Memphis Minnie's - Disappointment
I'm a recent transplant to SF from the Midwest, and tried MM for the first time. Sadly, I was very disappointed. My friend and I had the combo plate and we ordered the pork ribs, shoulder and turkey, plus a half-pound of rib tips. Everything was bland, dry and rubbery. The sides: sweet potato, cole slaw, and the collard greens, aside from the texture differences (which was a function of different ingredients), they all tasted the same, which would have been alright if they were good, but they weren't. They all tasted like any kind of over-cooked, generic vegetable with too much vinegar. Did I miss something, or was I expecting too much? I really thought it would be good based on the reviews I've read here. Do'H!
I've had MM's pork ribs, brisket, and pulled pork many times over many years and have never found any of it dry or rubbery or bland. Never had their turkey or rib tips. I don't know if you were there on a bad day if our tasters are different (I'm also a midwest transplant, just not recent).
Wow, sorry the experience wasn't a good one. We in the bay area recognize that our menagerie of BBQ isn't necessarily up to true Memphis standards or KC or NC or Texas if that's your particular preference. That being said, MM's is one of the more popular and I have to say for me, personally, MM means one thing and one thing only...brisket. I too find their greens on the sour side, but man the brisket is awesome! For ribs, I have to come back over the bridge to Oakland and Lafayette or down the Penninsula, but that's how I've come to terms with our BBQ. It's more of hunt and peck strategy, but I have yet to find a smoke pit that does it all really well.
All that being said, I'm sure you'll figure out your favorites as time marches on. Remember, feed the inner Chowhound and you'll be rewarded, this one meal was but a rest stop on the long and winding (and tasty) road of a true 'Hound :)
I have to agree with you. MM is pretty average for BBQ. I'd call it "not bad". I mean, they use real smoke and all. The sides are decent. But none of it is even in the top third as authentic BBQ goes. But then, there isn't a lot of that tradition around the Bay Area. We prefer Henry's High Life in San Jose, it's the best BBQ we've found so far around here.
Yah, it's a relative thing. If you're from North Carolina or something, then you're probably not going to be impressed by Memphis Minnie's. But considering the cost-value of the food, combined with its relative quality, I still think Minnie's is worth a visit. Temper your expectations, and try the brisket next time...