Aug 28, 2011

Road Trip Day 9

My priority in Memphis was to check out the local BBQ. It was a little hard to pick out an top BBQ joint in a town chock full of them. There were a few that were rated highly on Yelp!, Chowhound, and Urbanspoon, I ended up going to the Bar-B-Q Shop.

Now I'm no specialist in BBQ. I was told there was a wet style and a dry, and one was from Texas, and the other was in Memphis. I'm just as confused at this point, because they both seemed about equivalently dry. Bar-B-Q Shop had a special platter including brisket, pulled pork, ribs and BBQ spaghetti, which was perfect since it had everything I wanted to try! The ribs were served glazed, with a dash of dry rub on top for flavor. It was delicious, fall off the bone, juicy. It would definitley be in the running for the best ribs ever. The pulled pork and brisket though, were much leaner than I expected. The pulled pork was a bit moister, but the brisket was pretty much completely lean. Both had a great smoked flavour, but a bit more fat would have made both juicier. The supposedly award winning sauce was way too salty for me - as was the BBQ spaghetti. The spicy version was pretty good though.

We had passed by the Sun Records studio the previous evening, and we headed back after lunch for the tour. Known for the discovery of Elvis, and Johnny Cash, as well as a number of other blues greats, and the "birthplace of rock and roll", the tour was entertaining and informative. The studio was originally started in the 50s, recording blues and rock and roll acts that eventually became stars. It later declined, and was closed, but re-opened in the 80s, when a number of significant acts recorded there for its history, including part of U2's Rattle and Hum album.

We returned to the hotel, and took the downtown trolley to Beale St., Memphis' answer to Bourbon St. Lined with neon, bars, live music and crowds. It was plenty touristy, but also a lot of fun. One of the most interesting shops on the street was the Ernest Withers gallery, which covered both music artists, and the civil rights movement, including many photos of MLK Jr. We closed off the night in a bar, watching the Ghost City Blues Band live.

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