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No More Thanksgrieving-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die My 50th try or #51 counting down on my quest to try all of the dishes on “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.” Hickory-smoked turkey sandwich at Bates House of Turkey, Greenville, Alabama.


Located on I-65, the well-worn road from Chicago to the beaches of Alabama. This stop is an easy on/off at exit 130. Not only is this a convenient spot, it is an alternative choice to the fast food giants that sit at this very busy intersection. To think that I have stopped twice in Greenville and ate at the place with the clown, gives me turkey regret. I  shudder to think that I have missed out twice on Thanksgiving in the heat of an Alabama July.  Never again!


So, let’s talk some turkey.


The interior has a nice turkey collection

If I remember correctly, when I was growing up, turkey was more or less eaten at Grandma’s at Thanksgiving. I loved to gobble it up, and loved it even more the day after when I could take that leftover cold turkey and make a sandwich with mayonnaise, pepper and white bread.  In the old days,  I had to Thanksgrieve for 364 more days. To this day, it is one of my favorite sandwiches; so simple and yet so delicious.

Whole food, slow food and real food have become increasingly important to me.  I learned that these turkeys are raised about 12 miles up the road from the restaurant, under  quite humane conditions.  These baby turkey’s arrive from Ohio, and in their short but productive lives, they spend their days growing rapidly in the gorgeous rolling and wooded countryside of Alabama.  The young one’s wander in free-range style upon the 900 acres of farm under that include a small lake and large shady pecan trees.

If this turkey nirvana weren’t enough, these pampered fowl are given only the best food that a farm turkey could gobble. Even in a day of rising feed prices, they get top-notch feed with premium grains of corn, oats, soybean meal and vitamins.  Never should they be tainted; there are no added hormones, feed additives or drugs are to be bestowed upon them.  When to turkey heaven they must go, they are processed in the Bates processing plant,  and not sent far-far away like other big turkey farms; another quality step by this family farm.  These practices are all extremely important to me as a food consumer. Local, fresh, humane, and natural.

A sucker for a good story, I learned that this business was quite literally hatched in 1923 when W.C. Bates and his young bride Helen were given 9 turkey eggs as a wedding gift. We just don’t give gifts like that anymore and I am going to consider this tradition for my own nephews.  93 years and four generations later,  this family continues to operate the farm “with one purpose, which is to produce the finest turkey to grace a table.”

Inside, you are able to read about the history and look at the wonderful family photos.  There is also outdoor seating on the patio.  After all, this is Alabama!

At The Bates House of Turkey, I was thrilled to try the dish from the ‘100 List.”



The dish on “The 100” is the Hickory-smoked turkey sandwich. The turkey sandwich is made up of thin slices of hickory-smoked turkey garnished with lettuce and some of their special sauce, served with a side of potato chips and a few pickles.

MEGastars:  I give this dish four **** Very tasty, local food with Alabama pride. Thank you to the Bates family! I am definitely a fan.

Random turkey stuff-ing

  • Since 1949, Bates Turkey Farm has been the supplier of “Clyde,” a series of turkeys that have been ritually pardoned by the governor of Alabama on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Clyde was reportedly a fishing buddy of Mr. Bates.
  • Turkeys are much cheaper to grow in the Midwest where they are geographically closer to the feed source. This has been a challenge to the turkey farms of Alabama.
  • There used to be 150 turkey growers in Alabama.
  • Turkey is low in fat, low in cholesterol, the fat is unsaturated, high in protein.
  • Not into health?  Don’t worry, there is no Tofurkey here. Bates House of Turkey menu can put you into a post Thanksgiving food coma. They even have an old-fashioned roast turkey dinner with; turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, rolls and cornbread muffin. Yum!
  • The menu includes hickory-smoked turkey.
  • They do have a children’s menu.
  • In the Midwest, generally turkey droppings are used as fertilizer, turkey litter, which is droppings mixed with bedding material like wood chips, can be used as a fuel source in electric power plants. Who knew.


  1. While trotting up and down 1-65, make this stop and support Alabama farms and farming families! Thanksgrieve no more. 8
  2. Bates House of Turkey website.  For all information to talk turkey.  They include corporate sales, fax number, address and on line shopping.
  3. Do as I say and not as I do. Try the dressing! I wish I had brought someone with me to try that old-fashioned roast turkey dinner.
  4. Greenville, Alabama is on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and home to the world class Cambrian Ridge.
  5. They have yummy looking pies in their pie case. batespie
  6. Bate’s House of Turkey sells a cornucopia of take-out items. Including; turkey soup, turkey pot pie, turkey link sausage, turkey breast, turkey chili, casseroles, soups and turkey meat. On your way to the beach? who needs to cook when there is sand and sun! On your way home? who wants to cook after time at the beach
  7. Grab some turkey jerky for the road!
  8. They have a fantastic mail order business and will ship their turkey’s and other goods, such as southern pecan pie, via FedEx from the farm to your door.  This would make a fantastic gift!



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