Facebook fans selected Birmingham-based Jim
‘N Nick's over Sam's of Montgomery by a vote of 4,055 to 3,629 in a competition
to pick the state's favorite barbecue restaurant. Some 81,000 votes were cast
during the past 4 weeks in a tournament style bracket that mirrored the
collegiate basketball championship that's decided tonight.
Alabama Tourism Department's Brian Jones said Jim ‘N
Nick's owner Nick Pihakis will receive the championship trophy during a live
presentation on WBRC-Fox 6 in Birmingham on Tuesday morning.
To make it to the championship round Jim ‘N Nick's beat
Archibald's in Northport in the first round of 32, Full Moon in Birmingham in
the Sweet 16 and Dreamland in Tuscaloosa
in the Elite Eight. More than 14,000 votes were cast in the Final Four round
when Jim ‘N Nick's edged out Decatur's Big Bob Gibson by a vote of 7,171 to
Sam's advanced to the championship by beating Champ's in
Wetumpka in the first round of 32, Byron's Smokehouse in Auburn in the Sweet
16, Lannie's in Selma in the Elite Eight and Mobile's The Shed in the Final
The social media contest started with the top 32 most
popular Alabama barbecue restaurants out of 182 different nominations from
Facebook and Twitter users. These restaurants were then divided into four
geographic regions and matched up into different voting brackets. Every few days beginning on March 11 a new
series of brackets went live for fans to vote on at Facebook.com/AlabamaFood.
Jones said the goal of the contest was to showcase the
state's barbecue restaurants during The Year of Alabama Food. "This contest
gave people a chance to vote and even make comments about why a certain place
was their favorite. Barbecue is a part of our culture in Alabama and folks can
get really passionate about it. This was our way of recognizing that and
helping drive business to all of these great restaurants."