My husband has been talking about Archibald's ribs for years and he finally took me there this past weekend. We were in Tuscaloosa for the 4th of July holiday weekend and decided that eating ribs was the best way to celebrate.

It's a rib joint in the truest sense, tucked away in a little neighborhood in Northport, Alabama, just across the river from Tuscaloosa. The restaurant is small, mainly just the pit and a bar with 5 stools and some picnic tables outside. It's right out the backdoor of Betty Eugene Archibald's house. If you want some ribs, especially on a holiday weekend, you need to call ahead to Betty Eugene's house and place your order. If you just show up, they may not have any left.

We stopped by in person to order and were lucky because they were getting close to selling out. My heart would have been broken if we'd not been able to get some as they were some of the best ribs I've eaten. I especially loved the sauce, which is on the vinegary side and does not take attention away from the tender, smoky-flavored meat. Award-winning food writer John T. Edge includes Archilbald's on his list of "100 Southern Foods You Absolutely, Positively Must Try Before You Die".

If you find yourself in Northport, Alabama any time soon, give Betty Euguene a call. If you've got a favorite rib joint, I'd love to hear about it, even though I'm not sure you can beat Archibald's. Let the rib wars begin!