Friday, January 8, 2010

Memphis Blues - Meaty Goodness

While some restaurants are willing to broaden their menus as far as possible to attract a wide audience, others have a very clear idea of what they are and remain utterly unrepentant for it. Memphis Blues is one such restaurant. A southern-style BBQ house, Memphis Blues is a temple to meat, with absolutely gargantuan portions of pork, chicken, sausage and ribs slathered with sauce and covered with mountains of fries. This is not a place that even thinks of catering to vegetarians and health-conscious diners. And frankly, that’s just the way I like it!

Taken from user Greedy Guts on Urbansoon

About the restaurant: The inspiration for Memphis Blues struck in 1999 during a stopover in Memphis; the two founders tasted a pulled pork sandwich for the first time and fell in love with the taste. Since then, they have made an effort to bring “authentic southern barbeque” to Vancouver. This extends not only to the food but to the d├ęcor and atmosphere. The interior is simple and welcoming, with warm wood tones and blues music playing in the background. The meals are presented in baskets lined with wax paper, and customers are encouraged to eat with their hands. No pretentions of grandeur here! On occasion, some of the restaurants feature live blues music; check ahead of time for availability.

The food: All the dishes at Memphis Blues share certain qualities in common; they are all hearty, meaty, and absolutely gigantic in terms of portions. Everything has a very southern flare, with cornbread and beans a common fixture along with fries and coleslaw. The pulled pork is very popular, as are the ribs and brisket. The meat itself is moist and succulent, and slathered generously with BBQ sauce. And when I say “slathered”, I mean “slathered”. Expect sticky fingers by the end of the meal… if you ever get that far! There is so much in terms of meat, fries and corn bread that I have yet to meet a single person who can get through an entire platter. Not only is there a ton of food, but all of it is extremely rich and, in some cases, fried. As a result, it’s not uncommon to stagger away from the table, still reeling and feeling as if you’ve been shot with a tranquilizer gun. This is the sort of food you eat if you want to hibernate, or at least curl up in your hotel room and digest happily.

If you are a vegetarian, or are seeking healthier or more varied meal options, you may want to give Memphis Blues a miss; it does not have a lot of variety other than giant BBQ meat dishes. However,  if you are a meat lover, the quality is excellent, and you’ll definitely eat your fill.

My favourites:  Pulled Pork, ½ slab o’ribs

Cost: Prices are a little higher here than other places, with the cheapest, smallest sandwiches going for $7.50 and most entrees going for $15-25 (a pitcher of beer is $10). However, it should be noted that since the portions are so large, you do end up getting your money’s worth… though good luck being able to finish the whole thing!

Take-out?:  No, although you can take leftovers away with you.

Delivery?:  The Commercial Drive location has delivery within a 2km radius. There is a $2 delivery fee, and you must order a minimum of $20.

Licensed?:  Yes. Beer is available on tap, and a selection of bourbon is on offer.

Location(s): There are two Vancouver locations, one on Commercial Drive and one near Broadway and Granville (a major transit hub). There are also a few out in the suburbs. Link to Google Maps.

Website and menus: Here. 

Summary: Sometimes you want a fancy dinner… and other times, you want to go somewhere where you eat with your hands, get sauce everywhere, and wolf down half a pig/cow/chicken. For times like those, Memphis Blues is a perfect, unpretentious place to indulge.

Memphis Blues Barbeque House (Broadway) on Urbanspoon


Follow Me Foodie said...

Hi Michelle! Fantastic blog you have going here! I love what you're doing and I think tourists will really appreciate the local tips you're giving. I can't seem to find your e-mail address, but mine is on my blog under "about me". So would you mind sending me a direct e-mail? Thanks!

Post a Comment