Food for thought: Buddy’s keeps it simple and delicious
By PERRY SMITH / Staff Writer
ALABASTER – Kenneth “Buddy” Hyde knows cooking. After 30 years at his restaurant, and years spent around his mama’s kitchen, he also knows his barbecue.
The menu at Buddy’s Bar-B-Que consists exclusively of barbecue cookout food, and like a recent commercial says, “And that’s a good thing.”
Hyde has spent nearly his entire adult life operating Buddy’s. He purchased it in 1977, just a year before he graduated from the University of Montevallo with a business degree.
Buddy’s has been a community fixture ever since, helping out local schools like Thompson and serving customers barbecue he has slowly cooked for 10-12 hours with care in a hickory wood pit.
No surprises here, Buddy offers plates and sandwiches of pork, beef, ribs and chicken and popcorn chicken.
Hyde said all of his sauces and recipes are cooked up from scratch, including his fresh peeled homemade potato salad and his hand-cut and hand-dipped onion rings.
Hyde described his barbecue sauce as mild with an optional spice available, and the slaw as a sweet and sour taste made from a mix of mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.
Being a longtime fixture of quality food in Alabaster has earned Hyde plenty of repeat customers who are on a first name basis with “Buddy.”
The atmosphere is friendly, and after a couple of trips into the house that barbecue built, don’t be surprised to find you’re on a first name basis with most of the staff.
Buddy’s has an outdoor patio with limited seating for customers who want to dine at his location on Highway 31 near Alabaster’s city hall.
The service is quick and friendly, as Buddy gets into the restaurant early and cooks his food hours beforehand to make sure it is fresh and ready for customers, and it’s obvious that he enjoys what he does.
“I just like cooking,” said Hyde between banter with one of his regulars.
411 1st Street North
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m