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“Best BBQ in the Southeast”

Golden Rule Barbecue-irondale
Ranked #2 of 28 Restaurants in Irondale
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Reviewed 1 June 2018

If you don't come to the Golden Rule in Irondale (the original) for the incredible pulled pork barbecue, I don't know why you're there.

If you come looking for Memphis barbecue, North or South Carolina barbecue, Kansas, or Texas barbecue -- or just an ordinary meal, you're in the wrong place. This is Birmingham, Alabama pulled pork barbecue -- and is the best in town. They've been doing it since 1891 and I think they've figured it out by now.

I've traveled much of the U.S. and have purposely checked out dozens (hundreds?) of barbecue "joints" across the country.

Each area has their favorites but I consider the Golden Rule as the hands-down best in the Southeast, as well as in the Birmingham/Bessemer area. The pork meat is cooked to perfection -- not dry, not "mushy", not greasy, and not soaked in sauce and dipped out of a pot (common in the North). Side items such as potato salad, fried okra, and baked beans are as good as it gets.

If I have any complaint, it's that they have only once sauce, which is very good and well balanced between sweetness and tartness. I would be a little happier if there were a couple of other choices, including one more vinegary (like North Carolina), and more sweet (like Kansas and Texas). Forget the mustard-based sauce (like South Carolina).

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Thank alhearn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 93 reviews

Reviewed 11 May 2018

We enjoyed a nice meal at this restaurant. Portions were tasty and quite generous. It is hard to assess the taste in comparison to some of my other reviews because I have been dieting since Jan 2018 and this was a splurge! So needless to say, every carb was delightfully ingested. I had ribs and chicken, and the chicken was a bit dry for my tastes. Of course, dunking each bite in barbecue sauce made it easy to forget that point.

Thank Earl F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2018 via mobile

And that about sums it up. It was almost like they were trying to get rid of it all on a Sunday night. Sides were okay... The salad was sparse and filled with iceberg lettuce, cheese, and two grape tomatoes cut in half. Generous. Waitress remembered my order correctly and was good about replenishing the drink, but the BBQ itself was just so darned dry. Good the sauce was in abundance. This restaurant has really gone downhill in the last decade or so, and that's a shame. It used to be a treat to eat here. I also noticed the waitresses beginning side work to close up with an hour left until closing time. Some folks who arrived after 7:15 were clearly hurried along. I would not have liked that if I were in their shoes!

Thank Ken K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2018

Nice smoke to the tender and flavorful chopped pork sandwich. The sauce is tomato based, rather than vinegar. The coleslaw is a sweet and sour vinegar based salad. Baked beans are sweet with a hint of cinnamon. The lemon icebox pie has vanilla cookie crust and was the perfect finish. I got it for take-out so I could continue to watch the Olympics.

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Thank DrPezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2018

Stopped by tonight (Monday FEB 12)to eat steak dinner. Meal was pretty average.Went to the bathroom as I had a pain block for my back and was traveling the shortest distance. Coming back to my table my older blond waitress goes off on me. Never seen anything like it. The young blond waitress who happens to see me looks stunned. Good service is also how you treat people. The lack of manners, sympathy and common sense I experienced first hand. But you don't have to. Both of us can simply go elsewhere to eat. Know before YOU go!!

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Thank rulistening2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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