Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL

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Sundancer7
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2005/11/12 17:15:51 (permalink)

Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL

Dreamland has been written about several times before both by myself and Lleechef. The sites were Mobile and Birmingham. They were super.

I gotta tell you about the one I enjoyed to day in Huntsville, AL. I got there at 10:30AM and I was afraid they would not be open. They open at 10:00AM daily.

As I went in this huge place I noticed a guy standing in front of a huge indoor pit powered by wood. The wood was not so much for smoking but for pit cooking. He was doing ribs at the time and he told me that he cooked his ribs for about a hour and a quarter and basted them right before they were finished.

I order a half slap of ribs for $9.95. These ribs were super and i got the first ribs of the pit for the day. Fresh, juicy, tender and tasy. I got a order of their creamy cole slaw. I did not want their vinegar cole slaw and their BBQ sauce and bread. My business friend got their pulled pork, cole slaw and the rest was the same. I got a quart of their BBQ sauce for the gift package at the February meeting at the Moonlite with the Mayor, Bushie, Poverty and others.

I gotta tell you folks, this place is the real deal. I recoginize that BBQ is subjective and I am well aware of regional taste but I totally assure you that this place is super. I had the same experience in Mobile and Birmingham. I think Lleechef will tell you the same thing.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
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51 Replies Related Threads

    rhpenland
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/12 17:27:08 (permalink)
    I will second your recommendation, Sundancer. I love the Alabama locations that I have eaten at - wish I could say the same about those located in my native Georgia, but they pale in comparison. Have you ever had the chance to try out Archibald's in Tuscaloosa? Its a great rib shack, too - very similar in some ways to Dreamland.

    rhpenland
    #2
    Iwanago
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/12 19:34:40 (permalink)
    SD7,

    Dreamland is a Find. I have dined at the Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery locations. Although Mobile and Huntsville are the best locations, you can not beat the BBQ.

    Have you ever tried the Banana Pudding? Please order more than the pint because you will ask for more.
    #3
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/12 19:40:43 (permalink)
    Iwanago, do you wanago to the Moonlite meet in February? It's going to be a great time, and even better if you show up.
    #4
    mayor al
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/12 19:47:35 (permalink)

    I agree with Poverty Pete...Having one of the door prizes be some of that sauce will be a treat! Thanks Sundancer for the report, and for adding to the gift list!

    Iwanago, I sure hope you can make it !
    #5
    Iwanago
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/12 19:57:17 (permalink)
    You betcha,

    When the Mayor speaks, I listen. Also, Poverty, I so do wanago! I will be there. So nice to hear from you both.
    #6
    SassyGritsAL
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 11:40:15 (permalink)
    In reference to Dreamland. I live in Huntsville, and I have eaten at Dreamland twice and will never go back. I have also eaten at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and it was great. Did I go on a day when the ribs weren't up to par? But, shouldn't they be up to par everyday? I don't know, but they were tough and bland. And believe me, their banana pudding is certainly not "homemade". You don't take vanilla wafers and add instant banana flavored pudding to it and call it true southern banana pudding. To me the best bargeque in Huntsville is at the "old" Greenbrier restaurant (not the "new" one you can see off the Interstate spur. You take the Greenbrier exist off I-565 and follow the sign for about 2 miles. They absolutely have the best barbeque chicken and huspuppies around. And their white sause beats Gibson's by far. I alway get a pint to go. It interesting to note that Huntsville also had a Corky's barbeque joint which didn't last long. I think us Huntsvillians are spoiled by barbeque like Greenbrier and Gibson's and that is why places like this don't last long here. A Golden Rule barbeque place opened up recently, but I haven't tried it yet.
    #7
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 12:45:59 (permalink)
    I too, like Big Bob's, but I have never eaten at Dreamland in Huntsville - just the ones in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and in Alpharetta, GA. Those branches seem to be quite good.
    #8
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 14:06:59 (permalink)
    Sassygrits: Sounds to me like you really know your BBQ????. Glad to know that you also know your banana pudding.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #9
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 16:31:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dereksmith

    Franchise Police

    Please move to the franchise forum. These corporate locations should not be discussed in the roadfood forum. This forum is only for true roadfood locations and not franchises.

