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“I Just Don't Get It!”
Review of Saw's BBQ

Saw's BBQ
Ranked #1 of 82 Restaurants in Homewood
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
120 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“I Just Don't Get It!”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I have eaten at all three Saw's locations, and I just don't get it.

My first experience with Saw's was about a year ago at the Homewood location. The woman at the register was surly, and I had a strong sense that she found customers to be a nuisance. The location is a hole in the wall, with tables jammed close together and loud music blaring. Although the BBQ was good, it was not a pleasant experience.

I recently returned, and the same surly woman, was at the register, and her attitude has not improved. There were two customers in front of me, and once I determined how far down the line I would would actually be in receiving my order, I turned around and left. After being inside this establishment for five minutes, my clothes and hair reeked of smoke & BBQ for the remainder of the day. I definitely will not be back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice place, pork a bit dry”
Reviewed November 27, 2013 via mobile

Nice place with a good atmosphere. Baked beans were good, Mac and cheese ok, pork was a bit dry but was the end of a busy day before thanksgiving so could have been luck of the draw. A good option for the area.

Visited November 2013
Thank smithfred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Alabama
Level Contributor
58 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Fantastic Place”
Reviewed November 27, 2013 via mobile

Great food and the staff formed instant connections with everyone. They walked around checking on people and it just had a fun atmosphere. The pulled pork is great and the stuffed potatoes are HUGE.

Visited November 2013
Thank jasruble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
234 reviews
156 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“An absolute wonderful epiphany”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Let me say at the outset that I am not a barbecue fan. Growing up in the North, my family's idea of barbecued food was what Southerners refer to as "grilled". We would put barbecue sauce on chicken, head for a local park that offered grills, build a fire with hot coals, throw the chicken on, and call it a day. My cousin's mother made fall-off-the-bone ribs, but she did them in the oven, then just threw them onto her Weber for the finishing touch.
So I've never enthused when Southern friends said "Let us take y'all for some real barbecue!", because usually I was treated to a soggy bun that featured a few slices of semi-sweet pickle, some runny and very milky-tasting cole slaw, and a bunch of undecipherable meat I was assured had to be pork. Even the ribs I've ordered at those joints were either tough, or falling off the bone but tasteless.
I went to Saw's because I read about it on the Facebook page of someone whose taste I admire. And from the first bite, it was a revelation. So much so that when the three friends with me saw my expression, one anxiously asked whether I was all right. All right? I was having a Food Moment, that rarity where you realize you have never, ever tasted that particular food as it was truly meant to be, and your life will never be the same.
Crowded. Yes. But not uncomfortable. The atmosphere was so friendly, the music so perfect (James Cotton, I believe, then B B King) that I could almost believe I was back in the older South of juke joint days. It was hot, but the fan cooled things down just enough. The ladies behind the counter were very patient with me as I asked a multitude of menu questions, trying to decide between all the sides until one of my friends finally interrupted and ordered for me. BBQ pork combo with a sparerib, cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad.
Well. Let me say this. If Saw's was in my neighborhood, I would eat there at least weekly, bring everyone I'd ever met there for lunch, and weigh a million pounds.
Coleslaw - not mayo based, for a change. Not runny. Just wet enough to seep into the meat when I put it on the sandwich, but not so wet that it made the bread soggy.
Potato salad - wonderful wonderful wonderful.
Sandwich - crunchy pickles and HUGE chunks of melt-in-your-mouth pork. Not the fatty pieces, the ones you try to avoid when you're on a diet, but the best parts; not too lean, not too fat, just right.
Sauce - we had several choices. Whatever they used for marinade (and I believe they sell it, too), it was wonderful. Just a hint of spiciness left on the tongue, not enough to detract from the flavor.
Bun - as normal, but tasted ten times better because of the quality between.
Sparerib - OMG. Ridiculously good. Just absurd. Huge amounts of meat, literally falling into my mouth. I could almost slurp it up.
The one item I could have done without was the baked beans, which were average. But really, who cared? The meal was stunning.
As my friends, all of them Southerners, watched me chowing down in delight, they exchanged amused glances and occasionally murmured "Uh-huh. That's real barbecue, son" inbetween their smiles.
I can't recommend this place highly enough. It changed my life. I will forever be in pursuit of barbecue as good, but I fear my quest will be doomed to failure.
Worth driving out of your way for. Heck, worth staying overnight so you can eat lunch and dinner and then take some home the next day!!!

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank krashtest d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“5 Stars for this Restaurant”
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Saws was recommended by some of the locals. So I decided that my wife and I would try it. Gwen we got there, Jeff, a key employee, was placing chairs upside down on the tables, getting ready to close. We started to turn around and go somewhere else. Jeff was very friendly and assured us that we could dine in without feeling rushed.

I ordered a combo plate of ribs and chicken, with macaroni & cheese and green beans as the sides. My wife wanted a pulled pork sandwich. She ordered Mac & cheese also. I expected some of the food to taste bland and out of the can. To our pleasant surprise, the sides were homemade. Oh my goodness, you have GOT to try the macaroni & cheese. It was wonderful!

The meats? Let me put it this way...the ribs were some of the best I have eaten in a long time. The chicken was very delicious. My wife said the pulled pork practically melted in her mouth...it was very tender and tasty. The food was so good that I told Jeff that we were in town for the week, but we would be back before Heading back home.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TwoQuestions
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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