Shoals residents know Bunyan’s is among the best in local barbecue restaurants.
But will that reputation translate statewide?
The Alabama Tourism Office, as part of its Year of Alabama Food promotion, is sponsoring a barbecue bracket competition that coincides with the NCAA basketball tournament. Bunyan’s is going toe to toe with Top Hat barbecue in the north bracket.
Voting for the bracket that contains Bunyan’s is Tuesday, March 19, through Friday, March 22, on Facebook. The winner will continue through the competition to a showdown for the final four April 1-5.
“You get a lot of media attention when you do a top 10 or a best of anything,” said Debbie Wilson, director of Florence-Lauderdale Tourism. “People who visit, and travel writers, always check off what they have visited.”
The Year of Alabama Food promotion has been one of the most successful ever by the state, Wilson said. It has attracted intense interest from potential visitors planning summer vacations, she said.
Lee Sentell, director of Alabama Tourism, said the winner of the competition will be announced April 8, the same day as the NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Sentell said barbecue is part of the state’s heritage, and there is always a debate about the best.
“Of course, everybody has their favorites,” Wilson said.
The yearofalabamafood.com website contains information about restaurants around the state, as well as recipes and food-related publications.
Robert Palmer can be reached at 256-740-5720 or robert.palmer@TimesDaily.com.