Southern Bar-B-Q, A Muscle Shoals Barbecue Fixture

Shoals Barbecue Trail Stop #15

Muscle Shoals, Alabama –IMG_4358

For this week’s culinary adventure we traversed the Singing River Bridge to the south side and made our way to Southern Bar-B-Q which is located on Wilson Dam Rd.

If you’ve read my previous post on the history of the Southern Bar-B-Q chain then you would know that the franchise for the Muscle Shoals location was established in 1992 and has been smoking since

We arrived around noon on Friday and they were doing a brisk and steady dine in and take out lunch service.  We had to wait for a few minutes to get our order taken at the counter but it wasn’t an excessive wait.  The young lady took our lunch orders and fixed our drinks.  I ordered my usual barbecue plate and my dining partner the barbecue sandwich.  We then grabbed a table to wait for our meal to be delivered to the

It took less than 10 minutes for our food to arrive along with a squeeze bottle of hot and mild sauce since I had asked for the sauce on the side, The first thing we did was give the sauce a taste test, and we both agreed the mild sauce was really bland tasting and Muscle Shoals  have much of a barbecue sauce taste..  It tasted like tomato sauce with some condiments thrown in and a splash of vinegar and water added.  Really reminded us both of a watered down ketchup base barbecue sauce we once had in Georgia.  The hot barbecue sauce was a little bit better, had more of a consistency to it and a tiny amount of heat, in fact they missed a good opportunity to create a decent barbecue hot sauce.  So barbecue sauce wise, it was barely

Next we tasted the barbecue meat, it was moist from being squirted down with what we used to call a “Mojo” sauce to keep it from drying out.  Not bad, but not great either, however, we knew we were in trouble barbecue wise when we walked in the front door and all we could hear was “Whoop, Whoop” coming from the kitchen.  The barbecue meat is pulled and then chopped to about ¼” sheds.  I don’t know the purpose,  other than making the barbecue meat go further or as a tenderizing method.

I divided the barbecue meat on my plate and added mild barbecue sauce to one side and hot barbecue sauce to the other side.  Tasting the mild barbecue sauce first it confirmed my initial observation of being a bland barbecue sauce.  Next I tasted the hot barbecue sauce side and while a bit better was nothing to write the Pope about.  I mixed them both together and shot more hot barbecue sauce on it to finish it off.

The sides item didn’t meet expectations either, the beans had a strange funky taste to them that I just didn’t care for.  Couldn’t figure out what they had put in them Pork-n-Beans but they should have left it out, I think it was some of that mild barbecue sauce.  Next on the taste test was the slaw, I didn’t care for that either, tasted like ground cabbage with tomato ketchup mixed in.  The fries were as expected and were the best of the side items along with the two fried veggie sticks.

My dining partner felt the same way about the barbecue sauces and the barbecue meat, the barbecue sauce being below average and the barbecue meat not faring any better.IMG_4360

Service was good, with the staff keeping our tea refilled and picking up the baskets after we’d eaten.

Pros:  Reasonable price, prompt service, adequate portion sizes,

Cons: Sauce needs help, over chopped meat

Southern Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Let's Do the Numbers:
Pulled Pork Barbecue:5.5 Stars (5.5 / 9)
Slaw:4.5 Stars (4.5 / 9)
Baked Beans:4 Stars (4 / 9)
Fries:6 Stars (6 / 9)
Fried Veggie Stiks:6 Stars (6 / 9)
Sauce:4 Stars (4 / 9)
Staff Friendliness:6 Stars (6 / 9)
Atmosphere:5 Stars (5 / 9)
Cleanliness:6 Stars (6 / 9)
Value:6 Stars (6 / 9)
Average:5.3 Stars (5.3 / 9)


Credit cards: Yes
Catering Service Available Yes
Recommendations Bring your favorite sauce with you
Suggestions Smoked Chicken Sandwich
Alcohol No
Ambiance Dine In/Take out
Service Country friendly
Vegetarian Friendly Ugh, it’s a q-joint, you figure it out
Price Range $
Health Score 94 (07-30-13)
Smoke Free Yes
Soft Drink Brand Pepsi



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are the honest opinions of the author and/or guest or guests who dined at this particular meal, and the BrownBag Review is solely responsible for its content. This opinion was not influence by any third party whatsoever. If and when you visit the reviewed restaurant your opinion may vary greatly. So as always YMMV! (Your Mileage May Vary) ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT OF THE BROWN BAG REVIEW unless otherwise noted, Use is by written permission only!