Cafe and Market. It’s a roadside place with charm and atmosphere that warms you as you enjoy their amazing BBQ ribs and made from scratch chili.

    Reply
  35. Lindsey Inman - May 8, 2018 2:03 pm

    Sean, if you are ever near Myrtle Beach, SC, I can take you to some joints like you remember. Scott’s BBQ is one such place:

    Longtime BBQ joint offering pit-roasted pork & chicken, plus boiled peanuts, in a rustic old house.
    Address: 2734 Hemingway Hwy, Hemingway, SC 29554
    Phone: (843) 558-0134

    Reply
  36. Mary Elizabeth Garrison - May 8, 2018 2:06 pm

    You should visit the Snack Counter in Davis Drug store on Main Street in Columbiana, AL. I don’t know that it really qualifies as a joint, but the dripping cheeseburgers, homemade chicken salad, and homemade desserts are definitely worth the trip. There are a lot of regulars and stools where you can sit and watch them cook your food on a flat top grill. The breakfast biscuits are grandma-worthy.
    As for places that are no more, I would like to remember the Slick Lizard, Nauvoo, Alabama. When I was a little girl, we would go visit my Nana in Carbon Hill. If it was just Mama and me visiting, we would stay “in town” and go to the Pizza Bar. But if Daddy was with us, we would trek into the wilds of Walker County and eat at the Slick Lizard. Their barbecue was amazing and their homemade icebox pies always finished up the meal just right. Nana always ordered a barbecue salad, which sounds ladylike, but it literally had over half a pound of barbecue pork sitting right on top of a massive salad. My Daddy had gone to high school with the owner. Slick Lizard, I miss you!

    Reply
  37. Christina Brode - May 8, 2018 2:23 pm

    The Merry Inn. Manton Michigan

    Reply
  38. Barbara porter - May 8, 2018 2:29 pm

    Bus stop cafe in Seminole Ok..and the Homestead diner Cushing Ok..I think every waitress has a double name and almost all the customer’s names are “honey” or “sugar”

    Reply
  39. Edward or Kimberly Ralph - May 8, 2018 2:33 pm

    My daughter and I created our own name for country rap, and she titled her first country rap album to be released long about never as “Crapping in the Woods.” Love the creativity of children.

    Reply
  40. Charlie - May 8, 2018 2:34 pm

    Grayson’s BBQ in Clarence, Louisiana. On the side of Highway 71, just across the Red River Bridge from Natchitoches. The lady behind the counter never stops chopping turnip greens while taking your order.

    Reply
  41. Tammy B Nelson - May 8, 2018 2:36 pm

    The Chicken Shack in Luverne! We stop there every time we head south to the beach.

    Reply
  42. Amy - May 8, 2018 2:46 pm

    Syd’s in Noblesville, IN. Get a breaded pork tenderloin and onion rings. They’ll set you free! And go ahead and just order “a beer.”

    Reply
  43. Carol ann ROTHWELL - May 8, 2018 2:54 pm

    Sean,I’ve seen a old bike’s place in PC, on Thomas Dr.
    I bet they don’t go in for no fancy stuff,and no rap
    music….good Luck…..I’m with you!!
    Love ya.👼!

    Reply
  44. Sharon Hand - May 8, 2018 3:00 pm

    Sean, If you are ever up Hwy 78 West, outside, of Graysville, right on the Jefferson County and Walker County line, you need to try The Green Top. We have entertained many out of town visitors at this place. It used to be an old juke joint back in the 50s and 60s. This was before any towns in Walker County were wet.

    Reply
  45. Jessica McCorvey - May 8, 2018 3:02 pm

    “R” County Cafe & Store at Lake Seminole, GA. Combo old country store, bait store, and breakfast/lunch place. The main server looks about as Old Florida as it gets, yet vegan. Love the dichotomy. The cook made my daughter pancakes in the shape of Minnie Mouse, bow and all. They were a joy.

    Indian Pass Raw Bar. Outdoor plastic tables and chairs for indoor seating. Seat yourself. Classic Old Florida.

