Don’t be confused. Cooking out in your backyard is NOT barbecue. Unless it’s pork (beef is not barbecue, silly Texans), and you cook those suckers for at least 8 hours (and more like 24), you’re just grilling out.
Everyone has their favorite style–vinegar-based, tomato-based, dry ribs, sweet sauce–but in my humble but accurate opinion, it don’t get better than Memphis-style barbecue. I spent 6 years living in Memphis, so I’m hooked. It’s hard to find good barbecue outside of the South, but if you do get some, you know it’s just about as close to heaven as you can get here on earth. The spicy, salty aroma makes my mouth just water.
And folks are serious about their barbecue. People travel from miles around just to get a good taste. I once met Jimmy Carter at the Rendezvous in Memphis. I’ve heard of others spotting the Rolling Stones, NSYNC, and who knows who else. The Memphis in May World Champion Barbecue Cooking Contest, which draws over 90,000 annually, is the largest pork barbecue cooking contest in the world. Other smaller, but just as tasty barbecue joints in Memphis include the Germantown Commissary, Gridley’s, Tops, and Pig-N-Whistle.
But for my money, I think you won’t find any better than Corky’s. If you get through Memphis sometime, you’ve got to go by the original location on Poplar Avenue. And if you can’t anytime soon, and just get a hankerin’ you can’t control (I know I certainly have), you can have most of the resturants in town ship you a package via Fed Ex (another Memphis staple) on dry ice straight to your home anywhere in the U.S. Make sure to try the dry ribs and a spoonful of coleslaw on top of your pulled-pork sandwich. Yum!
What’s you’re favorite type of BBQ?