Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memphis BBQ

On our way out to Colorado, we spent one day and two nights in Memphis. I'm going to split up my Memphis recap into four parts, starting with Memphis barbecue.

Barbecue is pretty much the only genre of food in which I feel adventurous, and actively go out of my way to seek out new restaurants. That's because everyone does barbecue differently, but not significantly so, because in the end it's all just meat and sauce. (Hopefully. I don't need your cole slaw, thanks.) Memphis is known for their BBQ, so, let's do this!

First, I asked around before the trip, and also the hotel clerk, where to find the "best barbecue in Memphis". Well...ask five different people, and get five different answers. So, without a whole lot else to go on, we just picked a place that was sort of close to the hotel, called "Central BBQ".

What did I order? The pulled pork, obviously.

I enjoyed my meal very much, as I almost always do. But compared to other barbecue...I'd say it was a little bit spicy for my taste. Not too spicy, and not as spicy as a lot of the North Carolina barbecue I've had, but a little more spicy than what I would consider to be "ideal". The barbecue turkey that Amber ordered, on the other hand...yikes. Very spicy. It wasn't the sauce that was spicy; they spiced up the meat itself. She couldn't eat it.

Of course, that was just one restaurant. Maybe some of the others in Memphis do things slightly differently, and perhaps that's why there is nothing even resembling a consensus regarding what the "best barbecue in town" is. In fact, I'm willing to go so far as to say, there may not even be such a thing as "Memphis style barbecue", like there is "Eastern North Carolina style". Instead, maybe it's just that there are just a lot of good barbecue restaurants in the Memphis area. It's not the Memphis "style" that's supreme, necessarily; there is just an intense amount of local competition, and that is what makes Memphis a barbecue hot spot. Maybe?

Of course, this is all based on my sample size of one, so who knows? Next time I'm in Memphis, I'll try a different barbecue joint, and see if it's similar to Central BBQ, completely different, or somewhere in between. Just one meal isn't enough to give me an idea of what "Memphis barbecue" really is.

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