    Reply
  46. Judy Bludsworth - May 8, 2018 3:25 pm

    Try Our Place in Ozark, Alabama ! Best Hamburger in the State. Friendliest people too 😋

    Reply
  47. Eleanor - May 8, 2018 3:45 pm

    Outz’s Too in Newport, Fl; been there for years, pictures at http://ouztstoo.com/

    Reply
  48. Bubba from Selma - May 8, 2018 4:07 pm

    Groover’s in Pensacola is a old Tastee Freeze but no juke box. Four or five booths and the best onion rings I’ve ever had. Still make milk shades to old way. I suggest the country fried steak sandwich. Tables outside for you and your co-pilot.

    Reply
  49. Bill Terrty - May 8, 2018 4:09 pm

    Joe & Eddies on Eglin Parkway, Fort Walton Beach. Home cooking (meat and 3)and mullet on Fridays. In business I think 50 years.

    Reply
    • Donna Ramsden - May 9, 2018 12:35 am

      Best place around this part of the Panhandle. Donna, Niceville

      Reply
  50. Amy - May 8, 2018 4:17 pm

    Right before you get into Madison and Huntsville, AL, off I-565, there’s a great place called Greenbrier. Hush puppies and white sauce so good, you’ll forget you ordered the main entrée. Once the BBQ or catfish is placed in front of you, you’ll realize you’re full. It won’t matter though…the sweet tea will help wash it all down.

    Reply
  51. autumn - May 8, 2018 4:44 pm

    Fallin’s BBQ Thomasville, GA… the best Porkita ever known to mankin, ice cold beer & they still have the old jukebox from way back

    Reply
  52. MaryNell - May 8, 2018 5:22 pm

    I know you think cities don’t have any hole in the wall places, but the Scottdale area outside of Atlanta on E. Ponce De Leon has a place called Caribbean Chicken and Fish. It is definitely a down home type of joint. They don’t specialize in BBQ but the do have outside smokers going most of the time.

    Reply
  53. Sue Cohen - May 8, 2018 5:24 pm

    The Whole Scoop Ice Cream Shop in Hoover, AL. I am the mom of this mom and pop shop! Come join us for a Scoop. We even have a dog sundae!
    http://thewholescoopicecream.com

    Reply
  54. Virginia Hamlin - May 8, 2018 5:49 pm

    There isn’t a place in Florida (except maybe North Fl) that has any idea what real Barbeque tastes like. Alabama barbecue does not have thick , red sweet sauce.

    Reply
  55. Jenny Young - May 8, 2018 6:47 pm

    Oh I do hope you’ll share the ones you find! Do you travel to northwest Arkansas? That’s where I’d like to find some.

    Reply
  56. Alice - May 8, 2018 7:15 pm

    Blakely, GA – Smitty’s Grill – be sure to sit in the original part at the counter; J & J Hotdogs; Columbia, AL (just across the river), Smiths Hardware – chili dog, pimento cheese . . .
    I love taking the country roads and out of the way hole in the walls, too.
    Keep writing!!

    Reply
  57. Janet Mary Lee - May 8, 2018 8:01 pm

    Rock’s BBQ in Prattville has the hole in the wall feel. REALLY good everything, but best collards I ever had bar none! Eating with jazz radio is not a bad thing! Fatboys is a more modern looking but with an old time feel, but you can eat outside too and watch the water and/or swing while doing it. Love Alex City’s drug store with the drug store food and fountain bar. Only one I have seen in a while. You can hardly find them anymore! I miss them too!!

    Reply
  58. Alabama YaYa - May 8, 2018 10:26 pm

    OLD JOINTS ~ I just had a hip replacement three weeks ago and thought you were writing about truly “old joints”. I went to a rehab facility for two weeks and came in contact with “real heroes”. Because of your recent “heroes” story I was able to more easily identify these tireless workers and learn their stories. I felt blessed to be in their presence. XOXO, Alabama YaYa

    Reply
  59. Diann - May 8, 2018 10:39 pm

    Check out Hilltop Cafe in Union Springs. A cheeseburger to die for and hall of fame barbecue. Eat at a table with old friends or ones you just met.