    Thank you


    Poster. What makes you so sure that they are a franchise? I know they have about five locations which makes them a chain but anything more than two forms a chain.

    I view Dreamland more of a institution than a overused franchised. Please give us your knowledge of Dreamland.

    I have visited their locations and I find them very good and in fact exceptionally good.

    I enjoyed walking into their locations and viewing a huge pit fueled with wood that is used to cook the ribs, chicken and pork, not to smoke it but it adds lotsa flavor.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #10
    mayor al
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 17:49:11 (permalink)
    TO ALL...
    The thread stays where it is. The protesting notes have been deleted. Thanks for your concern.
    The Mayor.
    #11
    dereksmith
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 18:30:51 (permalink)
    Mr. Smith:

    from the dreamland website (http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/main/franchisesales.asp)

    Dear Prospective Franchisee:

    Thank you for your interest in franchise opportunities with Dreamland BBQ Ribs. The legend of Dreamland's famous ribs has grown Throughout the state of Alabama and beyond. Today our ribs are still cooked over an open hickory-fired pit in our dining room much as they have been since 1958. The demand for these incredible ribs is awe-inspiring. As a result of this demand, Dreamland is selling franchises. Single-unit and multi-unit franchises are currently available in the Alabama area.

    Dreamland is interested in attracting only the highest caliber franchisee. We seek individuals who meet the following criteria:

    * Exceptional business skills and operational experience, particularly in the casual dining industry;

    * Financial strength and stability to sustain a rapid development schedule;

    * Financial resources that meet our requirements. Typically for single-unit development, a prospective franchisee should have a minimum net worth of $750,000 excluding personal residence, with $200,000 in liquid assets (i.e., cash or marketable securities only). For multi-unit development (for example, 3 or more restaurants), we require a minimum net worth of $2.25 million with $800,000 in liquid assets. Dreamland does not offer any type of financial assistance.

    If you would like to receive a Franchise Information Package outlining our franchise program in more detail, please provide us with your full name, mailing address, telephone number and the city and state you are interested in.

    As of January 1, 2003, Dreamland and its related parties own Dreamland restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Mobile and Atlanta. Commitments have been executed for an additional 16 Dreamland restaurants in three states.

    Contact us at 205-822-9800 or fransales@dreamlandbbq.com
    #12
    dereksmith
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/16 18:36:42 (permalink)
    I particularly like the rapid development piece as well as the desire for multi-unit development.

    Dreamland as an institution yes, I agree. My numerous visits their have been wonderful. But at what point would an institution like Dreamland cease to become a Roadfood place and become the next Friday's or Ruby Tuesday's or Sonny's BBQ. At one time each of these could have been held in the esteem that we now hold a Dreamland.
    #13
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/17 07:37:49 (permalink)
    I agree w/ Derek, when you become concerned that the roadfood place loses its quality or service and when it starts to exhibit the atmosphere of a chain, it then loses the roadfood status and has morphed into the dreaded chain most of us dislike. That could happen with the 2nd location or the 100th. It's all relative. The franchise info described above certainly resemble "chain-type" methodology to me. All in all I hope the Dreamlands I visit don't lose their atmosphere or quality - or I go elsewhere.
    #14
    jellybear
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/17 08:09:46 (permalink)
    What kind of Ribs are done in a hour and half?Riblets or parboiled?
    #15
    porkbeaks
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/17 09:58:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jellybear

    What kind of Ribs are done in a hour and half?Riblets or parboiled?


    Those would be grilled ribs. At an indirect temp of 350°-400°, spares will be done in that time and backribs might be ready in as little as an hour without any parboiling. It certainly isn't low & slow cooking and, for sure, isn't barbecue (in the true sense). pb
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/17 13:49:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by porkbeaks

    quote:
    Originally posted by jellybear

    What kind of Ribs are done in a hour and half?Riblets or parboiled?


