I was a little bit reluctant to write about a 50 Taters’ dish before I actually did a review on the restaurant itself. It was a spur of the moment decision to pull in and give the place a shot which meant I’d done little research and was going in sorta blind. But let me just say that this place is legit. I know the name’s a little strange and it’s hard to tell what genre of food they serve. There’s a mixture of home style foods like BBQ, chicken, wings and baked potatoes to assorted sandwiches and desserts. And I’ll even mention that the employees were all nice and friendly. So don’t be discouraged by the unknown here, it’s not a bad place and I’ll be sure to include a full review of 50 Taters before it’s all said and done. And if you’re wondering what in the world you’d do in Scottsboro besides eat at a place with a funny name then you’ve not done your homework, it’s a good thing I’ve done it for you. Long story short, the Scottsboro/Jackson County area has lots of great fishing, boating, hunting & outdoor activities available for all preferences, there’s even some great golf courses. Of course for those of you who don’t like to be exposed to the sun’s rays there’s also the unique shopping experience that is Unclaimed Baggage.
The Bama Cheesesteak was recommended to me via frantic last-minute text messages to friends that I hoped had eaten at 50 Taters. It’s a mixture of BBQ pork & brisket on a toasted hoagie bun topped with white BBQ sauce & grilled vegetables. It wasn’t a difficult decision seeing it had a few of my favorite foods all mixed into one sandwich and plus I could add an entry to my eternal Quest for Cheesesteak.
After first laying eyes on this sandwich I imagined that I’d somehow slipped down a wormhole and came out the other end of the looking-glass into an alternate universe where BBQ had been invented up north in places like NYC or Philadelphia. How else would all of these ingredients be on the same plate? And if I were still in the South eating dinner on a Sunday afternoon in my hometown, how was this going to work? Scottsboro has never been known for its culinary breakthroughs and too many times a drastic change to the standard cheesesteak ingredients have led to disappointment and hours of depression.
Now I’m a lover of all food and every ingredient deserves a chance to shine, but when I saw the pile of grilled onions & peppers on this sandwich I didn’t want to judge too soon but it was hard not to. I’ve seen a few cheesesteaks ruined by depending too much on the grilled vegetables and skimping on the meat. fortunately this sandwich was spared the fate of veggie overload. They were cooked to near perfect level, the crunch was still detectable but it did not over power the meat. I did have to remove a few larger chunks of sliced pepper but other than that I piled on all that I could on each bite.
I was less skeptical about the white BBQ sauce. By itself it’s usually a tangy mayonnaise based condiment that goes well with most BBQ if done right & I’ve even seen it as a separate category in some BBQ competitions. This white sauce used the flavor of the vegetables to its favor & combined with the flavors to mimic the taste of cole slaw that’s present on a lot of BBQ sandwiches. There was a pretty good amount of it on the sandwich and probably could have been dialed back a little. But the left over sauce on the plate allowed me to perform the time-honored southern tradition of “soppin’ it up” toward the end of the meal.
When I first ordered this dish called the “Bama CHEESESTEAK” my mind was set on just that: cheesesteak. I mean yeah, I read that the ingredients were BBQ pork and brisket but I thought they’d be an after thought or just kind of advance the already great cheesesteak flavor I was expecting. And once again, I was wrong. This was actually a BBQ sandwich disguised as a cheesesteak. Is this a bad thing? Was I disappointed? Hell no! If anything this made the spur of the moment grindage stop worth it. The enormous amount of smoked meat on that toasted hoagie bun was by far the highlight of this meal. The pork did overpower the brisket to some degree but both flavors were prominent in pretty much every bite. While I destroyed this hidden gem that I’d pretty much stumbled upon I realized it reminded me of something I’d already written about: The BBQ Sandwich at the New Orleans Lunch Box . The flavors were very similar with the crunchy vegetables on top as well as the tangy mayo mingling with the large portions of BBQ.
All of these ingredients made the toasted hoagie impossible to close and almost as hard to keep the tasty morsels from falling off the sandwich. But you’ll never hear me complain about a good dish that requires some assembly and regularly scheduled maintenance.
I’ll be back to 50 Taters before too much longer and get 4 or 5 other items to get a real feel for the place. I’m more than just a little excited about it & with deer season coming up I’ll be over that way at least once a week so look for me to post all kinds of reviews and posts on hidden gems from the Scottsboro/Jackson County area.