A Selma, Alabama, landmark now run by a 3rd generation of the family who started it, Lannie’s is a place to savor smoke-cooked meats at their finest. The pulled pork, served in velvety shreds and strips, probably would be delicious all on its own, but Lannie’s sauce — an alchemical brew that is very spicy but only hot enough to give lips a tingle — is a must. As a glaze on meat-laden spare ribs, on hot links or rounds of thick-cut baloney, it adds a level of irresistible taste-buds excitement.
As if the pork and sauce combo weren’t enough of a thrill, Lannie’s has a way to amplify the pleasure even further. Order a pulled pork sandwich and make sure it comes topped with cracklin. That’s a sheet of fried pig skin that is wickedly crunchy and as flavorful as bacon. To bite through it and feel it shatter, then virtually melt into the sauce and meat it covers is nothing short of edible ecstasy.
Mention must be made of a fairly silly item on the menu, known as a swampburger. That’s a towering sandwich that consists of a double cheeseburger, a slab of baloney, a fistful of pulled pork, a sheet of crisp pig skin, plenty of sauce, and whatever garnishes you request. “I’ve never seen anyone pick one up,” said Floyd, the pitmaster whose grandmother founded Lannie’s. “They always ask for a knife, but then they come back and want a fork, too.” I ordered one and ate a lot of it, but wound up taking most with me in a to-go container.
Lannie’s is a welcoming place with a crew that seems delighted when newcomers swoon over the food. Order at the counter and eat at one of a handful of tables in the dining room where walls are hung with family pictures and history, or have the meal packed to go.