Mr. Handsome recently got hooked on the Netflix show Chef’s Table. During the BBQ Series, he learned about chef Rodney Scott and was thrilled to find out that Rodney has a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama, which is only a couple hours from Nashville.
Rodney Scott grew up cooking hogs for his family’s store/restaurant in South Carolina, where they used the old-fashioned technique of smoking whole hogs over real wood coals. It’s a very labor-intensive technique that involved Rodney chopping wood, preparing hogs, and monitoring the huge smoker pits for hours in order to keep the temperature consistent and create a delicious smoky flavor. Rodney eventually started his own restaurant and continues to use the same techniques that his family has used for generations. He won the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southeast Award in 2018.
While driving through Birmingham recently, we had the opportunity to visit the restaurant. No, that’s not quite right. Here’s what really happened: We were looping around the outside of the city, on our way to the beach, when Mr. Handsome suddenly exited the interstate and parked at the nearest gas station. Taking out his phone, he announced that we absolutely had to eat at Rodney Scott’s, even though it was 3:00 in the afternoon.
Mr. Handsome was giddy with anticipation as we pulled into the restaurant. As soon as we opened the car door, we were hit with the smell of BBQ smoke wafting across the hot pavement. Little Buddy could sense the excitement and exclaimed, “I’m hungry like Daddy!”
The restaurant had a window where you could see the large BBQ pits and watch the chefs work. Little Buddy loved watching and proudly stated, “Look Mommy, there’s a fire.”
I enjoyed the BBQ, although it ended up not being my favorite style. They use a vinegar-based BBQ sauce, which is the traditional South Carolina style, while I like more of a sweet sauce (Kansas City style). Mr. Handsome, on the other hand, loved the meat, and Mommy and Little Buddy loved the fries, green beans, and coleslaw. So we all had a great experience.