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Memphis BBQ: Central BBQ vs Corky's vs Insterstate


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Memphis BBQ: Central BBQ vs Corky's vs Insterstate

Porthos | Dec 2, 2007 08:29 PM

Quick review on these places because I'm no BBQ expert and big warning because I've spent most of my life between LA, NY, and SF.

I was only in town for 2 days and 2 nights so I had to commit myself to ribs. My friend decided to focus more on BBQ pork sandwiches and beans.

For pork ribs, I decided that I liked dry rub better than wet so my ranking for the 3 go:

1. Central BBQ (on Central). My first stop in Memphis, even before my hotel. I got a half slab with slaw and beans. The half slab was actually a little small and a bit dry. The crust was good and there was a depth of flavor to the ribs. Based on that first visit, I would have thought they were average. However, my return visit just before leaving town was stellar. The ribs were meaty, juicy, and deeply flavorful. I got the dry and applied the sauce intermittently. The sauce there is pretty darned good. The beans were average on the first visit but excellent on the return visit.

2. Corky's (on Poplar). Definitely commercialized but we got a full slab (half wet and half dry) along with an order of the pulled pork sandwich. The wet was medicore but the dry side was actually pretty decent. Almost as good as Central on the first visit but not even close to Central on the second visit. The pulled pork sandwich, I thought was better than Interstate's. The disclaimer is that I went to Interstate a full 45 minutes after Corky's so I wasn't the most hungry. The Interstate BBQ sandwich was chopped and at least for me, seemed a bit dry. Maybe I just like pulled pork better than chopped.

3. Interstate. Definitely a legit looking place but the ribs seemed cooked by some method other than BBQ (maybe just smoked) and dipped in a lot of sauce. The ribs were fattier then Central's and Corky's. The meat texture was good but by this time, I was firmly in the dry camp and not really wowed. The beans here are really good though with the huge chunks of pork floating around.

Again, just a city boy's perspective but man, that Central BBQ is really good when they're on.

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