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100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die – Johnny’s Bar-B-Q

Twas the night before Christmas…Meg was nestled all snug in her bed, while visions of BBQ danced in her head….

The Bar-B-Q Plate at Johnny’s Bar-B-Que is the 85th dish on my quest to eat all 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die. (16th if I am counting down.)

A BBQ plate is a great close to 2016 Tasty Tuesday posts since I live in a state rich in BBQ joints and BBQ history.  Johnny’s Bar-B-Q is one of such places that I now have had the privilege of visiting.

This BBQ restaurant was born in 1949 to a guy named Johnny and sold to the Wiggins family in 1963. They now proudly have their third generation involved.   I read that upon purchasing this establishment the reputation of the food was so sound that the name Johnny’s was maintained.


Johnny’s Bar-B-Q in Cullman, Alabama

In 1976, the restaurant that could seat 40 customers was moved to a brand new building down the street from the original site; and now seats 120 lucky customers.

There are three spacious dining areas in Johnny’s.   I found the restaurant to be extremely clean, dressed for Christmas, and tastefully decorated with porcine art of many forms….and a few roosters.


Johnny’s BAR-B-Q dressed up for Christmas

The staff was not only friendly, they were extremely efficient and my order came out at top-notch speed.

The menu is typical of most Bar-B-Que places that I visit in Alabama, ribs, pork, chicken, catfish, and sides. Rarely do I find smoked turkey, which happens to be my favorite BBQ/smoked food.

The Bar-B-Q Plate comes with French fry’s, baked beans, coleslaw and white bread if desired. (The staff offers *see thoughts.)


Small portion BAR-B-Q Plate at Johnny’s with white bread.

The pork plate comes in three sizes ranging from small to large portions.  The plate pictured depicts the small size.  I found the pork to be perfectly tender, and in harmony with a perfect light layer of sweet BBQ sauce. I am going to have to say this was the most the most tender pork of any place that I have visited.  I absolutely loved it.  The baked beans contained nice chunks of pork and bacon bathed in that tangy sauce, and I found it to be almost buttery in flavor. The coleslaw was fresh and crisp. I saw grated carrots in the coleslaw and also a darker green leaf (greens?) I found it different than the ho-hum and I loved the extra crunch.   I bet it would be great on that pulled pork sandwich.

I also tasted this beauty.

Now here is where I confess. I talking my dining partner into having the Bar-B-Q Plate and I ordered the turkey sandwich. Of course, I tried everything on the plate but I am a huge sucker for a smoked turkey sandwich.


Coconut cream pie at Johnny’s BAR-B-Q

I also was able to taste the delicious homemade coconut cream pie and I have heard that their banana pudding is exceptional; next visit.

I  give this plate 5 MEGastars 5 *****  Alabama food served with Alabama pride.

Super tender, great taste, excellent service in a comfortable setting.


I saw in one review that someone was offended by the serving of french fries vs potato salad with his/her barbecue. I understand that thought, but on the other hand, when I was in the food service industry, I worked in a family style restaurant that served coleslaw and potato salad with their regional specialty, The “Friday Fish-Fry.” I cannot tell you how many people ordered French fries instead of potato salad. So many people, especially children, and young adults simply do not eat potato salad and food waste is just not a good thing. *On that note, I was refreshed to be asked IF the white bread was desired with this dish since I NEVER eat it. Ever!   Yes, it is in my photo but I ordered it as I was dining with others who wanted a taste. My hats off to this establishment for the practice of reducing food waste.

As this year comes to a close and many people think of dieting, I wish for world peace, food for all, health, and the ability to visit as many of the Alabama “100 Dishes” places as I am able to.


  1. Located just one mile off I-65, this is a convenient place to stop for people visiting from other cities and states. I highly recommend Johnny’s for an Alabama Barbecue experience.
  2. There is a drive-up menu for their to-go orders, call ahead to request this service.Johnny’s website not only has all of the information that one would need for a visit, they also have their story and a blog. Johnny’s Bar-b-q 
  3. Located at 1401 4th St. SW, Cullman, Alabama 256-734-8539 Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  4. After I ate at Johnny’s, I read so many fantastic reviews of the ribs and the baked potato. This baked potato is topped with both white and the red BBQ sauce, and other toppings. I’ll bet that it is fantastic.   However, if you are a fan of pulled pork, this plate was top notch.




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.

ABOUT:  *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 food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historical Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based upon convenience of location and 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. You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the food service industry.  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? or,  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 is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place  was not “ok” 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 truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. i love eating this foods


    March 14, 2017
  2. Thank you, Alabama is your kind of place!


    March 15, 2017

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