Gas in the car? Playlist all queued up? Are you hungry? Let’s hope so, because we’re heading out on a five-state road trip to find the best barbecue traditions in America. No matter what tradition we’re exploring, T. Marzetti Foodservice has Bold Blends™ to make the BBQ memorable.
Memphis may be a city, but it’s also a style—in music, in culture and especially in barbecue. The city boasts one of the largest concentrations of barbecue restaurants in the world, and it’s home to the World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest.
The Memphis method begins with hickory wood for the smoke, which locals claim is more subtle than other woods (like the mesquite that rules Texas barbecue). Another important factor is intricate, multi-ingredient dry rubs. Considered the “secret ingredient” behind many Memphis barbecue recipes, just about all of the rubs contain a serious amount of paprika. Finally, the sauce is often a balance of spicy mustard, acidic vinegar and umami-rich tomato. Ask for “dry” ribs and you’ll get those that receive a spicy-rich rub before cooking. Order “wet” for ribs that are sauced before smoking.
To sample a taste of the real thing, start at any one of the three Memphis locations of Central BBQ. Open just 16 years (a comparative millisecond in the long-running history of barbecue restaurants), its claims to fame are fall-off-the-bone meat, Southern hospitality and good times. Another popular spot is The Bar-B-Q Shop, which boasts that its real-pit extra-meaty glazed ribs are the No. 1 ribs in America.
If you’ve still got some appetite left, don’t miss a visit to Payne’s Bar-B-Q. Like so many other fan-favorite barbecue establishments, it’s located in a former gas station. A third-generation family-operated business that’s been around for nearly 50 years, the restaurant still uses Grandma Emily Payne’s original recipes. Whatever else you order, be sure to get at least one chopped pork sandwich, which is Payne’s longtime specialty.
T. Marzetti Tip
Looking for ways to spice up the BBQ on your menu? T. Marzetti Foodservice has Bold Blends™ for every taste. Choose from Western Barbecue Sauce, Mild Barbecue Sauce and Korean Barbecue Sauce, or try new Sweet & Bold Barbecue Sauce, made with tomato, vinegar, pineapple juice, onion and garlic for sweet, smoky and tangy flavor. It’s perfect for dipping buffalo wings, coating ribs and as a grillside basting sauce for chicken, pork or beef. Get any flavor in 4/1 gallons perfect for back-of-house, or increase ease with Sweet & Bold sauce in 72/2 oz. cups! Try a sample of our Bold Blends™ sauce.
Past BBQ Road Trip Stops