This barbecue joint has some of Alabama’s best mac and cheese

augusts
Bean, short ribs, sausage, pulled pork and mac and cheese at Augusts Barbeque in Sylacauga.

Augusts Barbeque, U.S. Hwy 280. Childersburg, Alabama. Find their Facebook page here.

I’ve been on mac and cheese hiatus for a while. I guess I haven’t been inspired by the carby goodness – until now.

Because man oh man, I recently ate the best mac and cheese of my life and I can’t stop thinking about it.

At work, my colleagues and I went on a statewide journey to find Alabama’s Best BBQ Sandwich (I know, hard job, right?) and throughout our travels, I had a lot of mac and cheese as a side dish. You know me. Even when I’m eating three pulled pork sandwiches a day, I still save room for the mac.

And I had lots of tasty mac and cheese. Way too much, really. But one really stood out, so much that I couldn’t stop eating it (even though I had a belly full of pork).

That mac and cheese? It’s from August’s Barbeque in Sylacauga.

This mac and cheese is just glorious, y’all. Glorious. If mac and cheese were SEC quarterbacks, this one would be Cam Newton. You can definitely rely on it to get you through tough times and 24-point deficits.

In all seriousness, this side is creamy, cheesy goodness. You’re not going to find better mac elsewhere.

One thing, though: Augusts’ mac and cheese is so in demand that they often run out of it before the end of the day. So if you want to try it, make sure to get there early.

Read more about my barbecue journey here, and here are five things you need to know about Augusts Barbecue.

Should you order it? Yes, yes, yes.

Rating: 10 out of 10

 

 

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Walton’s Southern Table — Huntsville, Ala.

IMG_2381Walton’s Southern Table on a Saturday afternoon is the perfect spot to people watch: There are purple-haired grannies at one booth, hipsters at another, and engineers from Redstone Arsenal at another.

The reason the meat-and-three restaurant, which is on the busy intersection of Airport Road and Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville, has attracted such a diverse crowd? The food is ridiculously delicious, and the prices are on point.

We stumbled into the restaurant for a late lunch on a recent Saturday afternoon and were immediately seated. A server came over and took our order (and fielded our questions expertly), and within five minutes the piping hot food was on our table.

And it all barely fit on the table. I ordered the pot roast with mac and cheese (obvs.) and strawberry pretzel salad; Dudefriend got chicken and dressing, hashbrown casserole, fried green tomatoes and pinto beans. We’re both hearty eaters, but the amount of food was almost intimidating. I stared at the feast, eyes all agog, and the server sensed my hesitance: “It’s a lot of food, I know.”

But I shouldn’t have hesitated because the food was SO. GOOD. You know how Leslie Knope feels about JJ’s Diner on “Parks and Recreation?” Well, if I lived in the Rocket City, Walton’s would be my JJ’s Diner. The pot roast (with carrots and potatoes) was tender and had a dash of nutmeg that balanced the savory gravy. The slab of strawberry pretzel salad was so large that I don’t think an entire defensive line could finish it. Almost everything on Dudefriend’s plate was spot on as well. The chicken and dressing was legit chicken and dressing, not dressing with just a bit of chicken like other restaurants. And he let me take a bite of the hashbrown casserole, which was one of my favorite dishes I’ve eaten all year. I wanted more, but he was a bit greedy, and I can’t blame him one bit: it was comfort food at its finest.

But here’s the thing: Out of all this stellar food, the mac and cheese was just OK. It was definitely cheesy goodness, but it didn’t stand out. After trying all the other food first, I definitely expected more. Don’t get me wrong: If you’re jonesing for mac and cheese it will hit the spot, but I’m not sure I can recommend it when that hashbrown casserole is on the menu. Seriously, that hashbrown casserole, y’all. Love poems should be written about it.

So my recommendation? Go to Walton’s Southern Table ASAP. And take whoever you want, from your grandparents to your too-cool foodie friends, because they’ll all love it. Wear your stretchy jeans or sweatpants. And get that hashbrown casserole. And that mac and cheese, if you’re in the mood for it. If not, don’t bother.

Should you try the mac and cheese?: Eh, whatever you want

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Here’s Walton’s Southern Table’s information

My colleague Matt Wake reviewed Walton’s here.