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100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die Smoky and Saucy, Just The Way I Love My Chicken.

Smoked chicken with white BBQ sauce at Cypress Inn in Tuscaloosa is the 89th dish that I have tasted on my quest to try each of the 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die, (12th if I am counting down.)

Two long football seasons ago, this Wisconsin Badger fan attended my first University of Alabama football game (as did 101,821 other people.)


Always listed as one of the best places to tailgate in the United States, this visit to U of Alabama was an epic bucket list check for me.   There were loads of people tailgating in their tents and RV’s, but for outsiders like myself, there were lots food trucks available.

 It was here that I had my introduction to The Cypress Inn.


The Cypress Inn Food Truck in Tuscaloosa, AL

When I saw the sign that read smoked chicken with white BBQ sauce, I remember thinking that I could check off another dish on “The 100.”

However, when I researched The Cypress Inn after the game, I realized that I had not had the full Cypress Inn Experience, I decided to visit at a future time.

Flash forward to 2017, Along with a friend, I visited the Cypress Inn on a warm day in February.


The Cypress Inn in Tuscaloosa.

I found a large nice looking set of buildings that overlook the beautiful Black Warrior River. I later learned that a nearby building was used for special events.  This complex is on four acres of gardens, I bet it is beautiful when things start blooming.


The Cypress Inn overlooks the Black Warrior River and Tuscaloosa Alabama

And yes, it is built from cypress.

I found the restaurant to be quite spacious, clean, interesting and welcoming.


The welcoming porch area at The Cypress Inn in Tuscaloosa, AL

Tastefully decorated with local nature in mine, it reminded me of restaurants in the Northwood’s of my home state, Wisconsin.

And this customer favorite for all ages, the enormous 550-gallon freshwater tank that is home to catfish, bream, bass, and tilapia.


The fish tank at The Cypress Inn of Tuscaloosa, AL

I found the restaurant to be quite spacious. There were large dining rooms with tables that overlook the river, an upstairs area for special events called The Crowsnest, and an all-season area with gorgeous views.  During warmer weather, there is a large deck that overlooks the river.


This restaurant is best described as casual fine-dining and has been family owned since 1984.  The Cypress Inn folks have earned many awards and accolades along with magazine features. The menu has changed according to the times but some of the dishes are here to stay, such as the smoked chicken with white BBQ sauce.

I absolutely love their menu and certainly can understand why customers visit often.


The delicious food at The Cypress Inn

The meals come with an assortment of homemade rolls that were enjoyed before our dinner even arrived.  According to their website, many old family recipes including the chicken salad and yeast rolls, the recipe for the bran muffins from a bed and breakfast in Natchez, Miss.

The chicken arrives with two sides of your choosing from a vast sides menu.  We chose the smoked gouda grits and mustard greens.


Chicken with white BBQ sauce at The Cypress Inn

The chicken is smoked in-house on a daily basis and is then grilled.  We found the chicken to be outstanding!  With loads of flavor, juicy texture that quite simply melted in our mouths. My only complaint was that I would have loved a bit more of the white BBQ sauce but everything else made up for this miss.

Although I am not sure that this bone was supposed to show up in my greens, I got all of the flavor and certainty that these greens were made from scratch!


Flavor in my greens

My friend and I agreed that this meal was delicious.  For me, one of the best chicken dishes that I have eaten on my Alabama quest, a great atmosphere, attention to detail, and superb sides.

MEGastars: 5 *****


  1. The website will give you all of the information that is needed for your visit.The Cypress Inn
  2. Here, is the details that help make a customer feel welcomed and comfortable. Look at this added touch-A bowl filled with serving size goldfish.  Well done Cypress Inn!

    Bowl with “goldfish” cups at The Cypress Inn

    3. This restaurant has been named Top Ten Catfish Restaurants in the country.  Do taste that catfish! (Catfish Institute of North America.)

  3. Links to the following recipes have been graciously shared.


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.
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