The Bar-B-Q Shop of Memphis is One of Many Legendary BBQ Joints

Memphis is a city where streams of BBQ sauce are flowing through the streets. It might even be on tap at bars.

Along with Kansas City, the city’s barbecue is a style all it’s own. You’ll see a Memphis BBQ sandwich on menus throughout the United States. By definition, it’s a paprika-based rub on baby back pork ribs or a wet sauce of ketchup, vinegar and a bit of mustard on pork shoulder. The meat is chopped into chunks, tossed on white bread or a kaiser roll and then topped with a creamy or vinegar-based cole slaw. Finally, the sauce and the pickles are served on the side.


In any event, with my side trip to Memphis. I had one chance to eat an authentic Memphis BBQ sammich. A quick search of “Best Memphis BBQ” turns up too many results, all from the great sources. I read one article that listed 30 “must visit” joints in the city. Yeah, I don’t have that much time or stomach space.

I was ready to throw a dart at a map to pick a place to go for lunch. There’s no overall, world-known place like a Katz’s Deli in New York, Pat’s Streaks in Philadelphia or Pequod’s of Chicago.

I went with The Bar-B-Q Shop because there’s only one location (it’s not a chain), they have sauce to go, it’s been around since the 80s and the decor is a bit old school and unchanged since then. I chose wisely.

You can hear the staff chopping the meat from the kitchen, and a peak in, you can see a pile pork four feet high. When you order their traditional BBQ sandwich, you can expect it pretty quickly. I started with a house salad and had my sandwich on Texas toast with potato salad. The picture you see above, that didn’t last long.

The way I tried it was I had a few bites with the sauce so I can taste the rub, then put a few squirts of the hot and original sauces. Wash out it down with local craft beer from Ghost River and you’re winning lunch. I had to say for a review is “Damn, son.”

The added bonus is the oh-so-choice decor with the wood bar and the countertop filled with old Memphis magazines from the 80s.

Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis is Where You Should Buy Cases of Everything

My day-trip to Memphis from Nashville concluded at a brewery … of course.

I actually hadn’t planned to do any breweries after Graceland, since it’s a 3 1/2 drive back and wanted to beat rush hour. When I was told by a few people in Nashville that I was driving to Memphis, more than a few said, “You really should go to Wiseacre.” Advice taken, and executed.

Wiseacrew Brewing is located 20 minutes from Graceland, it’s a straight shot up on Rt. 69 and eastbound on North Parkway. You’ll pass the zoo and Overton park, then find yourself in a little up and coming area filled with converted warehouses. You’ll park in the back of the brewery that overlooks a vacant lot, but there’s art all around so I’m sure in completely safe.

I got there just after opening and had the place to myself. While they don’t do flights, the nice boy gave me samples of everything. Because of his act of kindness, I bought 3 cases of beer, a few specialty bottles and random six-packs.

Yes, it was that good, the best I had in Tennessee. Their best known beer is the Ananda IPA, which is dry-hopped with Casade. It’s actually one of the most crushable IPAs I’ve had, and more sweet and smooth than you’re normal IPA.

The other beer I was blown away with is their Gotta Get Up To Get Down, a coffee milk stout brewed with oatmeal. It’s a low ABV beer that velvety and robust.

The last case was their Belgium IPA, Boomslang. A lot of banana, spicy clove and citrus notes and extremely clean drinking.

As for six-packs, I took home their Special IPA and Tiny Bomb Pilsner.

Here was drank full pints:

  • Lightning Rod British Bitter
  • Avast! Pirate Porter
  • The Beach Within Reach Sour Berliner Weisser
  • Azazel With Rangpur Lime Strong Golden Belgium Ale

It’d a neat space where you can walk around and check out can art from previous releases. If you’re feeling spendy, you can buy the framed art. I just stuck with stickers. Out back is large deck, which is obviously great on summer nights.

For the Best Donuts in Nashville, It’s Five Daughters and Nobody Else

While hot chicken and barbecue will be high on your foodie tour of Nashville, there will be a little bit of heaven you need to seek out. If you’re stomach can handle it, there 100-layer donuts from Five Daughters will change your life. Your waistline will definitely change.

Sort of a cross between your standard yeast donut and croissant, it earns comparison to the pastry that changed baking, Dominique Ansel’s Cronut. The difference is that Five Daughter’s version comes in different varieties and flavors.

Not to get into too much detail, the process to make the 100-layer donut takes three days  and involves “laminating” layers of dough with butter. The result is a dense, decadent creation. I had mine with chocolate with cardamon and maple, bacon and brown sugar. Don’t be jealous, just get down to their two Nashville locations and the original location 20 miles south in Franklin. It’s also available at Barista Parlor and a new location in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The menu changes seasonally so there’s a good chance you’ll devouring a new creation. Want to make sure you get there and they have some super special available? Check their webcams for fresh donut action.