    Those would be grilled ribs. At an indirect temp of 350°-400°, spares will be done in that time and backribs might be ready in as little as an hour without any parboiling. It certainly isn't low & slow cooking and, for sure, isn't barbecue (in the true sense). pb


    It may not be true BBQ but it sure taste good.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    Milt
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/18 16:21:19 (permalink)
    We have eaten at two Dreamland locations - Tuscaloosa, AL and Roswell, GA. I thoroughly enjoyed Tuscaloosa. The food and the roadfood ambiance were both excellent. Roswell has been extremely disappointing each time. There will not likely be a next time. To me, the difference is between the real thing and the franchise. The above posts suggest that the Alabama franchises are more impressive than what we have in Georgia - different franchisees, I assume.
    #18
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/19 07:21:26 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Back in the early 1990's, we lived in Tuscaloosa, Al., and one of my biggest regrets was that I did not eat at Dreamland.
    It is a legend that I failed to meet. I haven't a clue as to whether it meets the standards of what is true BBQ or is becoming a franchise, but all I have heard was how good it is. Sportcasters who come to Tuscaloosa for Bama games will often mention their visits to Dreamland because the food is good and so unique. I doubt they mention this because they get free food, but rather because
    of the quality and the special flavours they find there.
    Again, I regret never eatin there, but money was tight and I had other things to care about. But perhaps a visit to Dreamland would
    have made my time in Tuscaloosa a little bit better.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
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    Milt
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/19 09:54:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Fieldthistle

    Hello All,
    Back in the early 1990's, we lived in Tuscaloosa, Al., and one of my biggest regrets was that I did not eat at Dreamland.
    It is a legend that I failed to meet. I haven't a clue as to whether it meets the standards of what is true BBQ or is becoming a franchise, but all I have heard was how good it is. Sportcasters who come to Tuscaloosa for Bama games will often mention their visits to Dreamland because the food is good and so unique. I doubt they mention this because they get free food, but rather because
    of the quality and the special flavours they find there.
    Again, I regret never eatin there, but money was tight and I had other things to care about. But perhaps a visit to Dreamland would
    have made my time in Tuscaloosa a little bit better.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle


    I know how you feel. I spent ten years of my adult life in Kansas City and never ate at Arthur Bryant's. Excitement over BBQ didn't occur until I had lived in Georgia for several years. Now I want to stop at every new BBQ place I see - even the chains - just to see how they compare with all of the others.
    #20
    mayor al
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/19 10:57:59 (permalink)

    Milt,
    I like the way you described why you like BBQ places. I think along the same lines. I am not a "Purist", but I know what I like and what I don't like. We tend to stop at BBQ places when in the mood for something to eat while on the road.
    I like (in priority order) Ribs- Pulled pork - Beef brisket- Mutton- then Poultry-and then a bunch of other stuff like fish and veggies etc.
    I prefer my sauce on the side to allow me to Dip, Dunk or Slather as I see fit. Basting during cooking is fine, but pouring over a plateful of 'Que is not my idea of the right thing to do.I do not like the BBQ to be drowning in sauce. I prefer semi-sweet/tart-spicy as opposed to spicy xtra-hot or mustardy. I really do not like BBQ chopped up into tiny pieces..like coarse sawdust. I like to have something to 'bite and chew'. I prefer cole-slaw on the side, not on the meat or sandwich.

