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Memphis Roadhouse, S. Attleboro, MA - Good Barbecue, Fabulous Chicken Wings (Very long)

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Memphis Roadhouse, S. Attleboro, MA - Good Barbecue, Fabulous Chicken Wings (Very long)

groaker | Jul 2, 2004 06:40 PM

I've probably eaten at Memphis Roadhouse more than a dozen times over the past couple of years, and each time I've felt guilty about not sharing with other chowhounds, so here's the scoop at last. The restaurant is on Route 1 in South Attleboro, just a hop, skip, and jump from the Rhode Island line (or about two miles south of the Emerald Square Mall/I-295). As a point of comparison, my favorite barbecue in the Boston area is Blue Ribbon (have not been to Uncle Pete's), and the 'cue at Memphis Roadhouse is right up there a close second, but they are very different places. Whereas Blue Ribbon is primarily takeout with a few stools, MR is a regular sit down restaurant with tables and booths, and a full bar. That's right, you can have some brew with your 'cue. MR has a good variety of beers, including some interesting microbrews, and, for you visiting Texas hounds, it's the only place I've been since I moved here from Houston that carries Lone Star in longnecks. Like a typical Southern joint, you don't get a lot of choices in sides, in fact, beans and either slaw or potato salad come standard with every entree. Collard greens, onion rings, and some other sides are available, but they are a la carte. But the meat, it's all about the meat. First things first. And the first thing for me is always an order of the Wings of Fire, Buffalo style. I believe Buffalo wings are one of the world's all time greatest food creations. I've eaten them anywhere I've had the chance, including the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, where they were invented. Friends, I'm here to tell you that the wings at Memphis Roadhouse are the best I've ever tasted. I get such a craving for these wings at times that I swear I've developed a genuine addiction to them. I finally winkled out their secret the last time I was there - they precook the wings in the smoker for several hours. As they say in the Guiness commercials - BRILLIANT! The wings are deep fried in very hot oil when they are ordered and come to the table crisp, juicy, smoky, and slathered in hot sauce. (Man, I'm feelin' it just writing this out. Must go this weekend.) As for the 'cue, (and I bet you thought I'd never get to it), it's damned good. The meats are smoked for 15 hours or so and have that tell-tale rosy ring under a mahogany crust. The ribs and brisket are fine - the brisket very tender, and the ribs, which can be ordered wet or dry, meaty with just the right amount of grease running down your wrists as you eat them. Alas, no burnt ends - still have to go to Blue Ribbon for those. The hot links sausage is very tasty, and the barbecued chicken, well, who really cares? My personal favorite type of 'cue is pulled pork, which I'm convinced is the real reason Prometheus gave the gift of fire to man (mmmm, roast swine!). The pulled pork at MR is excellent. At first it looks like they forgot to put enough sauce on it, until that first fork-full hits your mouth and the taste of vinegar explodes on your tongue. YUM, with a capital yum. MR has other stuff for those who don't want barbecue. There are some seafood dishes - don't bother. (The exception to this is the lunch menu offering of a fried oyster po'boy, which is quite good, but mysteriously unavailable at dinner). The steaks, which are hand cut in house, are another matter entirely. When you first enter the dining room you will notice (hard not to) the two side by side brick open wood burning pits with 4 foot x 4 foot cast iron grills. These are not for the barbecue. (You don't grill 'cue folks, you smoke it. Pay attention here). The grills are for the steaks and hamburgers, and they feed on hunks of firewood. Next to the grills is the glass fronted meat case where you can eyeball your dinner in its raw state. My GF, who loves steak and has enjoyed it at places like the Oak Room, and my best friend, who is another steak afficionado, both now proclaim the Memphis Roadhouse to be their favorite place for steak. If you absolutely don't trust anyone else to cook your steak the way you like it, they will let you cook it yourself on one of the big grills. Should you find that you have enough room for dessert, (you won't), I heartily recommend the peanut butter pie. No, really. I was dubious at first too, but unless you simply don't like peanut butter you will love this pie. Did I mention they play only blues and jazz on the sound system? Caveat alert - this is not an inexpensive meal. If you think "cheap" when you hear "barbecue", you will suffer severe sticker shock when you get the bill. You have to think of this as a sit down dinner at a full service restaurant, a meal which might well include appetizers, an entree, a couple of a la carte items, some adult beverages, tax, and tip. (The steaks in particular are pricy for a suburban restaurant, but not out of line with steak houses of comparable quality.) Fortunately, the lunch prices are much lower without sacrificing reasonable portions. Kicking back with some great wings, fine 'cue, and an Old Brown Dog ale while listening to B.B. King and Robert Johnson, what's not to like?

Link: http://www.memphisroadhouse.com/

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