I am in love with ribs again! I recently took a five-day birthday hiatus to Memphis/Nashville, Tennessee. The mission: To find out what the rage was about Tennessee barbeque — and I was pleasantly surprised.
Now, having traveled the globe and being a connoisseur of “get your fingers messy” barbeque I still had yet to try Tennessee barbeque or barbeque from the Carolinas. I decided to venture to the fair state of Tennessee in celebration of my 53rd birthday and in hopes of having a tasty, lip-smacking meal or two of this infamous barbeque.
I came prepared by making sure I wore pants with an elastic as comfort is key once the meal is done. Little did I know that upon arriving in Nashville and scooping up a rental car, the air would smell like barbeque! Nowhere in Texas does the air SMELL like barbeque…I was impressed already.
First stop: Neely’s Barbeque. Pat and Gina Neely are the owners and debuted their own Food Network cooking shows: “Down Home with the Neely’s” and “Road Tasted with the Neely’s”. The Neely’s chain has several locations in the Volunteer State, including one at the Nashville International Airport. I stopped at the one on Jefferson Street in downtown Memphis.
After waiting over 20 minutes to be seated by the hostess, I was introduced to a home-style menu filled with scrumptious food and desserts. Just the thought of homemade barbeque sauce caused my mouth to water.
I opted for the rib platter. This house special was a half slab of mouth-watering pork ribs. You can get the ribs wet glazed with Neely’s mild barbeque sauce or dry sprinkled with their secret spices. Dinners are served with two sides — choose from potato salad, beans, slaw, or fries—and fresh baked bread. I opted for potato salad and beans. They even have Bar-B-Que Spaghetti Dinner! The food was superb and I left with a slice of pecan pie in tow.
The next day I stopped at the original location of a now-regional chain, Corky’s Ribs & BBQ on Poplar Street!!! I insert numerous exclamation points because I cannot resist emphasizing that this place has incredible pulled pork shoulder barbecue, and whether you choose ribs or a pork platter, you’re sure not to be disappointed.
I ordered the slab of ribs half dry and half wet. I must not overlook the sides of twice baked potato salad and to-die-for barbeque beans. I was in barbeque heaven and have been reveling in the smorgasbord of apple-flavored barbeque sauce since my return to Texas with extra barbeque sauce and dry rub tucked in my luggage.
I concluded the meal with peach cobbler ala mode which made me summon the waitress to ask if I could kiss the cook. Suffice to say, I got to experience quality food and outstanding customer service, leaving me feeling full and happy!
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