One of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama
BBQ with Tomato SauceTop Hat Barbecue sits 30 miles north of Birmingham on U.S. Highway 71. Owned by Dale Pettit, whose father became the third owner of the restaurant when he purchased it in 1967, the barbecue joint has been a local institution since 1952. Smoked over hickory wood, Top Hat's meat paired with red barbecue sauce is a longtime local favorite.Over the years, countless visitors driving by have frequented the spot, lured by the smoky aroma drifting through the air.
Many Top Hat fans have been customers for life, always coming back for the barbecue smothered in the signature red sauce. This tomato-based sauce adds just the right amount of sweetness to the hickory-smoke-infused meat, and most customers order an extra cup of it to make sure every bite has plenty of sauce.