Birmingham-based Jim ‘N Nick’s is not your typical barbecue restaurant chain. They don’t have a walk-in freezer, and everything on the menu — from the crust on the pies to the croutons atop the salad — is handmade from scratch. The King Street location, known simply as “Nick’s,” is a quick-service joint where you order at the counter, but it still offers a broad slate of barbecue that includes traditional pulled pork and beef brisket along with newer innovations like smoked wings and riblets. The Jim ‘N Nick’s out at Tanger outlet mall has even broader offerings, plus a full-service, sit-down format. Beyond barbecue, the wide-ranging fare includes fried catfish, shrimp, and ribeyes. The pulled pork and chicken are pretty good, but the smoked pork hot links and the sliced Angus beef brisket are the real winners. Owner Nick Pihakis is seriously committed to fair pay for his employees and supporting sustainable agriculture, too, including an ongoing initiative called the Fatback Pig Project, which aims to return pastured pork to mass-scale production. Those sorts of efforts — and the scrumptious mini cheese biscuits — are the kind of barbecue innovations we can get behind. —Robert Moss
Dish (Summer 2015)
Meat smoked in huge brick pits and slathered with sauce. Hand pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey breast, and ribs.
Features: Lunch, Dinner
Hours: Lunch & Dinner