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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