Lannie’s still in BBQ bracketPublished 2:51pm Friday, March 22, 2013
Much like the smoky taste of southern barbecue, the competition is heating up as Selma’s own Lannie’s Bar-b-que advances to the second round of The Alabama BBQ Bracket, a contest sponsored by the Alabama Tourism Department’s Year of Alabama Food campaign.
Beating out Phil’s BBQ in Eufaula, Lannie’s has proved victorious and will compete again against Mike and Ed’s BBQ in Auburn for the second round of the competition. Residents can vote for Lannie’s by logging on to www.facebook.com/alabamafood.
Earl Travis, owner of Lannie’s and son of its founder — Lannie — said he is not only flattered by the tremendous amount of people who voted for his barbecue restaurant, but hopes to advance further in the bracket.
“It means a lot to advance to the next round,” Travis said. “It says a lot about our business.”
Brian Jones, Year of Alabama Food coordinator, said the amount of votes that have come in for Lannie’s and several other barbecue restaurants have been “above and beyond what was expected.”
“We’ve had more than 15,000 votes overall and we’ve only been doing the contest for 11 days,” Jones said. “It’s proven to be extremely popular.”
Jones said the tourism department decided to feature barbecue for this year’s campaign because so many Alabama residents are passionate about it.
“Barbecue is probably second to football in terms of rivalry, so it’s just creating a lot of attention,” Jones said. “We have so many barbecue restaurants in the state, so it just seemed to make sense to feature it.”
Smaller, locally owned restaurants, like Lannies, have made a large presence in the competition, Jones said, which was the intention of the bracket.
“We’re really trying to put a spotlight on these locally owned restaurants and show how much they’re loved by their communities,” he said. Polls will be open through Saturday on Facebook. Travis said he encourages everyone to spread the word about the contest and to vote.
“A lot of people have come out and said they’ve voted for us,” Travis said. “We work hard here and we feel like we do have the best barbecue — so we’re hoping for the best.”