Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South

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zataar
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/18 20:36:39 (permalink)
I know a very gifted young woman who went to the University of the South. She loved it. She majored in Shakesperean Studies. She also stayed a couple of years to work in Administration, which she also loved.
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buffetbuster
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/18 20:57:46 (permalink)
Tuesday October 16, 2007 

Breakfast meant a drive out to the east suburbs and Mamie's Biscuits in Conyers. Here is the yummy ham biscuit:


The food here was good, but what really made the place memorable was how incredibly friendly everyone was. We could not have been treated better!

Next, we headed for Stone Mountain. Here is the huge carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the mountainside:


We did ride the tramway up to the top of the mountain, but it was so foggy, we could hardly see a thing. Here is just how thick the fog was up top:


On to Melear's BBQ in Fayetteville:


I ordered the pork bbq plate, which came with excellent brunswick stew and cole slaw:


Great pork bbq, delicious sweet tea, friendly service.....I loved Melear's!

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:40:10
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wanderingjew
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/18 21:16:41 (permalink)
I'm glad I just completed my 3 mile power walk because I think I just put a few thousand calories by looking at those photos!
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/19 16:36:09 (permalink)
Tuesday October 16, 2007 cont.

Not having had nearly enough bbq, we headed to the small town of Bremen in western Georgia, just off of I-20. This is the home of Bilbo's BBQ.


Bilbo's has to have the largest menu of any barbecue joint I have ever seen and I consider that a bad sign. Johnny ordered the combo platter, with ribs, pork and sausage plus a few sides:

He thought it was good, but nothing remarkable.

I got a pork sandwich with a side of brunswick stew.


From here it was on to Birmingham, Alabama. Since Johnny had never been here before, we headed for Vulcan Park. Here they have a huge statue of the Roman god Vulcan

and you can get a great view of the city from the platform:


After stopping at the UAB Bookstore, we headed for the hotel to relax for a while. Getting some rest rejuvenated our appetites, so we went downtown to John's City Diner. John's is a nice place, but still comfortable. I started off with a good cup of gumbo:

then enjoyed John's original slaw. This is just plain cabbage and they give you a bottle of this dressing, which reminds me of a cross between Thousand Island and Russian. Over top the cabbage, it tasted delicious. The main courses were the fried seafood platter with hushpuppies and fried green tomatoes for Johnny:

and mahi-mahi (with crabmeat) and cheese grits for me:


Back to the hotel.

Much more to come.....

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:40:44
#34
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/19 16:48:49 (permalink)
I'm now volunteering to carry your bags on the next trip...this stuff keeps getting better and better!
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/19 17:21:39 (permalink)
Wednesday October 17, 2007 

Breakfast in Birmingham means Bogue's!


For Johnny, breakfast was a pork chop, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy (not shown):

For me, it was the ham, hash browns, scrambled eggs and biscuits:


We really liked everything about Bogue's! Good atmosphere, service and food. I will definitely be back!

It was time to head off to Tuscaloosa, so we could go to the U of Alabama supply store. I haven't been to this campus in years and it is so much nicer now. Has to be one of the nicest campuses I have ever visited. Here is the area right outside the store:


Not having bbq for almost 24 hours, we headed across the river to Northport in search of Archibald's. Not easy to find, we smelled the place before we saw the sign. This place is a real dive, but we are talking about bbq here, so that didn't slow us down.


Here is the large rib plate:

and the pork sandwich:


We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here. The ribs and pork are good, but the sauce leaves a wonderful tingling on your lips and taste buds. I would have been quite happy just with white bread and sauce. Most got the food to go, but we sat at one of the three picnic tables and enjoyed the summer day. What a memorable meal! Here is Johnny taking care of business!


From here, we started the long drive to Mobile.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:41:24
#36
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/19 21:56:06 (permalink)
Wednesday October 17, 2007 cont.

From Tuscaloosa to Mobile, we decided to go the back roads and see some small towns. We enjoyed the leisurly drive, but arrived in Mobile ready to eat. First stop was the oldest restaurant in town, Dew Drop Inn:

Famous for their hot dogs, they typically come with ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, pickle and chili:


One disappointing note.....the Custard Cottage that used to be right next door is no longer there.

