If there's one thing the Best BBQ Bracket has proven so far, it's that Alabamians are passionate about their barbeque.
The state tourism department's March Madness-style bracket is pitting 32 barbeque joints from around the state against each other in a "quest for the best" barbecue in Bama.
Voting has moved into round three and the competition is fierce among the restaurants that have made it to the Elite Eight. The winners that will advance to the Final Four will be announced Saturday afternoon.
In central Alabama, Birmingham's Jim 'N Nicks is in a tight race against Tuscaloosa's original Dreamland barbeque. Just before noon, Jim N' Nicks had a slight lead of around 100 votes over Dreamland, but anything could change in the remaining hours of voting for this round.
In north Alabama, LawLers in Athens is facing off against Bib Bob Gibson in Decatur. So far, Bib Bob Gibson's has a significant edge over Lawlers, but based on the hundreds of comments on the Year of Alabama Food's Facebook page, there's plenty of support for both sides.
Lannie's BBQ in Selma is competing with Sam's BBQ in Montgomery in the south Alabama division. Sam's has an edge of about 200 votes over Lannie's.
The closest race currently is in the bracket for Alabama's Gulf, which has L.A. BBQ in Summerdale beating The Shed in Mobile by a mere 50 votes. The comments are pretty evenly split between the two, so it looks to be a neck-and-neck race to the finals.
The overall winner will be announced Monday, April 8.
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