Central BBQ, Memphis, TN, 2012
Central BBQ’s new downtown location, right behind the National Civil Rights Museum, had it’s official grand opening this past weekend. A lot of hard work, heart, and soul went into its creation and it absolutely shows in the beautiful aesthetic and wonderful atmosphere they’ve brought to life there, two things only topped by the quality of the food and service provided. If you live in Memphis or in the tri-state region, or have merely passed through the River City and you haven’t tried their dry rub chicken wings, their barbecue nachos (pro tip: get their wonderful potato chips substituted for their just as wonderful tortilla chips) or any of the other food they offer (don’t get me started about their ribs), you’ve done yourself a major disservice.
In the realm of barbecue, there’s a lot of mediocrity and it gets a pass because, well, its hard to really mess up when it comes to pork. At the same time, its equally as hard to distinguish quality in the realm smoke and sauce, but that’s just what Central BBQ does, these guys go above and beyond. They heap on the nice touches and pay attention to detail.
As many a pork aficionado knows, the sauce makes or breaks a barbecue joint; Central gives you four to choose from and I promise you, there’s one that’ll hit all the joy buzzers on your tongue just right. They fry their potato and tortilla chips in house daily. The chicken wings are first marinated, THEN smoked, THEN crisped up in the fryer, THEN sauced or, even better, tossed in an amazing rub that really sets them apart in Memphis, a town where you can find a wing spot (not to mention a barbecue joint) on every corner. Some people might call this a little too much, a little anal retentive if you will; Central BBQ calls it doing it right and the proof is in the pudding. Note: Central BBQ makes and serves banana pudding, and like everything else, it is terrific.
Seriously, do yourself a favor. Central BBQ is good place, put together and staffed by great people, serving some of the best food Memphis has to offer. Stop in and get your fingers messy and your stomach happy.