Before checking into our hotel, we decided we needed something to snack on in the room. So we stopped downtown at the A & M Peanut Shop:


There were lots of interesting items to choose from here, but I settled on chocolate covered peanuts and some fresh roasted peanuts, direct from their 100 year old roaster:


The snacks were tasty, but we wanted to get some seafood while we were near the water, so we headed for Rousso's. At least where I thought Rousso's was. Finding nothing but an abandoned building, we soon learned that this Mobile institution moved to the Eastern Shore in Spanish Fort. Now located in a new shopping mall, it has been stripped of all of its Roadfood character.

We started the meal with West Indies salads, but unfortunately the photos didn't turn out. Johnny ordered the seafood platter, with shrimp, scallops, oysters, fried crab claws, stuffed crab and flounder, plus jalapeno hushpuppies:


I went for the shrimp platter, with grilled, blackened and one enormous stuffed shrimp:
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:42:04
#37
mr chips
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/20 08:40:15 (permalink)
You travel and eat more good food than anyone I know! The photos are fantastic and the food looks wonderful. That Brunswick stew is almost enough to get me to hop a plane to Atlanta. Hope you are going to Austin this year. I am planning to visit the Capitol , the LBJ Library and the LBJ ranch and I know you share those interests.
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/21 08:24:17 (permalink)
mr chips-
Thanks for the kind words! Yes, Johnny and I plan in being in Austin for the bus tour next year. We enjoy those so much, we will attend every year, no matter where they go. I have visited the Texas state capitol and LBJ Presidential Library before, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing them again.
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/21 08:44:18 (permalink)
Thursday October 18, 2007 

Having had perfect weather so far on the trip, we woke up this morning with lots and lots of rain. We headed east on the short drive to Pensacola, Florida and had breakfast at Coffee Cup. This is a great little small town cafe, with good food and sassy waitresses. I had the ham & cheese omelet covered with their "Spanish sauce":

while Johnny had the strawberry hot cakes. We also split orders of ham and Nassau grits, which were quite good.

The reason for the visit to Pensacola was to see the Naval Aviation Museum, which someone from work had told me about. It sure did live up to its billing! One problem, though..... We were only there for about a half hour, watching the IMAX movie, "The Magic of Flight", when the power went out due to the bad storms. They asked us to leave the theaters and then we were told that tornados had been spotted nearby. It was very weird to be in this museum without any lights on.

Finally the power came back on and it was time to start the tour. And what a tour! His name was Dick Upchurch and he was a retired marine colonel. He used to give tours on a regular basis, but due to throat/voice difficulties, he only gives one tour a month. The person at the info desk said he was their best guide. He gave us a fantastic two hour tour, with lots of details and stories about which planes he flew. Despite his obvious heroics, he was also very humble. Here are some of the planes:




I also liked the display on aircraft carriers and the caption, "four and a half acres of sovereign U.S. territory,anytime,anywhere".


We could have easily spent the entire day at this great museum, but there were too many other things we had to do today.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:42:40
#40
mr chips
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/21 11:53:11 (permalink)
Did you see the plane George Bush the elder trained in at the Aviation museum? I hope you go to the beach because the beach at pensacola was one of the best i ever visited.
#41
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/22 19:10:17 (permalink)
mr chips-
Yes, we did see Bush's plane at the museum. Our tour guide was very thorough! Unfortunately, we did not make it to the beach. The weather was so bad when we were in Pensacola, we wouldn't have been able to enjoy it. Too bad, because I have heard from several people how nice it is.
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/22 20:00:55 (permalink)
Thursday October 18, 2007 cont.

After spending so much worthwhile time at the museum, we needed a good lunch, so we headed for Jerry's Drive-in in Pensacola.


This place has a great Roadfood feel to it and it looks like it has been there forever. Since it was our first time there, we asked the waitress (who was also the owner) what to order. Following her recommendation, we got double bacon cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries:


The fries were good, but the burger was excellent! We both thought Jerry's was a real keeper!

Heading back into Alabama, we went to Burris Farm Market & Bakery. This place is a nice fruit stand up front


but in the back they have a huge assortment of delicious desserts. Johnny and I tried several including strawberry shortcake:

peach cobbler

appledumpling, key lime pie, peanut butter pie and chocolate cream pie. And there were so many others we would have loved to tried. This place is a must stop for anyone with a serious sweet tooth. In the market itself, we also bought some boiled peanuts for later back at the hotel.

We finally had enough of a break in the heavy rain to go see the USS Alabama in Mobile


They have really done a great job at this place and conveying what life for the sailors on board was like. One of these sailors was baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller.


