Down in Alabama between two small towns on an old, dusty county road is one of the south's best kept secrets; Uncle Billy's Barn Cooked BBQ.
Billy Chawhock has been feeding locals around here for about six years now and he got his start one day because of a rainstorm that drove him and his homemade 55 gallon drum grill into the old horse barn out back of his family home. "We were having company over so I was gonna fire up the barrel and throw on some ribs and maybe some bird. But then this big dark cloud came by and chased us both into this old barn."
The old barn is indeed that; old and decrepit but even after well over a hundred years, it's still holding itself in place.
"My great, great grandaddy built this shed back in 1888 to go with the house he had completed a few years before. He was a horse doctor and ran his business out of this very spot, doing everything from fixin' colicky geldings to delivering colts what came out upside down and back'ards."
Over on one far wall was what appeared to be a riveted iron plate with several doors in it. Billy chimed in, "That's was Grandaddy Chawhock's suit of vet'nary armor, so that when he had to reach inside one of those critters, he didn't have to be frettin' about getting kicked into the next county!"
Upon closer inspection, we could see several dents in the old metal plate... meaning that the item had indeed done its job.
Uncle Billy's menu for the day would include ribs and what he calls, 'yanked pig'. It wouldn't take long, either, before the old barn was all but surrounded by pick up trucks that disgorged hoards of rednecks that left behind trails of second-hand snuff and chewing tobacco.
"They know what time to show up, they sure do." the cook commented.
As we settled down with a plate of Uncle Billy's, we couldn't help but note how the old horsey-smell that permeated the barn seemed to mix with the aroma, and even the flavor of the barbecue. Our host knew right away exactly what we were thinking, too, "You ain't gonna find that mix anywhere else. It was that blending of smell and taste that got me into this business to begin with, yessiree!" he said shovling down a bite of his own cooking.
It is, well... unique, to say the least.
Uncle Billy's Barn Cooked BBQ is open Monday thru Friday from 3pm to 6pm and is located off County Road 188 about halfway between the towns of Notasulga and Loachapoka.