The time has come again to share with you my experience of eating at one of my favorite BBQ spots, Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack. I have known the owners, Barbara and Tim Johnson, for years. I am proud to call them my friends. They are just “great people”.
Cooter Brown’s has been around for a long time. It has pretty much remained the same since I ate there during my college years at Jacksonville State University. The old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” certainly applies to Cooter Brown’s. Their food is delicious!
So for my second “Dinner Out with INSIGHT”, I gathered a few friends and headed to Jacksonville, Al. We unfastened our belts to prepare for a phenomenal meal. You know the drill: appetizer, entrée, adult beverage, and dessert. Here we go!
One of the best appetizers I have ever eaten is Cooter’s Hillbilly Egg Roll. What is a Hillbilly Egg Roll you might ask? It looks like an ordinary egg roll on the outside, but the inside is what sets it apart from the rest. Inside, you’ll find Cooter’s homemade coleslaw mixed with their insanely delicious pulled pork. There is also a secret ingredient that can’t be shared. If you want to know more about these “pouches of goodness”, check out our story on how they’re made. Time for a drink.
We aren’t pairing wines with this meal, but tonight we are definitely going to try Cooter’s Juice for the first time. The first taste was a flavor explosion! My friends agreed. This drink reminded us of the beach. It was great eating and drinking on the screened porch. The ambience on the porch was so relaxing! The Cooter’s Juice is equal parts vodka, rum, and gin with equal amounts of orange, cranberry, pineapple juice and a splash of Sierra Mist. I highly recommend their specialty drink, but how many were consumed will remain a secret. Next, I prepared for the entrée.
When in Rome… I ordered the Half Slab Ribs, Dry with BBQ sauce on the side. For my sides, I went with the fried okra and the famous Cooter’s Cob. There is a reason that these ribs were voted in the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before you Die”. These ribs were smoked to perfection. You can definitely taste it, but it’s not overpowering. The color of the meat is perfect, and it’s so tender the meat literally falls off the bone. The dry rub they use is a great mix of spices. I couldn’t begin to guess what all goes in it, but I do know that you can purchase both their rub and BBQ sauce. Most people enjoy the sauce on their ribs, but my personal taste is to get them dry rubbed and dab them in the sauce as I go. There is also a good old-fashioned piece of white bread that comes with it. Its job is to sop up that delicious sauce as you eat.
The fried okra is on point with great breading. It’s crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. It’s not slimy at all. That can be an issue with some fried okra.
The star of the two sides had to be the Cooter’s Cob. This whole piece of corn is lathered with butter and grilled in foil with that great smoky flavor. An absolutely fantastic meal.
For the finale, I ordered the Peanut Butter Pie. Right out of the gate, I loved the combination of the flaky crust and the fluffiness (is that a word?) of the peanut butter whipped filling. It was topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate for good measure. It was rich but in a good way. A really perfect way to follow the entrée and a great way to end a phenomenal dinner with friends. I washed it down with my last sip of Cooter’s Juice, and we said our goodbyes.
Cooter Brown’s has always been one of my favorite places to eat, and it didn’t disappoint this night.
Until next time….Eat Like A Local!