Brenda’s BBQ

Review by: Michael Stern

You can’t eat at Brenda’s. But if you have a hankering for BBQ in Montgomery, Alabama, come anyway. Eat in your car, in your hotel, on a park bench, anywhere. You will be very happy you did. This is excellent traditional southern BBQ. The perfume of hickory smoke fully insinuates the meats. Ribs want only gentle gnawing. Brenda’s is a smoke-pit treasure.

There even are pig ears — an acquired taste, no doubt. They’re so tender that they really do fall apart when touched; but they do not fall apart like the more familiar meaty parts of the pig. Ear tissue, which starts as cartilage, is rendered into something that reminds me of a sheet of pink, pig-flavored fat. Not that there’s anything wrong with fat, which is virtually all flavor; but I must admit that because ears really do look like ears, I tend to get a little squeamish eating them.

Side dishes are immemorial: egg-yellow potato salad, sweet bbq beans, cole slaw, French fries, even, on occasion, camp stew (the local variant of Brunswick stew, containing okra).

Located on the West Side near Washington Park, this smoke-pit treasure has been earning its reputation as a Montgomery culinary destination since 1942. Its location is not the happiest part of town. But when I visit, the staff and other customers waiting for their meals are nothing but hospitable and friendly.

What To Eat


Chopped Pork Sandwich

Pig Ear Sandwich

Sweet Potato Pie


Brenda’s BBQ Recipes


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