For the last eight or nine years, we’ve headed toward the Redneck Riviera for Labor Day weekend where we share a house with two other families. We’re always looking for a faster route and, about three years ago, we settled on the path that we now take:
- I-85 South to Waugh, AL
- AL80 to AL85 to US231 to Troy
- AL87 South into FL
- right on FL20 towards Freeport, FL, then
- US331 south to Highway 98 between PCB and Destin.
For the turning point onto AL87 the reference point is Country’s Barbecue. How many times can you pass by the same barbecue place without stopping? The count, for me, was six.
I ordered the “Conflagration Plate”. Two reasons: 1) I didn’t know that anyone in Alabama could use the word “conflagration” correctly in a sentence, so I had to see what it was; and 2) I knew in my heart that if the barbecue was not exceptional that I’d never get away with stopping there again.
The conflagration is all three of the meats they serve (pork, beef, beef ribs) with two sides. I chose the pork pulled and the beef sliced. They had three sauces – thick and sweet, thinner and hotter and thin, vinegary and hot.
The pulled pork with a combination of sweet and hot on white bread made a relatively tasty sandwich. The sliced brisket was miserable – think sandwich sliced roast beef. But it tasted worse than lunch meat. I ate two slices, slathered in different sauces, but it reminded me of the roast beef pho I ate near the office one day. (The only lesson there was never order it again.) The beef rib was the best of the three – a good bit of meat that actually tasted like it had been smoked.
At least, we won’t have to worry about stopping there again.