Russellville, Alabama –
For this past week’s barbecue mission we had planned to visit Mullins Barbecue on Wilson Dam Road in Muscle Shoals. However, when we arrived they were closed. Normally, they are open on Fridays but I guess with all the construction going on they just said to heck with it. We look forward to trying to catch them open so we can sample their offerings.
Not to despair though as we always have a Plan B in place before we start the barbecue outing. This time Plan B was to take us to Russellville for lunch at a barbecue joint that been around since 1992.
We arrived at Pilgrim’s Place about 12:30 and with most of the lunch hour being over we pretty well had the dining room to ourselves. They still were doing a steady take-out business though.
Pilgrim’s has a daily lunch special offering a meat and 3 side items and with barbecue being one of the meats offered it was deal we couldn’t refuse for $6.00 a plate which included a glass of tea. I ordered the pulled pork, hot/mild sauce on the side, mustard slaw, baked beans, and fries. My dining partner ordered the same thing except he opted for a double order of fries instead of the beans.
We got our tea and asked for lemon and the lady taking our order said she would be bring some to our table so we went ahead took a seat. In a short while, the lady came to our table with two 2-ounce cups with lemon juice in them. That sort of shocked us a bit and the waitress didn’t mention they were out of lemons or lemon packs. But anyway, it was just something we hadn’t incurred before
The waitress brought out our plates and the fries were hot out of the fryer and everything looked pretty good so we started tasting the various offerings. The barbecue was tender, but a tad on the dry side. It had some bark mixed in with it which meant it had been on a real smoker. The mustard slaw was a recipe I had never encountered before, it had a front-side spice taste I couldn’t readily identify. It reminded me of the turmeric spice flavor but I’m just not positive, however, once the full impact of the mustard hit your taste buds it was gone. The mustard slaw was a bit on the sweet side and I would have liked to have had a little more vinegar added to offset the sweetness. The beans had started out as pork-n-beans, again where’s the food salesman with the Allen’s baked beans. They had been doctored a bit and then cooked till they were thick. The taste was not bad, but not great either, I would pass on them next trip. The fries were the standard crinkle cut and were what you would expect and were as I said above hot out of the fryer.
After I tried the meat and sides, it was on to the sauce, with the mild sauce getting first shot. Our conclusion is that it’s one of the Cattleman’s lines of sauces or some other commercial mild sauce. It wasn’t bad by any means, just that it was a commercial sauce and not a homemade one. The hot sauce was a bit different, it was a thinner sauce base with the addition of Frank’s Hot Sauce. Frank’s has a very distinct flavor profile and I can identify it quickly. Not a bad combination, but again, not overwhelming.
I mixed the mild sauce with the meat and it was overly sweet to my taste. I then mixed the hot with a sample of the meat and while somewhat better it was lacking also. I then mixed both sauces together and put them on the meat and the merger of the two extremes actually complemented each other. The tanginess of the hot sauce offset the sweetness of the mild sauce.
My dining partner did enjoy his barbecue meat and was pleased with it. His assessment of the sauce and the blending of the sauce was in concurrence with mine.
|Recommendations||Bring your own Lemon for your tea|
|Vegetarian-Friendly||Duh!! It’s a Q-Joint, they sell SMOKED MEATS|
|Price Range||Most entrees $5 – $10|
|Soft Drink Brand||Coke, can or bottle|
|Health Score||95 (08-15-13)|