by Alex, Nottingham
So today was the last day of the staff pilgrimage, I really didn’t want to go home – the time we have spent here has been unforgettable. We have tasted some seriously amazing food and met some characters. All the hard work we put into the Nottingham restaurant and the fact that my colleagues voted for me Liam and Leaton to go was really touching. I can’t thank everyone at Red’s enough for the experience they have given me.
Today we began the final journey home, driving from Tennessee all the way back to Birmingham Alabama. The journey was beautiful as always – experiencing the American landscape with 4 great guys and some feel good tunes was something I shall always remember. Matt was in the back helping Scott navigate and keeping up to date with the football. We wanted to hit one more joint before we got on the plane, so we chose Saw’s Juke Joint as our last destination.
It being so close to the airport helped too, being in a bit of a rush we scrambled in and ordered a take away, downed a few beers while we waited and headed to the airport to check in.
We dropped off the hire car, checked in and dug in to the take away ‘cue – the smell totally filled up the check in lounge, and we had airport workers passing us by asking what we had and where we got it from.
The smell might have been great but the food was even better, the best of which was the pulled pork and chicken, the best we had yet. The chicken wings doused in white sauce were a favourite for me, a tantalising balance between a spicy kick and mellow sauce. Wing perfection. This was the last supper of the pilgrimage and it did not disappoint. Every bit of it was delicious and even though we had eaten so much BBQ over the past few days, we still got stuck in with a few cheeky beers from the Good People Brewery to wash it all down.
Saying that, I think we over estimated our hunger a little! Not one to throw away or waste any food we thought it would be rude to put it in the bin. We bagged it up and passed it on to an airport walker with a few beers, this guy was really happy to receive a huge bag of ‘cue and a few beers, welcoming and polite hospitality till the end. We had to get a move on and catch the flight from Birmingham, Alabama to Atlanta for the final leg of the journey.
Arriving at Atlanta, nobody was heavily questioned or strip searched, and seeing as we had a little wait we hit the bar for pre flight food and beers. This was an ideal place to end the trip. The first bar we hit when we got into the states, so it just had to be the last. Obviously the que from earlier didn’t fill us up so we ordered a few pizzas to keep us going for the 8 hour flight we had ahead of us, suitably intoxicated, feeling a little sad to be leaving we stepped onto the plane and waved farewell to the land of barbecue.
Just want to say one more time from all 3 of us, thank you to absolutely everyone who made this trip possible. Especially Scott Munro and Matt Snell, to you guys I’m eternally grateful and you’ve given us all the trip of a lifetime we will never forget.
Forever BAR-B-Q. Forever Red’s.