Monday, May 24, 2010

Smoked Out Bar-B-Que

The building where Smoked Out Bar-B-Que (official name, Smoked Out Championship Bar-B-Que and Deli) lives has been at least three different barbecue places over the years. Tango & Murfs, and Wild Wes's both occupied the space before Smoked Out moved in, which might make it bad luck for a barbecue place (Tango & Murf's wasn't great, but Wild Wes's was actually pretty good).

The owner had previously set up shop using a trailer-type barbecue rig outside the convenience store down the road, and while I never stopped to visit (bad barbecue exploring, I know), I did notice that they did a pretty brisk business from their outdoor location--moving into a restaurant space allows them to have a pretty varied menu, with tamales, po boy sandwiches, catfish, and assorted bar appetizers, including Barbecue Bologna Sliders.

The standard of comparison isn't a barbecue bologna slider, however (I might give it a try, though, just to say I did before I leave), it's the sandwich, which is a little on the small side compared to some of the "regular" sandwiches in town. Compare it to the onion ring in the photo for an idea: I suggest ordering the large sandwich if you're looking for more than a snack. It is powerfully smoky, however--there's no noticable trace of pink in the meat to give away a slow smoking process, so there's the possibility that there's a heavy dose of liquid smoke in the sauce. The bun shows signs of being toasted, but is still room-temperature, and the slaw appears to be made in-house--all in all, it's a pretty good sandwich, but the smoked flavor can be a little overwhelming compared to some others.

After I was done with my sandwich, the owner walked out of the kitchen with a sample of ribs for me to try--three bones, half dry, half wet. He explained that since he had just opened (there's not an urbanspoon listing for this place yet, but there should be, soon) he liked to give folks a sample of things they didn't try as a reason to come back. Bear in mind that these were free samples, and that the owner may have cherry-picked them to show off his best material, but the ribs were excellent. Meaty, moist, they came off the bone easily, but were still firm to chew on--the dry rub had a little cayenne pepper kick to it (I'm not a huge fan of dry ribs), and the wet ribs were very tasty.

The stretch of Austin Peay (don't let the Covington Pike address fool you--it's on Austin Peay) where Smoked Out lies is a bit of a culinary wasteland, and residents of the area really should give it their patronage, as it's a wonderful, friendly neighborhood place, and deserves success.

Smoked Out Championship Bar-B-Que and Deli
4731 Covington Pike
Memphis, TN  38135
Phone: 901-791-2277
Fax: 901-791-2274

Monday, May 17, 2010

Heading out (soonish)

Some of you may have noticed a little write up on either The Commercial Appeal's or The Memphis Flyer's food blogs regarding my imminent departure to a more central part of the state. As such, I'd like to leave this map/blog in the hands of someone with a more vested interest in keeping things accurate (with respect to what's still around) and interesting (opinions vary, and Memphis is full of opinions on barbecue, but discussion's always good).

The nature of internet things means that I could leave open this up to several folks, and have five or six people contributing opinions and keeping an eye on the map--that would really be my ideal solution, really--while my own opinion on barbecue is clearly the right one, perhaps differing viewpoints would give readers a better chance of deciding whether a place was right for them if their tastes didn't match mine exactly.

Which is to say, if you'd like to contribute here, and try your hand at barbecue cartography, it would certainly be my fondest wish that the barbecue map outlive my brief but delicious tenure in Memphis. Drop me a comment, or send an email to randal dot cooper at the gmail thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Barb A Rosa's Real Pit Bar BQ‎

Barb A Rosa's has been in the queue (no pun intended) for a while now--I visited it last August and just now got around to unloading the pictures from my phone.

North of Memphis lies the sleepy military town of Millington--home of a naval base so located because (I guess) the powers that be at the Pentagon figured that the Commies would NEVER think of finding a naval base 400 miles from the nearest ocean. It's a clever move, although the ships look pretty sad sitting there in the parking lot.

I'm not here to talk about the naval base, though, I'm here to talk about barbecue. And Millington has a pretty good barbecue place in Barb A Rosa's, which is a little irritating to write because of all the capital letters and punctuation. Then again, half the barbecue places in town use some sort of weird spelling or funny name, so I shouldn't complain.

The sandwich is okay--the meat doesn't have a discernible smokiness, but the sauce isn't cloyingly sweet, and the sides (with the exception of the kinda soggy fries) are nice, and the bun is toasted. Order at the counter, and after a bit they'll call out your number so you can go get it, and in the meantime you can amuse yourself by watching The Dukes of Hazzard on their big screen TV. While we were there, there were some oil barons (in cahoots with Boss Hogg) involved in a land grab that also involved kidnapping Uncle Jesse, and could only be resolved by jumping automobiles over some empty gulches and firing explosive arrows.

If all our problems could be solved by jumping automobiles over empty gulches and firing explosive arrows, the world wouldn't be a better place, but it would certainly be a more entertaining one.

7822 US Highway 51 N
Millington, TN 38053-2269
(901) 872-4030‎

Barb a Rosa's Real Pit Bar Bq on Urbanspoon