Huntsville, Alabama – Recently my buddy and I decided to branch out and check out a dive Q-joint that we had read about located in Huntsville. From all of the reports and reviews we had read it was deemed by many to be a “Gotta Go” place. So, being the troopers we are, we loaded up and made the trek to Huntsville to give this dive joint a once over.
When we arrived at Melvin’s Place of BBQ, things we looking good, there was smoke wafting out of the home-made smoker that was sitting in the driveway of the business. We got out of our vehicle and the smell of Nirvana was in the air, nothing like the sweet smell of pork slowly roasting over a hickory wood fire. I’m surprised they let Melvin cook barbecue at this location which is directly across from a cemetery because all true barbecue aficionados know that hickory smoke has long been rumored to be able to raise the dead.
There are two entry doors ways from the driveway so we chose the obvious one on the lower level and grab the knob to go inside and get some pig ordered up. The BAM it hit us, the door was locked, so we tried the other door, and be dang if it wasn’t locked also. So, we said “what the heck” we’re in no hurry so we parked it and waited. Then waited some more, and then some more, you get the picture. No one was around, which also surprised several other customers that arrived hoping to eat. So, as bad as we hated to, we left after hanging around for 30 minutes or so and decided it would have to be revisited on another trip. We sure hated to leave though, cause that dang smoke did smell good.
So, we went to Plan B, we consulted the internet for another Barbecue place nearby. We chose one that was close by and entered the address into the GPS and off we went. Never did find that place, went were the GPS so go but it was an empty lot. OK, time for Plan C, back to the internet for another location which was punched into the GPS and this time we were right downtown when the GPS let us down again because we never did find the third place either.
As we were cruising around looking for the place, we spied a new looking building with a sign out from proudly proclaiming Ted’s Bar-B-Q sitting close to the intersection of Holmes Ave. & Andrew Jackson Highway in the area called Five Points. We drove past it and then continued to search for the place we were looking for. After another cruise through the area, we decided that hunger was the driving factor at the moment and it was time to eat.
We circled back and found Ted’s Bar-B-Que, and took the last space in the parking lot. It was about 12:30 pm and the lot was full and the restaurant itself was fairly full. It’s a fast food type order place so we ponied up to the counter and after perusing the menu ordered our meals. I went with the usual, Pulled Pork plate, mustard slaw, bbq beans, and as a bonus a cornbread muffin. My dining partner went with the Pulled Pork plate, fries, vinegar slaw and cornbread muffing. Both of us opted for the unsweet tea and for the record, they offer Coca-Cola products. They gave us one of the electronic beepers to let us know when our lunch was ready to pickup at the counter.
We grabbed a table and starting watching the clientele and concluded it was mainly tradesman with a smattering of white shirts thrown in. Sort of a mixed bag crowd. This mixture meant that the barbecue appeals both to the guys working hard with their hands and the folks that spend in offices beating on computers.
After a short wait, the beeper starting dancing on the table and we went up and picked up the tray. Since we had no idea what to expect, let’s just say that we both had to pick our shoes and socks up off the floor because what we saw on the trays blew them off. The plates had the biggest chunk of smoked pork on it that we ever recall seeing served. It was pulled, it wasn’t chopped, it wasn’t sliced, it was just a big hunk of meat pulled off of a shoulder and slapped on our plates. Oh, and the smell coming from it was the smell of freshly cooked barbecue pork, it smelled so good, I wanted to just bury my face in it.
We made the trip back to the table at a quick step because we wanted to get a tasted of the meat and see if it was as good as it looked. Well, let me be the first to testify to you that it tasted better than it looked. In fact, in all my many trips to various barbecue restaurants all over the country I have hardly ever found barbecue that tasted as good as this. It was cooked to perfection, it was tender, had a great smoke ring on it, and had that perfect smoky flavor throughout.
I then checked out the beans which were true barbecue beans, in that they had some BBQ meat in them and were laced with a healthy dose of BBQ sauce prior to going into the oven. The mustard slaw was also very good, with a good balance of mustard, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and crunch cabbage.
My dining partner had the same appreciation for the meat as I did and also was impressed by his vinegar base cole slaw. His fries were the premium frozen type with coating on them that makes the extra crispy and retain the crisp until you eat them. I would have preferred they serve fresh cut fries, but everything can’t be perfect I guess.
I tasted by the hot and mild sauce, the mild sauce had a good smoky flavor to it and hints of seasoning popping through at the end, very good. The hot sauce was in my thinking, the mild sauce with a kick thrown in. It had a good bite to it and also was very good.
We both agreed the cornbread muffins were good as was the iced tea.
As we were leaving we discovered that Ted’s also serves Hot Tamales every day, has beef brisket on Wednesdays and St. Louis Style ribs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So figured there was at least three more trips in our future to Ted’s to try the additional items.
After eating at Ted’s at Five Points, I looked them up on the internet, they also have a location near Research Park on University Drive. Then came the big shock, when I was looking at Ted’s webpage, down at the bottom was the copyright by Rosie’s Restaurants, the same folks that own Rosie’s Mexican Cantina chain. We have a Rosie’s in Florence and I sure hope they build a Ted’s Bar-B-Que here soon.
Our overall score for Ted’s was a solid 8 (Very Good)
Ted’s Bar B Q
212 Andrew Jackson Way
Monday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Recommendations: Ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, tamales
Suggestions: Taste the meat before adding the sauce
Alcohol: Cold Beer
Ambience: Up scale Q-Joint with some Blues thrown in
Service: Friendly and fast
Vegetarian-friendly: It’s a Q-Joint, meat is king
Price range: Reasonable priced, plates $8 – $13