Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ribs In Memphis - Central BBQ and The Bar-B-Q Shop

Ribs at Central BBQ

At long last, our first ribs of the trip. While ribs had been available at other places, Memphis was our first stop where they were the main event.

The slab pictured above came from Central BBQ. It was kind of a strange place compared to other barbecue places we had visited on the trip - very much a college atmosphere, with employees wearing matching tie-dyed t-shirts.

Central BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee

But what about the ribs? As you can see, we had no trouble plowing through them:

Ribs at Central BBQ

They were good, but not eye-opening "this is Memphis" good. Maybe a little overcooked - they came off of the bone a bit too easily. They were also on the small side, and not super meaty.

Of course we weren't going to judge Memphis ribs by just one stop. Next up was The Bar-B-Q Shop:

The Bar-B-Q Shop in Memphis, Tennessee

It was July 4th, and the place was packed with people waiting for take-out orders. They were putting out a serious amount of barbecue, as almost every person walked out with a big box.

Waiting for Take-Out at The Bar-B-Q Shop

And the ribs? Take a look at that pink color and you know they've seen some smoke. They came sauced even though we ordered them dry, but with the place as busy as it was we weren't going to send them back.

Ribs at The Bar-B-Q Shop

Turns out, keeping them was the right thing to do. They were absolute perfection. The meat had an amazing smokey taste and was perfectly cooked: nice and moist, but still with enough backbone to give you something to gnaw on.

Ribs in Memphis on the 4th of July - it doesn't get much better than that...

Central BBQ
2249 Central Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee
(901) 272-9377‎

The Bar-B-Q Shop
1782 Madison Ave.
Memphis, Tennessee
(901) 272-1277‎


  1. Good 'ole Memphis.

    Miserable city in some ways but awesome in many others.

    Glad you checked out the music scene too.

    Payne's is highly respected too.

  2. We really enjoyed Memphis. The downtown area was very walkable, and had a good feel to it.


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