Florence, AL – Sledge’s Bar-B-Que is one of the better kept barbecue secrets in the Florence area. Just ask anyone where Sledge’s Bar-B-Que is located and 2 out of 3 will say “I have no idea.” Well, fear not, because after reading this you will want to go visit Sledge’s Bar-B-Que and you’ll be able to give explicit directions on how to get there.
Sledge’s Bar-B-Que has been on The Brown Bag Review’s radar for nearly a year and after our visit we wished that we hadn’t waited so long.
For our first visit, Debra and I went out for lunch on a Saturday and arrived shortly before 1 pm. They were doing a brisk lunch business with customers ordering for dine-in and to go. We placed our orders at the counter, paid the bill, got our cups and went into the dining area. We found a table and then filled our cups from the Coke products fountain machine.
Debra ordered a Rib Plate ($8.95) which was four spare rib bones and two sides. She opted for the fries and coleslaw as her sides. I ordered the barbeque plate ($7.25) which also came with two sides, I also chose the baked beans and mustard slaw.
Since the place was busy, we did have to wait about 10-15 minutes to get our order delivered to the table, but the wait was worth it.
Debra’s rib plate looked great, the ribs has some good bark on them and a great smoky flavor. The rib meat was a pretty shade of smoked redness, juicy and tender. After Debra tasted them, she wished she had ordered the six bone plate. The mayo based coleslaw was good, but nothing out of the ordinary and the fries were your standard restaurant quality crinkle cut fries.
My barbeque plate also looked very good, there was a good portion of pulled pork, but I was disappointed that the sauce came preinstalled on the meat. Had I know that up front, I would have passed on that option and gotten the meat straight up. The beans looked good and the slaw was visually appealing.
I tasted the barbeque and even with the pre-installed sauce it was still good, however, if the sauce had been omitted, it had the potential to be above average. When I go back for que, I’ll opt out of the pre-installed sauce. The beans started out life as Pork-N-Beans but had been doctored up to the point that they were pretty good beans. The slaw was a fairly good rendition of the mustard style slaw, while not the best mustard slaw I’ve ever eaten, it was slightly above average.
A few weeks after our first visit, my fellow Roadfood buddy Jim and I paid a visit to Sledge’s on a Friday, arriving at about 11:00 am. Business was booming, and we luckily scored a parking place in front of the building. The dining room was nearly full of area tradesmen and workers. We had to stand in line to order for about five minutes, but that was no sweat.
Jim ordered a cup of the Brunswick stew ($3.95), along with a Barbeque plate ($7.25), with sides of Mac & Cheese and baked beans. I ordered the Brisket platter ($9.95), with sides of fries and mustard slaw.
It took a little longer on this trip to get our food because of the lunch crowd. I think every workman in 20-mile radius must have shown up for lunch. Another reason might also have been was that this was two before Christmas and even tradesman love to eat Barbecue around the holidays.
We both started taste testing our choices and Jim thought the Brunswick stew had a good taste but felt it needed to be cooked a while longer as the texture was more like veggie beef soup than Brunswick stew. He also liked the pork barbeque even with the pre-installed sauce. After Jim had sampled the Mac N Cheese, he thought it was nothing special and tasted like the stuff out of a box. The baked beans fared a bit better, he thought while not as tasty as BBQ beans, the baked beans were OK.
From the first bite of the brisket, I knew we had a flavor winner, even though I felt the meat was a tad bit on the dry side. The meat had a good smoke ring on it and even with it being a bit dry I would eat it again. Jim’s take on the brisket was that it tasted very good and was tender also.
The fries I ordered were just your standard restaurant quality fries, better than the clown’s burger joint fast food fries, though. The mustard slaw was good also with a tangy taste that played well with the smoked brisket.
Sledge’s is located on Golden Pond Road, which is off Chisholm Road. Golden Pond road is 3.6 miles north of the Cox Creek Parkway and Chisholm Road intersection. Actually, it’s only a 5-minute drive from Cox Creek Parkway. Sledge’s does have limited hours and are open 11:00 – 7:00 pm on Thursday and Friday, and 10:00 am – 3 pm on Saturday. Inside seating is available and they have a separate room for groups. We would suggest however you call ahead to reserve the room if you’re bringing a group.
Click on an image to open the gallery