Nov 27, 2012

A commoner reviews Pig on Beale, Memphis, Tenn.

With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, I decided to start catching up on blogging, particularly since I had an extensive road trip to Memphis and New Orleans that brought me many new ideas for posts.  One idea came from the dinner my group and I had our first night on the road at the Pig on Beale. 

Pig on Beale is, as advertised, a barbecue joint right smack in the middle of Memphis’ famous Beale Street nightlife.  I had never eaten there before, and had in fact kind of avoided it for fear of it being too touristy to be good, but we went there on the recommendation one of our group had been given.

Even though it’s a relatively new addition to Beale Street (established in 2002), Pig tries hard to look like a cross between an old time barbecue joint and 1960s diner that’s been around forever.  But since it’s on Beale, it looked like it could also easily transform into another pretty lively night spot given the right crowd and local music.  We sat near the bar, of course.

The menu is not all that extensive, so you better be in the mood for barbecue.  But then again, if you aren’t, then why are you here?  I had no qualms about the selections.

Since we had a group of five, we decided to go the easy route and order the BBQ Lover’s Feast – a full rack of ribs, three smoked chicken thighs, a pile of pulled pork, smoked hot legs and four sides – all for sharing.  A few of us in the party were also quite pleased to see Miller High Life as one of the better (and cheaper) beer selections on the menu, too.  So, what did we think of the meal?  Well, here’s what our serving tray looked like when it arrived …

… and here’s what it looked like after we were finished.

The consensus was very positive.  For me personally, the ribs were excellent, and the pulled pork was quite good and flavorful, though not off-the-charts mind blowing.  Shockingly, what I most liked were the smoked thighs.  Yes, for a place that has received awards for its pork, I would recommend the chicken the most.  Who knew?  As for the sides, the barbecued beans and potato salad were well above par, too.

So there you have it, a brief (for me) review of Pig on Beale.  I wouldn’t place it on my all-time Top Five list of barbecue joints (I still consider Rendezvous a must-try for a first-timer in Memphis), but the barbecue at Pig on Beale does stand out.  It definitely beat what I had at Blues City Café earlier in the year, and since I’ve heard the ribs at Rum Boogie aren’t what they used to be, if you’re hungry for barbecue on Beale Street, I’d recommend trying Pig on Beale.

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