Deep South (Tampa): BJ's Alabama BBQ

The only thing better than eating good barbecue is scouting for new and interesting restaurants.  Lucky for me to stumble across BJ's Alabama BBQ this morning.  The plume of white smoke coming from the chimney caught my eye as I headed north on S. Dale Mabry.  When a buddy called to tell me he was swinging through the area around lunch, we agreed this would be a good place to meet.

We both opted for the lunch special... $6.50 gets you any one of their seven different sandwiches, plus one side and a drink.  I ordered the chopped pork.  It came piled high with (mostly) lean chunks of pork and a healthy dollop of sweet BBQ sauce.

BJ's has an impressive selection of soul-food-esque side items, so ONE side would definitely not be enough for me.  In addition to the collards and macaroni & cheese I ordered, they also offer corn on the cob, jalapeno peppers (not poppers), potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, green beans, BBQ beans, and corn bread.  The collards were seasoned with big chunks of pork and the mac-n-cheese arrived in a perfect square mass of elbows and melted cheddar.

BJ's also makes homemade iced tea which is becomingly increasingly rare.  A little half-sweet and half unsweet was right on.

BJ's is open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday & Monday.  Seating is kind of tight inside, but once the weather warms up, the table and chairs in front will be quite comfy.  Catering is available.

3307 S. Dale Mabry Hwy., 813-374-0219

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