As a Memphian, I have had my share of amazing and also terrible barbecue. Whenever I am not in the mood to try something different and all I want is to go somewhere I know the ‘cue is going to be solid and always good, I head down the street to Central BBQ. Central is a local staple in Memphis, and the consensus seems to be all positive. Obviously, there are many rivals in Memphis for the best barbecue, and everyone has their favorite. However, Central BBQ seems to be at the top of most Memphians’ lists.
My favorite barbecue meals are a pulled pork sandwich and barbecue nachos. Any place that can tackle these two items is a gold medal winner in my heart. Central BBQ has the best of both of these.
This particular time I was at Central, I met my friend Amber for a lunch date to celebrate her upcoming birthday. We got there a bit after the lunch rush, and the place seemed very peaceful. Central BBQ is not a hole-in-the-wall joint, but it does have your relaxed, casual atmosphere down pat. It’s like going to eat at Grandma’s.
Amber ordered the pulled pork plate with beans and macaroni and cheese. She claims that Central BBQ has the mac-n-cheese that you just cannot master at home. You know, the thick, creamy, rich kind. She let me try them, and yes she was definitely right. This mac-n-cheese was great.
I ordered a similar meal this time I was there. I got the pulled pork plate with beans and greens.
I was a bit curious to try something different this time, so I also ordered the tamales. They had obviously just started serving them, as I noted by the signs around the store. With my love for tamales, I know I had to try them.
Overall, our pulled pork plates were amazingly delicious. The pork was juicy and tender, so much that I barely had to chew. You know you have the good melt-in-your-mouth barbecue when you barely have to use your teeth.
The tamales, on the other hand, were not my favorite. They were pretty dry and fell completely apart when I opened them. I was left with a dry, clumpy mess.
Central BBQ is still on the top of my list for BBQ joints in Memphis. Stick to what they do best and leave the rest for the others.