September 10, 2008

memphis: The Bar-B-Q Shop

OK, so i think i might have a theory on why people down South tend to be fatter on average: waitresses down here just keep on topping up your glass of sweet tea. You have no damn idea how much of that sweet, sweet nectar is going down your gullet, and it's not like you can just not drink it. It's far too delicious for that.

And while I'm at it perhaps I can describe the delicious barbecue available at The Bar-B-Q Shop. I'm here in Memphis visiting a client, who as it turns out is rather a kindred spirit and when I asked about barbecue recommendations she said she was friends with the owner of the best place in town. Okey dokey then, let's go!

Her husband said that the beef was better than the pork, so I went that way. They pull their brisket here rather than slice it, and it is fantastically aromatic and smoky. The sauce is sweet-based and dark, but the sweetness is not the primary note; just like in KC, it's surprisingly complex and balanced with spices and savory notes, but this sauce is distinctly different from KC style sauce -- though admittedly neighbors on the sauce spectrum.

I'm not sure if it's a Memphis thing or just a specialty of the house, but I had to order it regardless on a half-and-half plate with my beef: bbq spaghetti. Soft thick spaghetti with barbecue sauce and barbecue meat. I ask you, what's not to love about that?

Big thick slices of buttered Texas toast on the side (oddly enough), and slaw with bits of chopped pickle in it top things off. The drummettes are excellent, super crispy fried and with a little sprinkle of their house dry rub on for flavor. (This stuff is awesome, a southern barbecue version of Old Bay seasoning -- i was dabbing it up off the plate and licking it off my finger, salty and spicy and delicious.) Everybody working there is friendly and the place is actually rather huge for a barbecue shack, i expect because it's not really a shack so much anymore, being rather popular with Memphisians.

I have a hazy photo in my phone that i'll try and get uploaded soon. And I have a fridge here in my hotel room, so I'm gonna eat leftovers for dinner tomorrow night, oh yeah!

nom nom nom nom nom nom

Posted by foodnerd at September 10, 2008 09:30 PM
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