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It’s back! The Alabama BBQ Bracket was a huge success last year, bringing in more than 80,000 votes for Alabama’s best barbecue. This year, we’re setting out to see which restaurants have the best pork, chicken, ribs and sauce and pitting them against each other to discover who will come out on top as Alabama’s ultimate barbecue champion. We narrowed down the contenders from a list of more than 200 restaurants submitted for consideration by our Facebook fans.

You’ll be able to vote for your favorite in each category at first, but the gloves come off in the Final Four as pork, chicken, ribs and sauce will all battle it out for the top spot. Choose wisely – a single vote can be the one that tips the scale.

Over the next few weeks, we will post matchups to our Facebook page for open voting. Restaurants that make it past the chopping block will be added to the next round until an overall winner has been chosen. Good luck to all our competitors – and look for the announcement of our 2014 champion on Monday, April 7!

Voting starts Monday, March 17, so check back often to see how your favorites are faring as the competition heats up. We’re expecting a tournament full of fanfare and die-hard loyalty, so don’t miss a single round!

Here’s the matchup schedule for Round 1:


Monday, March 17, through Wednesday, March 19
Big Bob Gibson vs. Top Hat (ends March 19 at 10 a.m.)
Jim ‘N Nick’s vs. Dreamland (ends March 19 at 2 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 18, through Thursday, March 20
Saw’s vs. Bunyan’s (ends March 20 at 10 a.m.)
Full Moon vs. Whitt’s (ends March 20 at 2 p.m.)


Wednesday, March 19, through Friday, March 21
Big Bob Gibson vs. Saw’s (ends March 21 at 10 a.m.)
Jim ‘N Nick’s vs. Dreamland (ends March 21 at 2 p.m.)

Thursday, March 20, through Saturday, March 22
Full Moon vs. Johnny’s (ends March 22 at 10 a.m.)
Miss Myra’s vs. Greenbrier (ends March 22 at 2 p.m.)


Friday, March 21, through Sunday, March 23
Dreamland vs. Rusty’s (ends March 23 at 10 a.m.)
Archibald’s vs. Full Moon (ends March 23 at 2 p.m.)

Saturday, March 22, through Monday, March 24
Smokin’ on the Boulevard vs. Big Daddy’s (ends March 24 at 10 a.m.)
Saw’s vs. Big Bob Gibson (ends March 24 at 2 p.m.)


Sunday, March 23, through Tuesday, March 25
Dreamland vs. Big Daddy’s (ends March 25 at 10 a.m.)
Big Bob Gibson vs. Saw’s (ends March 25 at 2 p.m.)

Monday, March 24, through Wednesday, March 26
Archibald’s vs. Jim ‘N Nick’s (ends March 26 at 10 a.m.)
Bob Sykes vs. Full Moon (ends March 26 at 2 p.m.)


The views expressed here are those of the author.