Four college students walk into a smoky restaurant, sit at a table under a blaring TV and order up their class work for the day — two slabs of spare ribs dripping with reddish sauce, white bread on the side.
But this isn't lunch. It's writing about barbecue for an A. The four spent January visiting some of the South's best barbecue restaurants for course credit from Birmingham-Southern College in a self-designed class that combines heaping mounds of meat with academics, all spread across five states.
They sketched out a trip through Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. They stuck to places that specialize in pork because Southerners KNOW pork is the only real barbecue.
Now that sounds like tuition money well spent. I do loves me the 'que. And while I have had some delightful meals with wonderful company in beef-centric Texas, I am firmly in the pork / vinegar camp.
Every summer on the way to the beach, a trip to Sauls Cafe is required. And the sting of coming home at the end of the week is always softened by lunch at Cowlings.
I'm not a huge fan of ribs - they're just too much work and you get covered in crap - unless we're talking about the dry rubbed ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis. Then we're talking ribs.