Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dreamin' of Some Ribs


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!"

19 comments:

Pierre said...

Just discovering your beautiful pictures... The essence of the South!

Rambling Round said...

Great shot of the stools and tags! Your description sure does make me want to go there. Guess I'll have to try the one in Tuscaloosa.

Suzanne said...

Those stools look pretty sharp compared to my memory of the location in Tuscaloosa. Having moved to New Orleans two years ago, I've been going through barbecue withdrawals. Just thinking about the ribs at Dreamland is making my mouth water, and making me homesick for Alabama!

FireLight said...

OK....next time we dine together....take me to Dreamland!
I just love that you had a first time visitor from France drop by for this post!! {warm smiles}

altadenahiker said...

Big Daddy, and ribs, and wonderbread dipped in bbq sauce. I love when you get all Southern on us.

Virginia said...

Firelight,
Actually Pierre is Venice Daily PHoto!:) And oui, we'll put Dreamland on for the next trip.

Hiker,
I get all "southern" even in France!:)

Suzanne,
I hope you will give me a call when you're in town. I"ll eat some ribs in your honor in the meantime.

RR,
I'd love to know if the Tuscaloosa one is still so "homey"!

Pierre,
I took a look at your blog. OH MY your photos of Venice are marvelous.

Birdman said...

If the Doc wasn't lookin' I love to take in a plate or two. Love ribs... pre op. The license plates would be of great interest to me.

Daryl said...

Wonderful post, if I ate meat my mouth would be watering but that pudding is making my sweet tooth ache

bfarr said...

Cool shot.

Hilda said...

What a fun way to decorate the café! I wonder if they have any from the Philippines. ;)

Virginia said...

Hilda,
PLEASE send me one from your lovely home and I'll personally see that it gets nailed in a very special place. :)

BFARR,
Merci. Come visit and we'll have some ribs. :)

Daryl and Birdman,
Awww i hate to hear that.

Tash said...

The depth of field created by your shot of the chairs is marvellous...and then I saw the lisence plates - so fun! The BBQ sounds yummy, but I'd miss the slaw...well maybe not with enough beer. ;P

Rob said...

mmm, sweet baby back ribs! I'm a big fan of your dining seating photos.

TheChieftess said...

I'll bet those ribs are pretty gall derned good!!!

Marie-Noyale said...

Let's occupy those seats quickly!!!

Petrea said...

What a great shot! Did you make everyone get up from their seats so you could take it?

Virginia said...

Petrea,
As luck would have it, it was early so the seats were empty, just right for photographers!
V

Chuck Pefley said...

Shame on you "slappin' yo' Gran'ma"!

Looks and sounds like a great place, and I do love the story of creation -:))

Gunn said...

UNIQUE!
Well seen and well done!:-)