Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dreamland - Mobile, AL

We pulled into Mobile after a long day of driving (all the way from Dallas). I was on a mission to hit Dreamland before dark. We made it in time and the anticipation was high. People that I have met over the last few months have really talked this place up to the point I didn't think it could live up to my scrutiny, or its own reputation.

This is one of those times where the hype is actually substantiated and I couldn't be happier. First, let's debunk a few of the myths that always need busting. I'm not looking for a fancy place. The plainer it is the better. Generally speaking, the closer a place is to being shut down by the health dept, the better the Q is. Next, is the portions. I'm not looking for a side of ribs that look like that one Fred Flinstone gets in the opening of the Flinstones cartoon that turns his car over on the side. And finally, I'm not looking for some spectacular crust or set of spices or whatever. Its about how the meat, the sides, and the place all come together to make for a true Q experience. Well, my dear friends, Dreamland delivers.

The ribs are delicious. The sauce is a thinner, hot sauce type of sauce. It has a kick that I cannot really describe. It is a little sweet, little vinegar, little spicy.... Again - It is hard to describe. The sauce isn't really that special UNTIL it hits those ribs. There is some magical combination that takes place. Before you know it you are dipping that plain white bread slices in the sauce and mopping it up off the plate!! The ribs have a nice smoky flavor, and the meat pulls right off the bone. They are tender and juicy and not too fatty. The beans are real baked beans. The slaw is good, and the sweet tea is some of the best.

One word I could use to decribe the BBQ here is "authentic". It is kind of like eating the best BBQ you have ever had at a family reunion cook out somewhere in the twighlight zone. You had always hoped the food would be this good but it never was. It all comes together to create a party in your mouth. I can say without a doubt, this place is one of the best BBQ places I have eaten at so far. It gets high points for everything - AND NO MSG like Corky's and some of the other places. This means my wife could enjoy everything too. I bought two quart jars of the sauce to take home.

The price was right too. You can get a nice meal here easily for under $10, and a sandwich for half that.

I would give Dreamland a 9.5 - our highest rating ever. If I lived within 50 miles of this place I would make the drive today. If I lived in one of the cities where this place was, they would know me on a first name basis and I would weigh about 500 pounds.

Now I have to hit Tuscaloosa, to try the original location and see if it gets any better, although I don't know if that is possible.

If any of you know any other places that think they can hang with Dreamland, send me the information and we'll put it to the test.

Big Daddy

No comments: