TAYLOR HICKS WINS FOODIES OVER WITH AWARD-WINNING BARBECUETaylor Hicks, the Alabama native who won America’s hearts – and votes – during the fifth season of FOX-TV’s “American Idol,” continues to make his mark on the world – although in a totally different way.

Hicks has become a partner in Saw’s Juke Joint – located in the Birmingham area. One of the most popular restaurants in the region for barbecue, Saw’s story centers around North Carolina native Mike Wilson, aka “Saw.” Earning a degree in Restaurant and Hospitality management from the University of Alabama in 1996, Wilson continued his culinary pursuits at Johnson and Wales University in Vail, Colorado. He began his career at the prestigious Dean & Deluca restaurant in Charlotte, and then moved on to Birmingham, where word of his unique flavor of barbecue began to spread. Wilson opened the original Saw’s BBQ in 2009, and has proven to be so popular that he – and his partners have opened two additional locations in Birmingham – Saw’s Kitchen, and Saw’s Juke Joint, which includes Hicks as a partner.

Hick’s told Food and Beverage Magazine Publisher Michael Politz, “It’s such a pleasure to serve my hometown area with food and service that is second to none. I am glad that people come – and tell their friends about Saw’s”. Hick’s continues, “I LOVE good BBQ”. Also a partner in the Saw’s Juke Joint location is Doug Smith.

A look at the menu offers customers several options to whet their appetite, including their Carolina brand of Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken. Another popular item on the menu is the “Carolina Dog,” a hot dog doused with chili and slaw. A mouth-watering array of side items are also available, such as their delicious brand of Vinegar-based Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, and Deviled Eggs. Also a popular item on the menu is their signature BBQ sauce, which is available by the bottle.

The restaurant has also garnered attention from popular TV series Alabama Eats, as host and wellness expert AJ Johnson stated that Saw’s “cooks from the heart,” also saying “This is what you call a ‘true barbecue joint,’” said AJ. “Look at me, I’m sweating because, you want to talk about an authentic smokehouse? Look at all this!” Saw’s BBQ also scored a huge victory in the recent online Alabama BBQ Battle poll, winning the “Rookie” Category.

Hicks hasn’t slowed down musically, either, with upcoming concert dates on the calendar – including a November 4 performance at Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook in Birmingham, and is working on a new album slated for release in 2016.

Saw’s BBQ also offers a complete catering menu. For more information about the restaurant, go to www.SawsBBQ.com. For more information about Taylor Hicks, go to www.TaylorHicks.comand follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.