The final stop on my gas station barbecue road trip-up took me into the backwoods of Stockton, off the banks of the Tensaw river. This small town( population 5,086) on Highway 59 is home to the states first sawmill and has its own unique place in cinematic history, providing the backdrop for the Friday the 13 th horror cinema franchise. Spoiler alert: it is quiet out here.
At Powells grocery store, there are Pure petrol pumps outside and ribs inside a sprawling convenience store. Baked-in-the-oven ribs ($ 2.99 each) are only available on Friday and Saturday, served with a separate red sauce. Beef tips over rice with brown gravy ($ 4.29) are popular on Sunday for church-goers.
There are hardcore southern country treats every day of the week, such as deep-fried livers and gizzards( small polystyrene plate $2.99, big $3.99 ). It is an acquired savour, even for cook Rose Stacey, who confided to me: I love gizzards, but I am not eating liver. It is nasty. My grandmother used to spank me and build me eat that.
Most of the trade is take-out; there is a constant river of laborers for lunch. But there is a table for diners next to the slushie machine and a selection of local specialities including jumbo boiled peanuts ($ 3.99 for a 32 oz beaker ), pickled pigs feet, pickled sausage and pickled eggs.
Fortunately, the adjoining store has everything covered, including deer corn and life jacket, and a rare sight at an Alabama gas station barbecue fresh fruit. Just dont embarrass yourself by buying it.
52825 Highway 59, Stockton , no website
The trip was provided by the Alabama Tourism department, with flights on American Airlines from Heathrow via Charlotte and Dallas to Mobile, Alabama