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Big Bob Gibson's and Moe's in Decatur and Huntsville

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  • mgaretz
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 809
    • San Ramon, CA
    • Mark Garetz
      Rec Tec pellet grill
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    Big Bob Gibson's and Moe's in Decatur and Huntsville

    I was working at a place that was literally 50 yards from Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur AL last week. I went for lunch. I ordered the pulled pork and my sides were cole slaw and baked beans. It also came with rolls. I had high hopes.

    The rolls were the best part. The pork was tasteless and watery. It had some bark so you could tell it was smoked at some point, but it seemed like it suffered from being held too long in steam, most likely. It had no smoke flavor. The red sauce was uninspiring. The baked beans were OK, looked like Heinz beans with some jalapeno and they were less than warm. The cole slaw was totally disgusting. It was as if they had taken cabbage and ground it to a pulp with some vinegar. I mean the pieces of cabbage were the size of ground pepper. I also tried some of the famous white sauce. Meh. A vinegar-heavy mayo with some black pepper. Not my thing.

    A few nights later I ate at Moe's. I know it's chain but it was right across from the hotel and I didn't feel like driving anymore. Had the ribs and baked beans and cole slaw. The ribs tasted like they were made in a crock pot. Completely flavorless except for the sauce, which was Ok and better than Gibson's. The cole slaw was also vinegar-based but at least there were discernible pieces of cabbage in it. It was edible. The beans were much like Gibson's also just warm. $16 and served in a paper fries tub with plastic utensils.

    I wouldn't go back to either place.
  • EdF
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 3199
    • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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    Thanks for the warning - will keep in mind next time I'm in Huntsville.


    • jgreen
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 2688
      • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
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      What a disappointment. Sucks when you were hoping for some at least reasonable BBQ.


      • JCBBQ
        Club Member
        • Jan 2016
        • 1068
        • Jersey City, NJ
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        Wow. What a bummer.


        • FireMan
          Charter Member
          • Jul 2015
          • 7464
          • Bottom of Winnebago

          Double wow! I wonder what Chris will say about this when he hears of it.


          • Nate
            Charter Member
            • Apr 2015
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            Dang... was seriously considering road tripping to Big Bob Gibsons for my birthday in January... not sure it would be worth the 6 hour drive now or not.... Went to 17th st last year and got to meet Mike Mills... that was a good birthday trip.


            • Steve R.
              Club Member
              • Jul 2016
              • 2216
              • Elizabethtown, KY
              • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Ranch Kettle w/ Guru adapter.

              I can only comment on Big Bob's, since I haven't been to Moe's. I kind of agree about the slaw, not a fan of the minced style. I don't recall not liking the beans. But I also don't judge a BBQ joint by the sides, so take that for what it's worth. As for the meat, that wasn't my experience at all when I was there in June. And I got there about 30 minutes before closing time on a Saturday night. Definitely the best restaurant pulled pork I have had.
              Last edited by Steve R.; December 11th, 2017, 07:58 PM.


              • Skelly
                Club Member
                • Jul 2016
                • 95
                • Tuscaloosa, AL

                I'm from Alabama and have eaten at Big Bob's one time. It was pretty good, but nothing amazing. I got the smoked chicken with the white sauce. Moe's is a joke in my opinion. I ate at the original in B'ham and thought "this is pretty good stuff", but then they branched out and it's been downhill ever since.

                I'm an original only guy it seems, because I love the original Archibald's and original Dreamland (but only those 2) in Tuscaloosa. Not even the Dreamland a few miles down the road in Northport (which most people just call Tuscaloosa because it's basically a suburb). To illustrate, the "Archibald's and Woodrow's" that branches off of Archibalds...I order wings when I go there. They're quite good, but you shouldn't be going to a pork "guru" for the wings.

                My favorite restaurant Q in Alabama is Saw's. If you find yourself in Birmingham, go there. And please don't encourage them to expand.


                • DWCowles
                  Founding Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 9763
                  • Smiths Grove, Ky
                  • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

                  Different folks, different taste. I will still check out Big Bob Gibson’s this Summer when we go to pickup my new smoker. I’m not a big fan of coleslaw anyway. I want to check out their chicken with the white sauce.


                  • Spinaker
                    Spinaker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    New smoker? Do tell........

                  • DWCowles
                    DWCowles commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thought you knew Spinaker about the Shirley 30x60 cabinet model on trailer with insulated firebox. It’s like the one on their website.