    Reply
  60. Ginger G Edwards - May 9, 2018 12:00 am

    Leah’s Lunch Room in LeCompte Louisiana. The tables and chairs don’t match, the building is cinder block, the windows are jalousie (sp??), and the menu is on a chalkboard on the wall. They served pie appetizers last time I was in there.

    Reply
  61. Stephen - May 9, 2018 12:13 am

    They are like arrowheads … will get back to ya.

    Reply
  62. Gabe - May 9, 2018 2:01 am

    Abe’s grill Corynth MS
    Pikeville grill, just outside Scottsboro AL
    Barry’s BBQ Fyffe AL (thurs – sat) only.
    Take Thel to Guntersville lake while you’re there.
    Better’n at, take her to Bucks Pocket

    Reply
  63. Jack Quanstrum - May 9, 2018 5:31 am

    You hit the nail on the head with this true story!

    Reply
  64. Beth Wilder - May 9, 2018 12:37 pm

    For the tastiest artery-clogging food in Alabama, try Mustang Oil in Greensboro. If it ain’t fried, it ain’t on the menu. Great BBQ at Miss Myra’s in Cahaba Heights, just outside Birmingham. The restaurant remains unaffected by the surrounding yuppification of the neighborhood with formica tables and dust bunnies from the second World War. And the best juke joint in America, possibly the world, is Gip’s Place in Bessemer. Please pray the Jefferson County health department does not find out about the homemade sloppy, greasy burgers cooking on the outdoor grill. And bring your own Arctic-cold beer, cause Gip doesn’t have a liquor license. But he does have remarkable blues bands playing every Saturday night.

    Reply
  65. JP - May 9, 2018 2:16 pm

    Got two for you. Dew drop inn in Mobile and Green’s BBQ in Andalusia!!

    Reply
  66. Gordon - May 9, 2018 2:18 pm

    Beachcomber, St. Simons Island, GA. Get the burger. My wife told me to try one for years, but the smoked chicken, my Mom’s favorite, was outstanding. Finally tried a burger, then Mom did…we never went back to the chicken. No jukebox, but ice cold beer and a beach 2 blocks away!

    Reply
  67. Bruce - May 10, 2018 12:22 am

    Johnny’s B-B-Q in Cullman, AL. Awesome eats…

    Reply
  68. paula jones - May 10, 2018 2:52 pm

    It’s not BBQ, but if you want a great catfish shack, try “The Ark” at 13030 US-78, Riverside, AL 35135 (near the Talladega Speedway).

    Reply
  69. Courtney Roberts - May 10, 2018 3:50 pm

    Ray’s Mill Pond in Ray City, Georgia—don’t think there’s a jukebox but they have the best catfish you’ll ever put in your mouth.

    Reply
  70. Beverly Hopper - May 10, 2018 8:48 pm

    Davis Cafe on Decatur Street, Montgomery. Not sure about the jukebox but everything else is there!

    Reply
  71. Beth - May 13, 2018 11:48 am

    Snead Cafe -Buffet- Snead Crossroads,
    They still have a tables full of farmers for
    breakfast. Highway 278

    Reply
  72. Gigi - May 13, 2018 2:46 pm

    It’s not barbecue, but the fried mullet at the Original Point Restaurant in Pensacola Florida. No jukebox but live country or bluegrass music most nights. 💜

    Reply
  73. Steven - May 17, 2018 2:59 pm

    David’s Catfish – the original one in Atmore (although in a “new” location). It’s sort of in-between a hole-in-the-wall and trying-harder. There are a couple of new ones – Pensacola (waited over an hour for cold food and they ran out of utensils so boo! but we’ll try again when the miff wears off) and Milton. Their cole slaw is sweet enough to be dessert. Love it. A two piece catfish plate will fill up pretty much anyone. But, we don’t like to eat until we feel like we’re going to pop.

    Enjoy your search!!

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  74. Nancy Jane Earnest - May 24, 2018 9:41 pm

    Discover Fred Sauceman who knows and writes about every barbecue joint in Appalachia. Barbecue wars. Appalachian foodways.

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