1427 14th Avenue South
Bread. Ribs. Beer.
What else do you need?
That’s why Dreamland BBQ is my kind of place.
I’ve always considered Dreamland as the perfect restaurant for anyone on a low carb diet.
Every other BBQ joint wants to tempt you with carb-laden sides like cornbread, hushpuppies, baked beans, biscuits, mac and cheese.
Look, if you put it in front of me and it’s good, I’m going to eat it.
But John “Big Daddy” Bishop – who founded Dreamland as a small cafe in the college town of Tuscaloosa in 1958 – never wanted to mess with any of that.
Bread. Ribs. Beer. That’s all anyone needs.
And the bread here is just a couple of slices of Sunbeam sandwich bread thrown on the plate – it’s so untempting, it shouldn’t even count. No way I’m wasting my precious appetite on that stuff.
Okay, maybe a few pieces to soak up some of that famous Dreamland barbeque sauce.
But the meat alone has always been the star of the show.
Racks and racks of picnic style ribs smoke over an open pit, filling the restaurant with the sweet smell of hickory and meat.
If God has a BBQ pit (and I sure as hell – er, heck – hope He does), this must be what heaven smells like.
If your idea of ribs are those “fall-off-the-bone” yuppified baby back ribs served at your neighborhood Chili’s, it’s time to grow up and come sit at the adults’ table.
Now the ribs here aren’t tough, but they are generous in each juicy bite – and each bite is smokey and flavorful.
Dreamland ribs are the real deal.
“Ain’t nothing like ‘em nowhere.” That was Big Daddy’s motto.
Unfortunately, Big Daddy Bishop passed away in 1997.
And it’s no surprise that the family has added a few things to the menu since.
Hopefully, Big Daddy isn’t rolling in his grave.
Dreamland actually serves beans, macaroni and cheese, greens, and sausage now.
But you have to order them separate.
Since this was far from my first visit to Dreamland, I decided to see if the new additions would live up to Big Daddy’s standards.
The smoked sausage was five star, all the way. Charred on the outside, tender and spicy on the inside, and absolutely perfect dipped in Dreamland’s BBQ sauce.
The macaroni and cheese was good too, with tender elbow noodles and creamy cheddar cheese.
I washed all this down with a couple of IPAs from Atlanta’s Sweetwater microbrewery. I always enjoy the fruity flavor evident in all varieties of Sweetwater’s beer.
But no matter how many good things they add to the menu, the ribs will always steal the show.
So I agree with Big Daddy on this one.
When you do something this good, there’s no need to make it complicated. Just stick to what you do best.
Bread. Ribs. Beer.
Can’t go wrong with that.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!