— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Tourism Department's contest for the best barbecue restaurant in the state is down to the final eight.
The department's Brian Jones said the contest on Facebook pits Jim 'N Nick's in Birmingham against Tuscaloosa's Dreamland in the central division. Big Bob Gibson in Decatur is matched against Lawlers in Athens to represent north Alabama. Sam's BBQ in Montgomery and Lannie's in Selma are competing in the south region. L.A. BBQ in Summerdale is going against The Shed in Mobile for the Gulf region. The four regional winners will be decided Saturday afternoon.
Jones said more than 40,000 votes have been cast since the original field of 32 was announced March 11. The overall winner will be announced April 8.
The voting is part of the department's Year of Alabama Food campaign.