Jo always says that it’s not a matter of if she’ll get food poisoning, but rather when. Today, as we got back in the car, she began to sing, “This. Could be the day.”
And thus ended the story of our first agreed-upon epic barbecue failure. Driving to Scottsboro, AL, we had stopped in Fort Payne to run in a couple of stores and I asked about barbecue nearby. The clerk said to go to the Bar B Q Place, “it’s up on the right, used to be run by the father, now it’s the son. Best barbecue around.” I asked about sauces, hoping for north Alabama white sauce. “They got plenty of sauces was the reply.”
She was not completely incorrect in the last statement. And if she was right that it was the best barbecue around, God pity Fort Payne.
So we drove up and found the sign above. We didn’t know that it was not just vegans they would offend. As we walked in, I saw a small tombstone saying that their Jo Jos were one of the 100 Alabama dishes to eat before you die. A quick Google revealed that Jo Jos are battered and fried potato wedges or slices. “And they originated in Elyiria, OH”, I added (for bonus points) after Jo asked me what they were and I explained. I figured there would be another stop later, so we’d share something. Apparently, Saturday is “rib day” (the only day that they have them), so we ordered a half slab and a small pork plate with two sides – baked beans and the Jo Jos.
I don’t generally post overly negative reviews. In fact I try to find something positive to say about every place. For the positive:
The sweet tea was good. And they did have Heinz ketchup.
As to everything else:
The baked beans were the color of (and flavor of) canned baked beans. And not even Van Camps, more like generic grocery store brand baked beans. And they added nothing (brown sugar, maple syrup, bacon) to them to improve the flavor.
The Jo Jos might have been good, had they been recently fried. As it was, they were greasy and kind of cold. It’s rare that I don’t devour fried potatoes, but between the two of us, we only managed to eat three and a half of the wedges.
The pork was extremely dry and fairly flavorless. The sauces couldn’t add enough flavor.
And then there were the ribs. They were very smoky (a positive). But they were very salty, very peppery and very tough. It was a generous portion for a half slab. It’s a shame that they were so bad. We ate three, when you include the parts we spit out.