Since we were already in Mobile, we headed of for dinner at one of my favorite bbq places, the Brick Pit.


What an odd little place the Brick Pit is. This is what the walls inside look like:

But the service is ultra friendly and the food is terrific! Johnny's rib plate:

and my pork sandwich plate.


We headed back to the hotel, stuffed so much, we never made it to Wintzell's Oyster House, which was a tremendous disappointment.



post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:43:20
#43
buffetbuster
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/22 21:34:18 (permalink)
Friday October 19, 2007 

We left Mobile early since we had a long drive ahead of us. Our first stop was in Montgomery to see the Alabama state capitol building.

I always prefer to take a guided tour, but they don't offer them here. So Johnny and I headed off for a self-guided tour of the building. The highlight was one of the most beautiful dome interiors I have seen in any state capitol building.

Though not particularly big, (the state senate and house bodies have both moved to other buildings), the capitol was full of really nice details. Here is a staircase I really liked.


The plan was to eat at Martin's in Montgomery, but they don't open until 11:00. So how do we kill time before lunch? By eating of course! My eagle eyed cousin spotted this place

right down the hill from the capitol building and we couldn't resist.
Of course we tried the hot dogs, covered in Chris' special sauce, which Johnny described as almost more like a gravy.

It was quite good, though. But the best thing we had here were maybe the best onion rings we have ever had. Crunchy and full of flavor, we loved them!


After eating the small meal, we headed to Martin's. But on the way, we passed Alabama State University. Since it wasn't 11:00 yet, I stopped in and visited the bookstore and bought a t-shirt. Go Hornets!

We arrived at Martin's just a few minutes after 11:00 and they were already very busy, which is usually a good sign.

Famous for their fried chicken, Johnny indulged:

He liked the chicken very much, but loved the steamed cabbage. I went for chicken and dumplings and wished I had ordered the fried chicken instead.

I did really enjoy the porky flavored green beans, though.

Stuffed for now, we headed back to Birmingham.

Much more to come.....

post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:44:04
#44
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/22 22:01:26 (permalink)
Friday October 19, 2007 cont.

Our first stop back in Birmingham was historic Rickwood Field, the oldest baseball park in the country.


I had hoped to be able to see the inside, but they actually had a little brochure and encourage self-guided tours. You can even walk out onto the field and the pitcher's mound. How is my form?





Love the old-time billboards in right field.


For anyone who enjoyes baseball, this is a great place to visit. I would love to see a game here sometime!

We headed back downtown to see the Alabama Theater, which is an old-time movie house. Unfortunately, the doors were locked, so we couldn't go inside. I had to settle for a picture of the nice marquee.


More to follow.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/01/05 10:45:19
#45
Big Frank
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 07:09:36 (permalink)
Buffetbuster is right about Mamie's. I love their ham biscuits and bacon biscuits.
#46
ann peeples
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 08:20:45 (permalink)
What a wonderful trip report!!I am completely enjoying every step of the way!!
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tfrielin
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 08:52:13 (permalink)
If you guys are still in Birmingham, go to Brody's delicatessan and Jimmy Davenport's Pizza Palace, both in Mt. Brook Village.
#48
tfrielin
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 08:56:10 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tfrielin

If you guys are still in Birmingham, go to Brody's delicatessan and Jimmy Davenport's Pizza Palace, both in Mt. Brook Village.



Oops--spelled it wrong--it's Browdy's.

#49
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 09:01:37 (permalink)
Awww man, I'm from Birmingham and I'm nearly in tears I miss it soooo much!

Your sauce on your hotdog looks like a sauce on dogs at a place called Sneaky Pete's hotdogs. Sorta spicy? Goodness I love that place.

Too bad you didn't get to go into the Alabama Theater. It truly is the most wonderful place to visit.

Thanks for sharing your pics with us.
#50
wanderingjew
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 09:06:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tfrielin

quote:
Originally posted by tfrielin

If you guys are still in Birmingham, go to Brody's delicatessan and Jimmy Davenport's Pizza Palace, both in Mt. Brook Village.



Oops--spelled it wrong--it's Browdy's.





Based on the gyst of their report so far, it appears BB and his cousin are looking for "regional" specialties.


BTW, I went to Rickwood Field in 2005. It was locked up so I couldn't get onto the field.
#51
tfrielin
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 10:43:50 (permalink)
quote:


Oops--spelled it wrong--it's Browdy's.





