The state of Alabama is home to many things considered #1. While I don’t agree with some of them (aka Auburn currently ranked #1 in the BCS), I do agree with one thing… they have some dang good barbecue. Having already been to a couple of the popular names of barbecue restaurants in Alabama, I was ready to try another. This time I visited Saw’s BBQ in the Homewood suburb of Birmingham, Alabama.
Saw’s BBQ is home to barbecue lovingly created by Mike Wilson, a professional chef who trained at Johnson and Wales University in Vail, CO. Originally from North Carolina; Mike Wilson is also the creator of his own famous “Saw’s Sauce”.
Tucked in a colorful row of shops on Oxmoor Road in Homewood, Saw’s BBQ is easily identifiable by the rusted sign with a logo of a pig hanging from the side of the building. Inside, Saw’s is littered from ceiling to floor with various old fashioned signs from decades past. Delicious smells of barbecued meats accompanied the loud noises from various conversations of the customers. I counted only about 12 or so fully occupied tables with bar-style seating against the large glass windows. Luckily for me, there were two tables available after I placed my order.
In addition to Saw’s BBQ three types of available barbecued meats (pulled pork, ribs, chicken), they offer hot dogs, various sides, insanely large stuffed baked potatoes, and dessert. Before arriving to Saw’s, I read a couple reviews about the place and everyone mentioned the pulled pork and the white BBQ sauce were the best. While I like pulled pork and all, but I can’t resist the temptation of barbecued ribs. Despite the fact that the pulled pork at Saw’s BBQ is Mike Wilson’s specialty, I was given that final push when the cashier told me she liked the ribs better. So for $10.95, I got the 4-rib plate with turnip greens and macaroni & cheese.
A steaming plate of ribs accompanied by two bowls of sides was hand-delivered by Mike Wilson himself. The macaroni and cheese was not bad. You definitely could taste the richness of the cheese but it needed some salt in my opinion. The turnip greens on the other hand were some of the best I’ve ever had. These greens already had vinegar mixed in with it, but it has a very sweet taste. I would have said it was cider vinegar, but it was much more sweeter. Definitely A+.
Most barbecue ribs I’ve had are laden with fat and cartilage but not Saw’s. These ribs are extremely large and meaty from end to end. I only encountered a small bit of cartilage and very little fat. This made eating the ribs much easier, as I didn’t have to navigate my way around the rib itself.
Each rib had a nice peppery bark and was slathered with heated Saw’s Sauce (hence the steaming). Saw’s Sauce definitely has North Carolina roots. With a vinegary base, this thin sauce was tangy and savory with only slight characteristics of spiciness and sweetness. With a preference towards vinegar-based barbecue sauces, I can definitely see why Saw’s Sauce a following. The combination of the savory, smoky meat, the saltiness from the dry rub, and the tangy sauce made for some of the best flavored ribs I’ve ever had.
If you ever find yourself in Birmingham and near the Homewood suburb, make your way towards Saw’s BBQ. This BBQ joint has the reputation of having some of the best BBQ in the area. I’ve heard others say the pulled pork and white sauce is some of the best. While I have no doubts about that, I know for sure their ribs are fantastic.
1008 Oxmoor Rd
Homewood, AL 35209
Bill Total: $12.75