BBQ Crawl stop five – the legendary Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ

We left Nashville about 2 pm and headed south to Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ in Decatur, Alabama. We rolled into their parking lot about 4:30, and on opening our car doors, were greeted with the most delicious smoke smell I think I’ve ever experienced.

Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q sign

Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q sign

The first thing we did was check out their wood pile, which was impressive, but not quite as big as I expected.

The wood pile at Big Bob Gibson's, which was not as large as I expected.

The wood pile at Big Bob Gibson’s, which was not as large as I expected.

There weren’t many people in the place, but it was before 5 pm on a Monday. As you walk in, you’re immediately greeted by a large number of 4-5 foot tall trophies from Memphis in May, one of the largest BBQ competitions in the country. Big Bob Gibson’s has a quite a few Memphis in May Grand Championships, including both 2013 and 2014, so they’ve been on their game in recent years. They also have a slew of first place Pork trophies. Given that introduction to the place, we had high hopes for some awesome BBQ.

Big Bob Gibson's Memphis in May 2014 Grand Champion trophy

Big Bob Gibson’s Memphis in May 2014 Grand Champion trophy

Some of Big Bob Gibson's Memphis in May trophies

Some of Big Bob Gibson’s Memphis in May trophies

We were not disappointed! We decided to try a little of everything, so I got the Little Bob Gibson Sampler (3 meats and two sides), and I chose brisket, pork, and chicken, with mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, and Amy got the Big Bob Gibson’s combo, with Ribs, smoked Turkey, collards, and beans.

The Little Bob Gibson sampler

The Little Bob Gibson sampler

Everything was delicious. The pork was chopped and had a lot of awesome bark and beautiful smoke ring.  The brisket had a great flavor, and was the most tender brisket we’ve had so far on our trip.  The ribs were tender, but with a nice chew, and were succulent and juicy, with a delicious sauce.  The chicken, with their famous Alabama white sauce, was very tasty, tender, and juicy.  I have to say I was most impressed with the Smoked Turkey, which was a couple of slices of awesomely tender, juicy, and smoky breast meat that was just a little salty.  We’re pretty convinced they must brine their turkey breasts, which probably contributed to both the slight saltiness (which I liked) as well as the tenderness.

All in all, it was the best barbecue we’ve had so far on the trip.  Nice to find a place that really lives up to its hype and press.  It was truly outstanding barbecue.  We got some takeout as well, since we were only four hours north of our eventual destination, Dothan.  We got a half pound each of the pork, brisket, and turkey, and they were all gone by lunch the next day – they were a big hit.  My only disappointment was that we had asked for a slice of peanut butter pie to go, but instead we got a pint of their coleslaw, which was odd.  The coleslaw, however, was delicious, so maybe that worked out for the best.  It was very finely diced with a vinegar sauce and some green bits that must be diced jalapeños or something, because it had some serious back of the throat kick.  Very tasty!  Probably some of the best coleslaw I’ve ever had, though I think it was diced too finely.

Every BBQ joint we visit from here on out has a much higher bar now, because Big Bob Gibson’s just delivered some of the best BBQ we’ve ever had!  Good luck, everyone, you’ve got tough competition.

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