First of all, thanks to everyone who has posted reports and recommendations on Memphis barbecue joints. They were very helpful to me on my recent trip to this great city.
I'm coming back to Memphis in a couple of weeks. On my prior visit (report at the link below), I tried to hit a lot of the spots recommended by the knowledgeable locals: Cozy Corner (rib tips & Cornish hen), Payne's (ribs and "OMG" sandwich), Germantown Commissary (sandwich), Central BBQ (wet and dry ribs), Corky's (can't say I wasn't warned; dry ribs & pulled pork), and Blue's City Cafe (wet ribs).
This time, I'm hoping to hit some of the prime spots I missed last time. If anyone can help me out with the following questions, I'd appreciate it.
(1) The Barbecue Shoppe-- I'd read many Chowhound recommendations of this place, but had trouble getting there last time because of the holiday weekend. This time, it's at the top of the list. From the posts I've read, it sounds like they're strong in both the sandwich and ribs categories. Is that correct? Is there anything else I should order there? If they offer both wet and dry ribs, is one any better than the other?
(2) A&R-- With Randal--who obviously knows his 'cue--claiming this is the best sandwich in Memphis, a sandwich (and fried pie) here is another top priority. Are their ribs or other meats worth consideration or should I stick with the sandwich?
(3) Other Memphis joints-- With the places I visited in my last trip, plus the two above, I think I'll have hit most of the places highly recommended by the knowledgeable locals. After getting burned (badly!) at Corky's last time, I'm reluctant to try a lot of the other tourist-oriented spots (e.g., Rendezvous, Interstate, Leonard's, et al.). Should I consider any of them? Or are there other, less publicized places that I should look into? (I wouldn't mind going back to places I've already been, if the prospects of finding anything great at new places are limited.)
(4) Outside of Memphis-- I'll be coming into town from the direction of Little Rock. When I leave, I'll be heading NW (towards Jonesboro, AR). Are there any worthwhile barbecue stops (or detours) in the areas west, northwest, or north of Memphis? (If there's anything great to the east or south of Memphis, but not too far, I'd also be intersted in hearing about it.)
Any tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.