Sunday, November 25, 2007
Memphis BBQ--Part 1
At last, my long-awaited review of the two barbecue dinners I enjoyed while in Memphis this past week. And I want to start by saying that today it appears that blogger has fixed the problem that wasn't allowing me to imbed links or video. I'm very excited, because now you won't have to cut n' paste the url to go to the websites.
On that Sunday evening, after asking 5 or 6 people for recommendations, I made my way down Poplar Avenue in Germantown (a suburb of Memphis where I was both staying and working), to a place called Corky's. It was well after dark when I set out, but I was able to find it rather easily. Finding a parking place, however, proved a challenge. I negotiated a series of completely illegal U-turns up and down the wide, non-median'd street while I waited for a spot to open up. After a few minutes I was able to pull in and park, only to enter the small establishment to see a large group of people standing and sitting, waiting to be seated.
Not really in the mood to wait 45 minutes for dinner, I decided to try their drive through, which was poorly lit, but efficiently run, with an affable young man helming the window. Shame on me for forgetting to snap a picture of their menu board! I paused at the board, looking for a 'most popular' or 'tourist's best choice' type of listing when I saw "BBQ Sausage and Cheese Plate, A Memphis Tradition". Well, I sure as heck was going to get that! A Memphis tradition? Of course I had to try it. So I placed my order for that as well as the pork plate. Too much food for one person, but what the heck...the hotel room had a refrigerator for storing leftovers.
The sausage part of the 'Memphis Tradition' was wonderfully tasty--tender with that wonderful bbq sweet/spicy/smoky flavor. The rest of the plate, however, was less than stellar, prompting a quick once over to sample the simple cheeses and pickle spears (which I normally adore), with a subsequent banishment to the trash can. I should have known better than to get such a plate at a bbq joint.
On to the pork plate! The pork meat was delectably tender and moist, smoked to perfection, and topped with Corky's own bbq sauce with cole slaw, bbq baked beans and a wonderfully fresh sourdough roll. The dishes make for a very earth-toney meal, but then again, aren't all the best foods brown?
The slice of pecan pie came with the pork plate. And let's just set the record straight by clarifying the pronunciation of pecan. It is puh-CONN, with the emphasis on the second syllable, not PEE-can or PEE-conn. If you're not pronouncing it puh-CONN then you're just flat out wrong. This slice of pie was a little slice of heaven, but heaven only knows what a maraschino cherry was doing defiling the perfection of it. I quickly exiled it from my sight. My mother makes a killer pecan pie, but this one took the cake, or the pie, rather. The crust was simple yet up to the task of holding the dense pie load of goodness. The pie was neither too sweet nor too sticky. It was, in a word, yumiliciousness personified. Wait, does that count as two words?
So, if you're heading to Memphis and want to make your taste buds dance a little jig, check out Corky's at one of their three locations around town. I'm told it's a 'touristy' kind of place, but that the locals also frequent there. It's worth it, just for the pie.
Next time, on Jenny's blog...our favorite girl-about-town visits the Germantown Commissary for some ribs! Stay tuned.