Food & Petrol Below the Mason-Dixon Line: BBQ, Beer & Ducati

Posted Monday, December 3, 2018

Ducati. 1997 900 Supersport & Saw’s Juke Joint are the subjects d’jour.

The Duc (duck to the Ducatisti) is a classic. Often heralded in the press as a Ferrari for the 2 wheel set. In this case akin to a mid 90’s F355. Consider a classic air cooled desmodromic carbureted L twin. In the pantheon of sporting bikes this is a throwback. Most any of its Asian contemporaries would smoke it. That however is not what this bike delivers. Old school charm, magnificent sound, sweet handling and serious half fairing good looks is the deal. Plenty of oomph with eighty horsepower, loads of torque, easy revving and again, that magnificent sound! Mine is the Yellow version. It is often said Italian cars & bikes should be red. For me and scads of others, a Ducati or Ferrari are quite attractive in Fly yellow.

Riding this is an exercise in total enjoyment as all aspects of this wheeled piece of mechanical artwork so harmoniously. Besides, they are a deal. That said, this particular model is going up in price as they become more collectable. So get looking! Keep in mind all the usual Duc stuff. Service is paramount as a valve and belt service is in the 1k zone. Of course the usual sprockets, tires and so on. Earlier versions have other issues but Uncle Google can help with that info.

All this Alabama stuff is tied to Barber Vintage Festival. A truly intoxicating gearhead love fest. Check it out.

On to the food!

With a name like Saw’s JJ, one would expect a well worn place of undetermined age, on a backwater, BF nowhere road on the wrong side of the tracks and a Jukebox. Not exactly. Nestled in a shopping center in metro Birmingham this Joint may not have the shady location and a ton of Blues Brothers stories but does the goods with character. Initially over thought was my impression but I came away with it being well thought, not over thought.

Birmingham is no exception to the Craft beer infestation, served here by bright eyed, knowledgeable, trucker hatted & bearded fellows. Remember Lumberjack Chic? Similar. The Barman, after a chat about the various offerings, charmingly offered me a local Pale Ale. Being a pale male I like the matchup. Crisp, lo ABV and delishishly quaffing I cast a glance about and pondered the decor. Rough wood, scrap metal, old agricultural, hardware & gas station signage, concrete bar. Rugged. Definitely not shopping center Forever 21 decor. Another Q (BB-Q) standard here that was a sort of shock but totally understood was rolls of paper towels on the bar or table. Napkins on a roll as it were. These folks went a bit further with the blue shop towel style. We have seen the kitchen rag napkin in our bougie spots, this is a cut above, or lower… Yes and there were Tee vees. College football. The games, mostly ignored by the patrons were complete with chants, cheerleaders, mascot with acres of the faithful in school colors too, Giving it a gander I thought this is like pro ball with more mistakes. Quite enjoyable.

Food? Oh yeah!!! The standard here was not the generic-ish BB-Q offerings. Nor precious. Kinda in between. I opted for a fried Okra appetizer. Spears of okra, perfectly done. Dipping sauce? Yep. I passed on the Stuffed ‘Taters and headed to Pork n Greens. Several versions with greens are available. Sausage, catfish & shrimp. Superb. Grits on the bottom, greens, pulled pork, you know you can’t go wrong and the killer, onion rings. YES! The proprietary hot sauce, “Saw’s Juice” finished spectacularly. I did go for another round of grits & cheese just for the H of it. In the grits they use the colored cheddar. Made those grits look positively Eye-Tal-Yan. Think polenta!

Let’s now chat styrofoam plates. I thought they were history. Not here. Now this may be a hometown stylie thing, they may be biodegradable or whatever, but the shock… Never thought I would see them as service ware in a somewhat hipster sit down place.

It comes to mind that I often skip or not even consider dessert. Ok, so what?

‘Nuff said.

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In conclusion you roux browning route riders. Live intensely, always do your best, love & be happy. Chefypoo Kerry

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