    These are just my personal preferences, not intended to demean whatever anyone else prefers. I really like to step into a BBQ 'store' and find that they do BBQ the way I like it prepared. I think that's why I enjoy stopping at Hays Smokehouse,Arthur Bryant's, The Moonlite BBQ and Louis Mueller's so much. Their idea of BBQ and my taste for the product seem to match well. It is great fun to compare the places we stop, and I hope to continue this activity for a long, long time.
    #21
    RUB bbq
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/21 01:16:16 (permalink)
    Dreamland in Birmingham was the first place I ever had the kind of Ribs that knock your socks off! Ever since then it's been an obsession. Now I've had em all, and I'm dying to go back to dreamland t see if it's as good as the first time. But back then (1985?) it was a revelation.
    #22
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/21 06:07:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by RUB bbq

    Dreamland in Birmingham was the first place I ever had the kind of Ribs that knock your socks off! Ever since then it's been an obsession. Now I've had em all, and I'm dying to go back to dreamland t see if it's as good as the first time. But back then (1985?) it was a revelation.


    I do not know how they were in 1985 but they are great now. I have tried Dreamland in Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville. They were all the same. Delicious. I love their sauce. The ribs were nice and moist.

    I have never tried the Dreamland in Tuscaloosa. I understand that they do them different there?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #23
    Hillbilly
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/27 16:40:29 (permalink)
    I went by the Tuscaloosa location when I went back to New Orleans to clear out my apartment last month.

    It sure wasn't fancy, but this was the best Q I ever had outside of North Carolina. Just ribs and white bread, but fantastic.
    #24
    Bluemaxx
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/27 20:35:17 (permalink)
    As a recent patron of Dreamland BBQ as well as Golden Rule BBQ in Birmingham, I have to say that I was super happy with their meals, especially Dreamland BBQ. Thanks to Sundancer7 and a few others including Lleechef, my race team and I really enjoyed everything that was suggested to us. Of course there are always people whose tastes vary but these guys certainly know their "stuff" in my book. IMHO, the ribs and banana pudding were both superb and I can't wait to go back.
    #25
    mtstroud
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/27 21:24:08 (permalink)
    Basically, Dreamland's Appeal is to the diehard Alabama football fans (multitudes in the Tennessee Valley), a representation for them of the original old neighborhood grocery store that the late John "Big Daddy" Bishop founded so many years ago off Highway 82 in Tuscaloosa.
    Whether folks actually make pilgrimages there every year before going to the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, or have just heard TV sportscasters like Keith Jackson rant and rave about it, it's a piece of Crimson Tide nation for them, mainly. Sadly, I'm not sure most patrons really appreciate the true story behind Mr. Bishop's hard years of work at perfecting that sharp, vinegary sauce, or why he arrived at that oddly limited menu (as I understand it, Bishop had burgers and the like, but people only ordered his ribs, so he dropped everything else).
    It's just a shame that he didn't get enough recognition during his lifetime, but, franchise or not, at least his descendants are reaping the fruits of his decades of sweat and toil.
    #26
    lleechef
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/28 02:23:08 (permalink)
    As everyone well knows by now, we loved the ribs at Dreamland in Birmingham (they weren't too shabby at Jim 'n Nicks, either). When asked by the waitress if we wanted banana pudding for dessert we said, "Naw, just bring us another slab of ribs!"
    #27
    Bluemaxx
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/29 17:37:41 (permalink)
    lleechef - lol - we said the same thing when we were there. Problem was that be ate WAY TOO many ribs and stuffed outselves silly. I REALLY wanted to try the banana pudding afterwards and even though I ate just under a full slab and one half slab, I still managed to pack in a few bites of pudding.

    I was lucky to win my race the next day because my car was riddin' lowwww
    #28
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/11/29 18:14:25 (permalink)
    The ribs were among the best I had ever had. I sincerely love their sauce. I am not always a fan of banana pudding but I will say this. It was absolutely wonderful.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #29
    Iwanago
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    RE: Dreamland BBQ in Huntsville, AL 2005/12/13 21:19:33 (permalink)
    It's me Again,

    I could not resist, I just have to discuss Dreamland one more time. I was in Mobile last week and I had to Slide Tires On Payment. (STOP). Dreamland is such a nice place to visit and the aroma when you first walk in will force you to order a slab. I am most likely headed to Birmingham next week and guess where I am headed?
    #30
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