Local food specialty: Birmingham & Tuscaloosa Alabama
Where or what should you eat to get a ‘true’ local Alabama food experience? One of the favorite foods of the south is barbeque.
Everyone has an opinion of where to find the best barbeque. While recommendations may vary from year to year, many people settle on a favorite and stick with it.
Each community also has its favorite, but one restaurant is a must try if you visit – Jim ’N Nick’s.
Eat local Alabama: Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
When you talk to people in Birmingham about what they can’t wait to eat when they return home, or where they take guests to give them a local experience, you will often hear about Jim ’N Nick’s.
When a friend prepared a one day indoctrination into Alabama living for my daughter, she included eating at Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q restaurant for dinner. Enough said in my book.
If that’s not enough of a recommendation for you, then look no further than the Birmingham airport. The first eatery you find on the other side of TSA security is a Jim ’N Nick’s. I’ve never eaten at this location because it’s always overflowing with patrons.
As further proof, a Jim ’N Nick’s food truck is located at the University of Alabama Quad during football tailgating. When we asked several people which food truck they recommended, all chose Jim ’N Nick’s as their favorite. It was also the preferred choice of our daughter.
Is Jim ‘N Nick’s local?
Like many restaurants that become local favorites, Jim ‘N Nick’s is now a franchise chain. When they were bought by Roark Capital in 2017 they had grown to 34 restaurants in 7 states.
At some point they may be a chain like Five Guys, but for now they are predominately a Southern institution. Started in 1985 by a father and son (Jim & Nick – big surprise), the first restaurant was an old converted pizza parlor in Birmingham, AL.
What to eat at Jim ‘N Nick’s
The menu is full of slow-cooked meats including brisket, chicken, pork, ribs, and sausage. I’ve also gotten recommendations for the fried catfish sandwich – another Southern tradition.
For a unique treat I recommend you try the pulled pork nachos – one of my daughter-s favorites.
Insider Tip: When you go the one food they are specifically known for is their cheesy biscuits. These little morsels of goodness can best be described as a sweet buttermilk biscuit filled with cheddar cheese.
Like most restaurants of its type, the food is moderately priced and I’d describe the atmosphere as casual dining. This would also be a very good choice for families, but beware the service can be a little slow making it easy to fill up on the biscuits before your food arrives.
A taste of Jim ‘N Nick’s at home
If you’re not in Alabama but you’d like to try the cheesy biscuits you’re in luck! You can purchase the biscuit mix, and some barbeque ingredients online from Jim ‘N Nick’s.
A second option is to make the Jim ‘n Nick’s Cheesy Biscuits copycat recipe at Christin Mahrlig’s website Spicy Southern Kitchen. While the post shows only 2 votes, the comments on this post are overwhelmingly positive. When I make the biscuits over the Christmas holiday I will post the results from a family taste test.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite spot you always go to eat – a local specialty?