Friday night, the Harsha Boys Midwest BBQ Smackdown reached it's furthest destination- Memphis, TN. We checked into our fairly low-rent motel (fine for a boy's trip- the wives wouldn't have stayed there), and met up with friends Aleks and Sarah, locals. Since they have lived in Memphis for a number of years, we trusted their judgement on where to go for the best BBQ. I know some people are sitting there reading this saying "Rendevous", and others "The Interstate". Our local tour-guides disagreed. They took us to the Neely's restaurant on Jefferson. Let me say right now that I'm not a huge fan of Patrick and Gina Neely's show on the Food Network. I'm sure they are nice people, but they tend to bee too syrupy sweet and obnoxious to watch. Their restaurant is a bit of an ode to themselves- with their own pictures making up about 89% of the decor. It was a bit more rustic than expected. I almost thought we would walk into a TV "star" restaurant, and have it be uber-nice. Nope. All wood panelling, comfortable chairs, and a great mix of black, white, hispanic, and several other races eating there. It was exactly what a BBQ joint in Memphis should be.
The first course was the Sausage and cheese- Kevin liked this sausage the best out of all of them we ate. I actually liked it at 17th street the best, but this one did have an amazing rub sprinkled on it. What came next was jaw-dropping. Kevin ordered the "combo" platter- Ribs, Pork, Beef, and Turkey. I ordered a fried bologna sandwich. Yes, you read that correctly. I had never seen it on a menu before, and I'm glad I ordered it. The bologna was about 1/2" thick, smoked, and freaking delicious. The ribs were served piping hot- incredibly meaty, and supremely tender without being mushy. The pork was fine, nothing to write much about, as was the turkey. The beef was a bit tough. Another item that Sarah ordered that was probably the least-favorite thing on the table was BBQ Spaghetti. Huh? My mouth was confused. Let me go back to the ribs- I literally couldn't stop eating them! Will they give Pappy's a run for the top of the leader board?
The night ended with a trip over to Jerry's- a "famous" snowcone stand. You can get all flavors either regular, "supreme" (with soft-serve ice cream" or with "cream" (condensed milk). I opted for the Dreamsicle Supreme. Kevin got the "Legit". He doesn't know what flavor it was, but we both found small pockets in our pork-laden digestive tracts to shove the sweet goodness in.
Next post- the winners.