Say the word Dreamland to anybody here or in Tuscaloosa ( or probably anywhere else in Alabama) and they'll say "RIBS!". Dreamland has been cooking ribs since they opened their first place outside of Tuscaloosa back in 1958. As the story goes, John "Big Daddy" Bishop was a hard working mason. One night he got on his knees a prayed for another way to make a living. That night he dreamed of opening a café! I love that story!
I visited the original Dreamland years ago. The menu consisted of ribs, white sandwich bread, and sauce, period. No chips, no slaw, no beans, ......oh but they had beer! :) If you got hungry waiting on your ribs, you just ordered a cup of sauce and dipped your bread in it. (I am not making that up!) And the place was so small that they stored the bread out back in an old delapidated car! Today Birmingham has it's own Dreamland on the southside. A good deal larger, and I cased the joint and there was no sign of bread stored in a vehicle of any kind. The menu has also expanded but they still cook the ribs on an open pit in the back. And for the record, their banana pudding will make you want to slap your grandmomma!
A few of my students joined me this past week for a little photo shoot. Today, the stools emblazoned with the likeness of Big Daddy Bishop and the license plates nailed all over the place.
As their slogan says, "Ain't nothing like em - nowhere!"