This weekend, we made our semi-annual pilgrimage to Ikea in Atlanta. (Ikea, if you’re reading this, Birminghamsters would be overjoyed with a store in our town. That goes double for you, Trader Joes.) Usually we end up coming back from these trips quite late. But this time, we were so excited by our purchases that after stopping by the Concept Cars exhibit at the High Museum (which has reciprocity with the Birmingham Museum of Art so the exhibit was discounted and was amazing!), we headed home in time for dinner on the road.
Given the semi-regular frequency of our trips to Atlanta, we are becoming familiar with the food options along this corridor. There’s one place that several of my friends have told me I have to try, and that’s Butts to Go.
This place is right off the road near Lake Martin, about 40 minutes from Bham. We passed it 3 times before we found it because…. It’s in a Texaco. Bonus points for us for finding another restaurant in a gas station! We also needed to fill up (we were hanging on at 1/8th of a tank). Classic two birds with one stone moment.
Note the meat cooking area to the left of the station. I wish I could have taken a picture of the delicious smell of BBQ wafting through the air.
First, off to the pumps. As if the smell wasn’t enough, that adorable pig logo just made me want some pulled pork.
Into the convenience store we went. Orders are taken under the sign just past the cash register. While we were there, the line was nearly out the door.
Here’s the menu:
This place is all about the meat. We ordered pulled pork and a chicken breast sandwich, with cole slaw and potato salad. They are served plain and you control what goes on top, which I like:
Here are the BBQ sauces:
After tasting them all (and they are all great-and locally produced, I might add!) we picked Rob’s from Chelsea, AL:
Rob’s BBQ sauce came in regular and spicy and was flavorful and not too tomato-y. Mr. Foodie and I agreed that it went perfectly with everything we ordered.
The meat was out of this world-tender, juicy, and smoky. There we were, sitting at a table in a gas station store among the M&Ms, sodas, and convenience items, oohing and aahing over every bite of this unexpectedly amazing BBQ. The sides were good-cole slaw was nice and creamy, and the potato salad was actually baked potato salad and was the perfect accompaniment to the smoky meat.
As we learned as we chatted with the gentleman who gave us our food and the gentleman behind the register, they take great pride in their meats. When I asked who was responsible for tending to the meat, they both grinned and said they shared that job. They told us that the sides and BBQ sauce are special ordered locally-and while they didn’t say this exactly, I inferred this was so they could focus on their passion-meat. They thanked us and waved goodbye as we headed back to Bham.
Butts to Go is a unique roadside experience… And is only 40 min from Bham. Well worth the trip.