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“Fantastic Place”
Review of Saw's BBQ

Saw's BBQ
Ranked #1 of 82 Restaurants in Homewood
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Madison, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Fantastic Place”
Reviewed 27 November 2013 via mobile

Great food and the staff formed instant connections with everyone. They walked around checking on people and it just had a fun atmosphere. The pulled pork is great and the stuffed potatoes are HUGE.

Visited November 2013
Thank jasruble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“An absolute wonderful epiphany”
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Let me say at the outset that I am not a barbecue fan. Growing up in the North, my family's idea of barbecued food was what Southerners refer to as "grilled". We would put barbecue sauce on chicken, head for a local park that offered grills, build a fire with hot coals, throw the chicken on, and call it a day. My cousin's mother made fall-off-the-bone ribs, but she did them in the oven, then just threw them onto her Weber for the finishing touch.
So I've never enthused when Southern friends said "Let us take y'all for some real barbecue!", because usually I was treated to a soggy bun that featured a few slices of semi-sweet pickle, some runny and very milky-tasting cole slaw, and a bunch of undecipherable meat I was assured had to be pork. Even the ribs I've ordered at those joints were either tough, or falling off the bone but tasteless.
I went to Saw's because I read about it on the Facebook page of someone whose taste I admire. And from the first bite, it was a revelation. So much so that when the three friends with me saw my expression, one anxiously asked whether I was all right. All right? I was having a Food Moment, that rarity where you realize you have never, ever tasted that particular food as it was truly meant to be, and your life will never be the same.
Crowded. Yes. But not uncomfortable. The atmosphere was so friendly, the music so perfect (James Cotton, I believe, then B B King) that I could almost believe I was back in the older South of juke joint days. It was hot, but the fan cooled things down just enough. The ladies behind the counter were very patient with me as I asked a multitude of menu questions, trying to decide between all the sides until one of my friends finally interrupted and ordered for me. BBQ pork combo with a sparerib, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad.
Well. Let me say this. If Saw's was in my neighborhood, I would eat there at least weekly, bring everyone I'd ever met there for lunch, and weigh a million pounds.
Coleslaw - not mayo based, for a change. Not runny. Just wet enough to seep into the meat when I put it on the sandwich, but not so wet that it made the bread soggy.
Potato salad - wonderful wonderful wonderful.
Sandwich - crunchy pickles and HUGE chunks of melt-in-your-mouth pork. Not the fatty pieces, the ones you try to avoid when you're on a diet, but the best parts; not too lean, not too fat, just right.
Sauce - we had several choices. Whatever they used for marinade (and I believe they sell it, too), it was wonderful. Just a hint of spiciness left on the tongue, not enough to detract from the flavor.
Bun - as normal, but tasted ten times better because of the quality between.
Sparerib - OMG. Ridiculously good. Just absurd. Huge amounts of meat, literally falling into my mouth. I could almost slurp it up.
The one item I could have done without was the baked beans, which were average. But really, who cared? The meal was stunning.
As my friends, all of them Southerners, watched me chowing down in delight, they exchanged amused glances and occasionally murmured "Uh-huh. That's real barbecue, son" inbetween their smiles.
I can't recommend this place highly enough. It changed my life. I will forever be in pursuit of barbecue as good, but I fear my quest will be doomed to failure.
Worth driving out of your way for. Heck, worth staying overnight so you can eat lunch and dinner and then take some home the next day!!!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank krashtest d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“5 Stars for this Restaurant”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

Saws was recommended by some of the locals. So I decided that my wife and I would try it. Gwen we got there, Jeff, a key employee, was placing chairs upside down on the tables, getting ready to close. We started to turn around and go somewhere else. Jeff was very friendly and assured us that we could dine in without feeling rushed.

I ordered a combo plate of ribs and chicken, with macaroni & cheese and green beans as the sides. My wife wanted a pulled pork sandwich. She ordered Mac & cheese also. I expected some of the food to taste bland and out of the can. To our pleasant surprise, the sides were homemade. Oh my goodness, you have GOT to try the macaroni & cheese. It was wonderful!

The meats? Let me put it this way...the ribs were some of the best I have eaten in a long time. The chicken was very delicious. My wife said the pulled pork practically melted in her mouth...it was very tender and tasty. The food was so good that I told Jeff that we were in town for the week, but we would be back before Heading back home.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TwoQuestions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Best BBQ in Birmingham”
Reviewed 25 October 2013 via mobile

Saw's has the best BBQ in Birmingham. The BBQ chicken is so tender it falls off the bone. The only downside is the crowds. The tables are much too close together to really enjoy your meal and you have folks waiting over you to get yours. I suggest calling in and taking you meal home.

Visited October 2013
Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena, Arkansas, United States
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A True BBQ Joint with BBQ Done Right!”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

All connoisseur's of the smoked swine know that the best BBQ doesn't come from "restaurants". It comes from BBQ Joints and Saw's proves it. When you walk through the front door your senses are bombarded with the savory smell of smoked meat and the feel that you are transported from downtown Homewood to a roadside shack with the pit smoking out back. The walls are covered with old signs, articles and pictures depicting people's love of BBQ and Alabama. You walk to the counter, place your order, find your spot at one of the dozen or so tables and wait for guys to bring out delicacies. That is when the real fun begins. I have tried ribs from Kansas CIty, St. Louis, the Carolinas, every BBQ place in Memphis, some supposedly world famous ribs from Tuscaloosa and several others and Saw's has the absolute best wet rib I have had the pleasure of eating. The ribs are well seasoned with a rub that blends just the right amount of spice and sweetness, then put on the smoker so that the sugars in the rub caramelize to create the texture. Once smoked to fall off the bone perfection, the ribs are coated in Saw's unique vinegar based sauce that is the perfect blend of Memphis and Carolina in my opinion. The best ribs. Period. The smoked chicken is tender, breast meat, smoked just right until it is savory and tender then served with a side of white BBQ sauce. The white BBQ sauce is creamy with the right bite brought on by the horseradish. Don't forget to finished off with their homemade banana pudding. Ribs in Birmingham = Saw's.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Donald K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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