Rogersville, Alabama –
In North Alabama barbecue is not just a cuisine, but a culture. Around here if you ignore the various types of barbecue, sauces, slaws and such without picking a favorite it is akin to having been born in Alabama and not picking Alabama or Auburn as your team to root for.
Whitt’s Barbecue got its start in 1960’s in Decatur, Alabama when Floyd Whitt, a premier bricklayer in the North Alabama area, who had a hobby of building barbecue pits built a small building in his back yard with a masonry BBQ pit. He had experimented with several designs and difference sauce and finally came up with the perfect combination. Laura, Floyd’s wife, dreamed of cooking and selling enough barbecue to put their four children through college, it was an idea that turned into the family tradition it is today. Floyd quit laying brick and turned his full attention to cooking barbecue and opened his first Q-joint on Labor Day of 1966. In the ensuing years, the Whitt’s sons following in their father’s footsteps and today all of the Whitt’s Barbecue restaurants are owned and operated by Floyd Whitt’s descendants and family.
Recently we visited Whitt’s Rogersville location that has been open for just a few years to check out their barbecue offerings. It was a pleasant bright sunny afternoon perfect for enjoying a barbecue plate while dining al fresco.
The Rogersville location is a walk up and place your order style service. They have four picnic tables under the front portico that customers can sit and enjoy their meals. There were a couple of tradesman there eating when we arrived. We studied the menu that is affixed to the front wall and decided to order the barbecue plates (what else?). I asked the young lady if the sauce was on the meat or if it came separate, she replied “on the side”. Score one for the “Home” team!
It only took a few minutes for the young lady to let us know to pick up our order at the window. We got our iced tea and take out plate and chose a table. We opened the take out box and as you can see from the pictures below all of the contents were pre-packaged into individual containers and the meat was wrapped in aluminum foil. All this exacts portion control and profit maximization I suppose.
We estimated there was about 5 – 6 ounces of meat and the portion size for the side items were in four ounce containers and the sauce was in a two ounce container. We unpacked the meat out of the aluminum foil and gave it a taste. It was moist, tender and had a slight smoky background flavor. Again, as we our review last week on Southern BBQ, the light smoky taste is traditional to the masonry brick chimney style method of cooking. In this style of cooking, the heat and cooking come from pre-burned hot coals, thus giving a lighter smoke flavor signature and enabling better fire management.
The naked meat was overall favorable and then we added the sauce to see how it complimented the meat. The sauce, which in our estimation is a combination of vinegar, tomato base, lemon, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and a shot of sugar to sweeten it a bit. The flavor combination was a good and added to the moistness of the meat.
As to sides, the BBQ beans were hyped up pork and beans, with onion, green peppers and Whitt’s thick sweet barbecue sauce added. The slaw was the finely ground up cabbage style with a sugar water base which as that type of slaw goes, wasn’t bad. The potato salad was just a run of the mill food service grade offering. Nothing to get excited about. The roll that was included in the meal was fresh and not dried out.
The iced tea we had was also good and we enjoyed it.
I visited Whitt’s again on the day after our first visit with a different dining partner. I again ordered the regular barbecue plate and the meal was consistent to the description above. One thing of note that we discovered, if you like a thicker sweet BBQ sauce it is available also, just ask for it when ordering.
While I didn’t taste the BBQ sandwich that my friend ordered, he said that it was good also and he enjoyed it.
So if you’re ever in Rogersville and find yourself hungry for barbecue, give Whitt’s a try and see if you like it.
|Recommendations||Use the Drive Thru and take it home|
|Ambiance||Walk up/Drive Thru|
|Vegetarian-Friendly||Duh!! It’s a Q-Joint, they sell SMOKED MEATS|
|Price Range||Most entrees $5 – $10|
|Health Score||90 (07-01-13)|