Based on the gyst of their report so far, it appears BB and his cousin are looking for "regional" specialties.


BTW, I went to Rickwood Field in 2005. It was locked up so I couldn't get onto the field.


I'd say both qualify as Roadfood--both are locally owned and operated Mom&Pop type establishments that have been in business for decades in Bham.


#52
wanderingjew
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 10:57:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tfrielin

quote:


Oops--spelled it wrong--it's Browdy's.





Based on the gyst of their report so far, it appears BB and his cousin are looking for "regional" specialties.


BTW, I went to Rickwood Field in 2005. It was locked up so I couldn't get onto the field.


I'd say both qualify as Roadfood--both are locally owned and operated Mom&Pop type establishments that have been in business for decades in Bham.


So is my local Pulled Pork BBQ place here in Rhode Island- would you go if you visited? I'm sure it's locally owned and operated, but I wouldn't consider deli style sandwiches or pizza "regional" in Alabama. And if you look at the Stern's books (particularly the older roadfood books) they don't too

Everyone is raving about this place too
http://search.cityguide.aol.com/providence/restaurants/miss-fannies-soul-food-kitchen/v-106687916

It probably blows every Southern Style Restaurant in Alabama off the face of the earth- right???
#53
kland01s
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 11:45:07 (permalink)
Great report! I wish I could remember the name of the BBQ place we went to in Birmingham, it was more towards Hoover where we had traveled for a wedding. The food was wonderful but no one warned us what sweet tea was. As soon as we opened our months they knew we were not local! Friendly people though and we had planned on staying and traveling in the area longer but we were at the tail of a hurricane and the weather was awful so we traveled north and back towards home.
#54
tfrielin
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 11:53:48 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by kland01s

Great report! I wish I could remember the name of the BBQ place we went to in Birmingham, it was more towards Hoover where we had traveled for a wedding. The food was wonderful but no one warned us what sweet tea was. As soon as we opened our months they knew we were not local! Friendly people though and we had planned on staying and traveling in the area longer but we were at the tail of a hurricane and the weather was awful so we traveled north and back towards home.


Maybe Jim and Nick's Barbeque?

#55
tfrielin
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 12:01:59 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by tfrielin

quote:
Originally posted by kland01s

Great report! I wish I could remember the name of the BBQ place we went to in Birmingham, it was more towards Hoover where we had traveled for a wedding. The food was wonderful but no one warned us what sweet tea was. As soon as we opened our months they knew we were not local! Friendly people though and we had planned on staying and traveling in the area longer but we were at the tail of a hurricane and the weather was awful so we traveled north and back towards home.


Maybe Jim and Nick's Barbeque?





Or perhaps the Hoover location of The Golden Rule barbeque?

#56
kland01s
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 13:26:53 (permalink)
From the photo here, it looks to be the place I remember, it was 6 years ago and I wasn't as much of a foodie then, just liked trying local places and regional experiences..

http://www.goldenrulebbq.com/locations/Hoover/
#57
buffetbuster
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 14:21:53 (permalink)
tfrielin-
Thanks for the tips, but we are already home. We saw those Golden Rule BBqs seemingly everywhere. Are they any good?

wanderingjew-
I consider myself lucky that Rickwood Field was open like that. I was expecting only to be able to take photos from the outside. When I came to the part of that self-guided tour that it said to visit the pitcher's mound, we still went and asked the maintenance man if it was okay.

Bhambabe-
I can see why you miss Birmingham so much. I have always thoroughly enjoyed my visits there. On my next visit, I will make sure to see the inside of the Alabama Theater, because I love places like that. Is the Sneaky Pete's hot dogs you mention related to Famous Pete's Hot Dogs?
#58
Rick F.
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 14:33:22 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

Rick F. -
Are you an alumni of Sewanee? I have an ex who worked as a professor there and hated it. But she was a big city girl and she had a hard time making the adjustment.
Yep: alumnus. I was from California (near SF) when I enrolled, and it was an adjustment for me, too. But after the first semester, the only reason I ever returned to CA was family and girlfriend--would have stayed there forever if I could've.
#59
buffetbuster
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RE: Buffetbuster & Cousin Tour South 2007/10/23 14:40:04 (permalink)
Rick F-
I hope you don't it that I don't like the place, since I have never been there. She was raised in Miami and went to college in NYC, so Sewanee was quite an adjustment for her. Hey, she considered Pittsburgh to be too much of a small town for her!
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