For reasons that I may get into at another time, I spent the last week driving to, sojourning in, and then returning from Alabama. The trip was unexpected and wasn't a vacation, so I did not go with a list of worthy restaurants to visit, nor did I pack a delightful array of healthy snacks for the trip. (I did, on the other hand, eat my first Burger King burger in 11 years and dined at The Red Lobster for the first time).
But while I was in Alabama, I did have the chance to visit the Roadfood website in search of a quality BBQ joint that happened to coincide with our long drive home. I found exactly what I was looking for in Bluff City, TN. Ridgewood Barbecue, which is on a beautiful, winding country road off of the beaten track, has been lauded by local barbecue enthusiasts and visitors alike. And the required detour was only a few minutes long.
And boy was it worth it. Dan and I shared a barbecued pork platter, which came with crispy golden French fries, rolls and a generous serving of sweet 'n' creamy slaw. But it was the heap of hickory-smoked pork, sprinkled with dark brown crispy bits from the outside of the pork as well as tender inside pieces, that really blew me away. It was undoubtedly the best barbecue I've ever eaten. I don't know how long they smoke the stuff, but whatever they do is just perfect. And I had a Mr. Pibbs soda, which was described as being "like root beer," but actually tasted like Dr. Pepper.
So, if you're ever driving through Tennessee, I strongly advise you to seek Ridgewood out. And if you do, please order the pork. You won't regret it.