                  • Spinaker
                    Spinaker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Oh yes, I do remember now. I will be curious to hear what you think of that insulated box. That is what i am planning for my offset, as well. DWCowles
                • Willy
                  Charter Member
                  • Apr 2015
                  • 1792
                  • High Desert of the Great Southwest

                  I used to visit Huntsville on business a lot. Made it once to Gibson's--nothing special. I think there is a BIG difference between being a top cook on the Q circuit and providing excellent food in a restaurant on a daily basis. For that matter, I didn't ever find a Q place in Huntsville that was any better than so-so. OTOH, there is (was?) a tiny little shack just past the river on the east side of the highway (south end of town) that served pretty tasty Southern/Cajun foods (not Q) for not much money. Across the highway was a meat and three that looked like two trailers had T-boned each other. It was decent, too. Then, there was Bubba's Sushi Joint--long since deceased, but quite good. I was always a fan of Bonefish Grill-despite it being a chain.

                  Try the Greenbriar Restaurant--the one well north of the E-W freeway, not the one right on the freeway. I'm not so sure that food is that special, but it has (had?)...character, plus free hushpuppies.


                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Sadly the Cajun Cafe just south of the river has gone out of business.
                • Huskee
                  Pit Boss
                  • May 2014
                  • 14761
                  • central MI, USA
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                  Wow, good to know. We have a famous doughnut shop here in my town that also has a diner next door and they offer "smoked meats". Their pulled pork is exactly how you describe mgaretz, watery, zero smoke flavor, and tastes steamed or oven-cooked at best So disappointing. Almost made me mad that they call it smoked, felt like picketing out front, lol.


                  • jfmorris
                    Club Member
                    • Nov 2017
                    • 2808
                    • Huntsville, Alabama
                    • Jim Morris

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                    Big Bob’s is famous for inventing that white sauce, which is really for their chicken. Their pork is nothing special. I’ve got a Moe’s BBQ about 1/4 mike from my house in Huntsville, and their BBQ is ok, but I would rather eat my own. It’s a chain, and I would probably prefer Dreamland in Tuscaloosa over Moe’s for pulled pork. Usually when I eat at Moe’s it’s because we are going out to meet people and that is the place they want to meet. I order their smoked wings, which are smoked and then flash fried to crisp them up, and tossed in a mildly spicy sauce. They are really good, but that’s about all I eat there.


                    • Willy
                      Willy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Is the Dreamland in Huntsville gone?

                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No. The Dreamland is still here in Huntsville, out on University Drive. The only thing to ever disappoint me there was their ribs, and maybe it was a bad day for them or something. It is cool to watch the guy cooking on the large open masonry fire pit. Something I like about seeing a real wood fire, and someone wrestling with dozens of slabs of ribs and butts using 6 foot long utensils.

                    • MattSayar
                      MattSayar commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I still get those wings from Moe's every time I'm in town (annually). Some of the best I've had, but there's a tiny place in DC called Due South that actually does them better with the same technique. I've nearly replicated it at home, but it's so, so much easier to just toss them on the grill for 90% of the same result
                  • Ray
                    Charter Member
                    • Sep 2014
                    • 222
                    • Central IN
                    • ​Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill/smoker
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                      Favorite wine: Cabernet Savignon, some Super Tuscans

                    jfmorris I've been to the Dreamland restaurant in Tuscaloosa and really enjoyed it. We had ribs and some sides; ribs just seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked over an open pit burning oak logs. Loved it, had a chance to chat with the pitmaster and took a pic with him (haha). Great experience!


                    • DWCowles
                      Founding Member
                      • Jul 2014
                      • 9763
                      • Smiths Grove, Ky
                      • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

                      I’m definitely going to pay a visit to Dreamland.


                      • Skelly
                        Skelly commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Only the original. Please. Hell, I'll meet you there and buy you a rack if you'll just eat the original.

                      • DWCowles
                        DWCowles commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It will be next Summer before I get to Alabama but I’m going to the original Dreamland BBQ restaurant.

                      • jfmorris
                        jfmorris commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Good to hear it. You will be there to pick up your smoker anyway. I prefer this to Big Bob’s chicken, but if on a bbq pilgrimage get your ribs at Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, and some chicken with white sauce when going through Decatur.



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