By Stacey Patton Wallace

Some holidays just scream, “Ribs!” Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day come to mind.

Now, my husband Mike is the griller in our home; however, cooking ribs isn’t in his culinary repertoire.

Our nephew Luke, who lives near Birmingham with his wife Lindsay (our niece) and their sons

Patton and Thomas (our great nephews), are the kings of grilling/smoking ribs in our family. I haven’t had the pleasure of eating his delicious ribs for quite some time, so I will be sure to mail him a copy of this review. hint, hint.

Luke’s ribs are really something. In fact, I once tried to talk him into opening up a rib shack. However, my niece Lindsay quickly said, “No!” and unfortunately, he agreed. I guess I can’t blame him. After all, he has a very successful career as a mechanical engineer in Birmingham. I just would have loved to eat free ribs for the rest of my life. I’m also proud to say that Luke and Lindsay are both Auburn graduates, classes of 2004 and 2003. The Good Lord willing, Patton and Thomas will belong to the Auburn classes of 2030 and 2036.

But back to the subject of ribs. My all time favorite rib restaurant in Lee County is Full Moon Bar-B-Que in Tigertown. When Mike and I first moved to Lee County, we quickly discovered this wonderful restaurant. We also loved their slogan, “The Best Little Pork House” in Alabama.

I love that Full Moon has REAL ribs; that is, theirs come from pigs. I am a pork rib purist. Here in Alabama, ribs should come from pigs, while hamburgers and steaks should come from cows.

Years ago when Mike and I were visiting my much older brother Mike and his family in Texas, we went to a barbecue restaurant. Now, we were served COW ribs. They were dry, stringy and terrible. My nephew told me a few years later that the restaurant had closed; I was NOT surprised.

Back last Memorial Day, one of our “rib” holidays, Mike and I went to Full Moon Bar-B-Que, eager to dine on their succulent ribs. However, we came too late; they were out of our much loved classic ribs and had only ONE order of baby back ribs left. Being the well brought up Southern gentleman he is, Mike let me have them.

By Sunday, July 4, we had learned our rib lesson. After we left Central Baptist of Opelika, we drove straight to Full Moon. Wow! There were about a million people in the drive through and another million inside.

However, the crew members at Full Moon were AMAZINGLY fast and wonderful. Thankfully, we both were able to get those luscious classic ribs that day.

  Mike and I usually take our ribs home to eat because they are so messy, and I’m a big dripper, as I’ve mentioned before. In fact, I drape an ancient beach towel over me to avoid splashes of barbecue sauce. Sad maybe, but smart and necessary.

On Monday, Sept. 6, Labor Day, another “rib” holiday arrived. My sweet husband was cutting our grass, so I volunteered to go pick up our rib plates at Full Moon. Back when I was a single teacher living in LaGrange, Georgia, I paid Rick, my yard man, $35 every two weeks. My husband is saving me $70 a month, so I thought it was the least I could do.

I jumped into my Sorento and drove down 280, listening to my Country music flash drive, which Mike had made me. He also made me Christian music and Pop/Rock music flash drives so that I can listen to different music according to my mood.

That said, Country music seemed appropriate for a rib run. My husband taught me to appreciate Country music, so I listened to Rodney Atkins, George Strait and Alan Jackson as I journeyed to Full Moon.

When I arrived at the restaurant, I was relieved to see that the crowd wasn’t too bad. Also, as usual, Full Moon’s employees were smiling and working hard. I received my order in a very reasonable amount of time and headed to my car.

The amazing smell of those delicious ribs had my mouth watering by the time I cranked my car.

The diabetic smoothie, ten ranch Wheat Thins and a slice of 2% cheese had long since worn off.

Remember, I’m trying to eat healthier and exercise. In just one month, my triglycerides have gone from 290 (high) to 102 (normal). I give all praise, honor and glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; I can’t do this by myself.

Mike ordered the classic ribs, baked beans and fried green tomatoes. My order was almost identical; however, I chose French fries instead of baked beans. Everything was so delicious!

Besides their awesome ribs, Full Moon Bar-B-Que also offers Hickory-Smoked Pork, Pulled BBQ Chicken, Smoked Turkey, Black Angus Beef Brisket, Smoked Pork Links and Bar-B-Que Chicken.

In addition, Full Moon has huge baked potatoes with tasty toppings, sandwiches, burgers, dogs, soups and salads. And I LOVE those wonderful Half Moon Cookies, which have been praised in Southern Living and named one of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.” I quite agree. Other delectable desserts include Carrot Cake and Homemade Pies: Coconut, Key Lime and Chocolate.

Full Moon Bar-B-Que in Tigertown is open on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m; Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Full Moon Bar-B-Que makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!

Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in the Observer. Stacey may be reached at