Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Corky's Ribs & BBQ, Memphis


Corky's Ribs & BBQ, Memphis

One thing Memphians pride themselves on is their BBQ. There are countless restaurants that serve good old fashioned Southern BBQ, but one thing I've learned is that every Memphian has their own preference on where to go.

CK and I did some research prior to visiting Memphis, and we narrowed it down to two choices: Central BBQ or the Bar-B-Q Shop. When word got out that we wanted to go for BBQ, the whole family wanted to join us. However, this led to a huge discussion on the best place for BBQ, and no one could agree on anything. "Corky's has the best BBQ" one said, "Why wouldn't you take them to Rendezvous?" another chimed in, "No, go to Central BBQ. That is cousin M's favorite place, and he knows his BBQ". And so on, and so on. The same discussion went on for days.

In the end, it was decided that it should be the guest’s choice, so we decided on Central BBQ. We finally had a plan. Things were good.

The family packed into two cars, and off we went. As we were pulling out of the driveway, the best BBQ argument resurrected, and the debate ACTUALLY continued through open car windows. The two cars had to pull over to the side of the road to discuss which place had the best BBQ. At that point, CK and I gave in, and we decided to satisfy the majority of the folks by going to Corky’s Ribs and BBQ. It was a wildly amusing situation, and I couldn't help but laugh.

Corky’s was packed when we arrived. There was a Liberty Bowl game happening that same weekend, so there were a lot of out of towners visiting Memphis. After waiting patiently for over an hour for our table, it was our turn to chow down.

For appetizers, we ordered the onion loaf. It was basically onion rings shaped into a loaf, and served with a house dipping sauce.

Onion Loaf
Onion Loaf

Memphis is known for their dry ribs. Memphis style ribs are basted with a thin sauce, and then covered with a generous amount of dry rub, which is then slow cooked until tender. Dry rub spices include paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper.

Most of the people at our tabled shared the slab of ribs for two. I ordered my ribs half wet and half dry so that I could compare the two. Corky's ribs are slow cooked over hickory wood and a charcoal pit fire, creating a nice smoky taste. The dry ribs are covered with their secret blend of dry spices, and the wet ribs are covered with their famous original BBQ sauce.

BBQ Ribs Wet / Dry
Slab of Ribs for Two (Wet and Dry)

Of the wet and dry ribs, I was surprised to say that I liked the dry better. Both were good, but there was something in their dry blend that was highly addictive.

The ribs came with baked beans and creamy coleslaw. Both were really good and had just the right amount of sweetness to them.

Bake Beans and Slaw
Baked Beans and Coleslaw

Other dishes that were ordered that evening:

Bar-B-Q Chicken: half-chicken rubbed with special chicken seasoning, carefully basted with Corky’s Bar-B-Q sauce, and then slowly smoked in their custom pit.

BBQ Chicken
BBQ Chicken

Cajun-style Bar-B-Q shrimp: prepared hot and spicy, and served over a bed of pasta. All meals came with homemade rolls that were awesome.

Cajun Shrimp
Cajun Style BBQ Shrimp

Jumbo Bar-B-Q Beef Sandwich: Lean, slow-cooked Bar-B-Q beef brisket served with coleslaw. The coleslaw is served in the sandwich unless requested otherwise.

BBQ Beef Sandwich
BBQ Beef Sandwich

And here is what my plate looked like when I was done.

Empty BBQ Plate

Some more pictures of Graceland as promised...

The living room is the first room you see when you walk in.

Living Room, Graceland
The Living Room

Elvis' original kitchen. This was actually not open to the public until 1995. Elvis' aunt used this kitchen until her death in 1993.

Kitchen, Graceland
The Kitchen

He had three TVs in his TV room.

The TV Room, Graceland
The TV Room

Didn't know the meaning of the word psychedelic until I saw his pool room. The walls were covered with this crazy retro fabric.

The Pool Room, Graceland
The Pool Room

The famous jungle room.

The Jungle Room, Graceland
The Jungle Room

Corky's Ribs & BBQ
5259 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Telephone: 901-685-9744

Corky's Bar-B-Q (East Memphis) on Urbanspoon


La Table De Nana said...

Are you having fun? My son-in'law loves Elvis..I found him a HUGE Elvis book at the library sale Monday..Your first photo of Corky's is great!!

Hmmm..looks like you licked your plate clean..that good ?

The kitchen looks like one of mine did a bit:) Many many moons ago..many.

chapot said...

It's so funny !
And I melt in front of a creamy coleslaw, I love to visit Memphis, maybe one day !

Audrey c. said...

Ah - your posts always make me hungry! The onion loaf looks delicious!

but...What's with the creepy gremlin animal in the TV room?

Russ said...

Your photos of Graceland are great. Don't forget a little south of Memphis... John Daly's Restaurant and Bar. Now offering John Daly BBQ on the menu (Ribs, Pulled Pork sandwiches and BBQ pizza). BBQ Pizza is awesome with the par-bake pizza crust. Ribs are baby back with nearly 1 pound of meat per serving. BBQ Sandwich is piled high and sweet barbeque sauce. Don't live near Memphis, check out to get your Memphis style barbeque.

Kasra said...

relient k here, i would say pretty accurate

nooschi said...

La Table De Nana,
Memphis was awesome! Ribs will never be the same for me.

Happy New Year to you. I'm more of a oil & vinegar coleslaw person, but Corky's coleslaw was awesome.

Audrey c,
Yea, they had tacky Christmas decorations throughout the house. Not sure if that gremlin is always there or not tho.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting! You rock.

unitb612 said...

So envious of you and your food adventures! Craving ribs. Would eat ribs, onion rings, and coleslaw right now if they magically appeared!

Anonymous said...

Corky's is great, but you need to visit Central Barbecue! As a former Memphian, I order from Central from time to time and they ship it to me in California. Really hits the spot.