Skip to content

Sunbeams And Pigs In A Dreamland-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Tasty Tuesday with ribs and white bread at Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This is the #46th dish on my quest to try the 100 Dishes or #57th if I am counting down.

I am a sucker for a road trip and a good restaurant story.   While on my quest to eat 100 Dishes In Alabama, I was able to learn the story of a classic Alabama Bar-B-Q Joint.

Dreamland’s website describes a journey of a bricklayer by the name of John Bishop a.k.a “Big Daddy” who longed to earn a living another way. After entertaining the ideas of a mortuary and a restaurant he said a prayer, found his answer and a 1958 restaurant was born.

According to John’s daughter Jeanette Bishop-Hall, originally, hamburgers  and fish were served by John and his wife Miss Lily. It was known as a joint where local African Americans could come party on the weekends. What followed is history. Ribs, smoked to perfection and a beloved secret barbecue sauce was born. The ribs became so highly sought after that Miss Lily could not keep up with the fish or hamburgers. The painting and photo are just a few photos that I snapped of memorabilia on the wall. 

The pork spare ribs are smoked with hickory. They are served with a slice of Sunbeam white bread.   I learned the way to eat the bread is to soak up any leftover sauce from the plate. Trust me it is delicious.

You may order just the ribs or a “plate” which gives you two side choices.


Ribs, sunbeam bread, potato salad, coleslaw and famous BBQ sauce

One of the other interesting dishes that I tasted was this hickory smoked sausage plate with cheese and coleslaw on top. I love Dreamland’s coleslaw!



For me, no visit to a BBQ joint can go without trying one of my favorite treats in the whole wide world. Banana Pudding aka nana puddin. YUM!



This is my Dreamland MEGapick;  pulled pork, coleslaw, sunbeam bread, add your own sauce to taste and of course “nana puddin.”

From the restaurant, you are able to purchase sauce, spices and T-shirts.  The restaurant has grown into a corporate franchise and are located throughout Alabama and one in Georgia. The secret Sauce is sold in some Alabama grocery stores however, with a motto that says, “ain’t nothing like em nowhere” you bet they have a following, and ship their ribs and sauce to your doorstep. Those ribs will come with a sunbeam slice and  a bib. You too can have one of “The 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.”

Many of their other foods and T-shirts are also available on the dreamland BBQ website.


Ribs, sunbeam bread, potato salad, coleslaw and famous BBQ sauce

According to Jeanette, the “no farting” sign was slapped up over the doorway and simply became a customer favorite.  I have seen the neon sign in the Montgomery restaurant but hadn’t realized it had such a following until I saw a server wearing this T-shirt. I bet we all have someone who we could buy this for!

Just 4.7 miles from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the original restaurant is located in a town called Jerusalem Heights. To many, a road trip to Tuscaloosa is synonymous with Alabama and Football. Tuscaloosa is home to the storied Crimson Tide University of Alabama Football Team, and the epicenter of everything Alabama football.    With 16 National NCAA Football Championship titles (among many other,) they happen to have a few trophies in their case. Myself, a former Wisconsinite and a Badger and Green Bay Packer fan am thankful for current players Eddie Lacy, “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix and of course our legendary and classy quarterback Bart Starr. GPG!

On previous visits to Tuscaloosa,  I have been able to take in the campus and had a blast watching the kids play some ball.

MEGastars: 4 **** star visit. I give the ribs 3 *** stars and * star for serving up a dish with Alabama food a lot of Alabama pride

  1. For a live visit to Dreamland with some “Alabama” fan customers. check out this fantastic clip on YouTube. Live visit to Tuscaloosa Dreamland
  2. If you do happen to visit on game day, prepare for a long line of customers and a wait.  They also have a food truck located on “The Quad.”
  3. If you visit the Montgomery location, you will see a nod to our Military folks.  Located in downtown Montgomery area called “The Alley. There are many restaurants, bars, hotels, and happenings.  I like to visit that location. dremlandpatches
  4. If you too want to try this dish and are outside Alabama, here is the link to the Dreamland store. The shop on line section is on this page


This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes in Alabama escapade, this may be helpful information.  *100 Dishes to eat in Alabama before you die is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style”. Thanks to Tourism Alabama, my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York. From the little old diner to the white cloth joint, it is an opportunity to explore and experience pride in the food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ cook to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama. From this list, I select stops based on convenience of location. They are in no particular order but I already have a few favorites. Perhaps when I finish this list, I will rank my favorite dishes.

I use a 5 MEGastar system. I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can. The place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and it is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was ok and above happened but the place or vice versa
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. OR, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: