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BBQ Memphis -Driving thru on a Sunday

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I've been searching the threads to find recommendations for Memphis bbq (or something really good) and can't decide. We are traveling through from southern Illinois to New Orleans, stopping in Memphis for lunch. Will be in very casual attire.

The Uncle Lou's fried chicken place looks awesome but I don't see anyone mentioning it. Is it any good?

Any suggestions for something not more than about 15-20 minutes off the route (I-55).

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Well, I got my bbq picks from the thread under this one (doh!) - BBQ Shop, Central and Payne's.

    Anyone got any recent experience at Uncle Lou's and is it better than the bbq around town?

    1 Reply
    1. re: texasredtop

      All the places you mentioned are great, but if you have to choose one, go with BBQ shop. So far they have been 100% perfect every time I've been there.

    2. Barbecue Shop and Payne's, like many of the better bbq places in Memphis, are both closed on Sundays. Central is open and is probably going to be your best bet for a Sunday.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bulldogx2

        Thanks for that info. I will check out Central or maybe just defer to Uncle Lou's.

        1. re: bulldogx2

          Any recommendations for what to have or more importantly what NOT to have at Central? The menu looks good but I'm not sure brisket would be a good choice in Memphis. But you never know.

          1. re: texasredtop

            I'm sure their brisket is good, but if you're going to have BBQ in Memphis, go with pork. Cenral is known for their ribs. I prefer dry to wet, but for a visitor, I'd recommend you try half each way

            1. re: Michael H

              Agreed, I'd go with ribs. Their pork shoulder is good, too, but I sometimes think it's not smoky enough. Actually, their hot wings are really good if you need an appetizer before your pork - they smoke them before they fry them, which gives an interesting added flavor.

            2. re: texasredtop

              I had brisket at Corky's and found it quite good...although the waiter flat out said they do not sell very much. Interstate's brisket was also good but was chopped, probably the point where Corky's served sliced from the flat. Hope this helps.

          2. Uncle Lou's is fantastic. Although it isn't BBQ, their fried chicken is fantastic. I think the sauce is called sweet love sauce or something. It is sweet and spicy and tastes great on their chicken. If I remember correctly, their cornbread is really good to. I think the bottom of it is soaked in honey.

            As far as BBQ, it all depends. I am not sure what is open on Sunday's, but I agree with the guy below. Payne's and BBQ shop have great pulled pork. Central BBQ has great ribs. Tom's is known for fantastic rib tips. However, you can't go wrong with Interstate either or some of the other ones. Just avoid Rendevouz, it is overrated and very inconsistent.

            -----
            Central BBQ
            2249 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104

            3 Replies
            1. re: BiggieD

              I feel very ashamed to admit this but checking the schedule, we are driving through on a Monday. I'd like to have good pulled pork because we have good ribs in Texas but the pork is lacking. I'd also like to try some of the bbq bologna. I'm dying to try Uncle Lou's but hubby wants Memphis bbq. I'm gonna give him this one because the following 4 days are in New Orleans and those are all at my favorite places.

              So I think I'm leaning towards Payne's again. I can't find their hours so I'll call tomorrow and see what they are. If they don't answer, I'll know they're closed on Monday too :-)

              1. re: texasredtop

                Payne's has a good BBQ sandwich and a good balogna sandwich. You won't be disappointed. Interstate BBQ also good BBQ and balogna and is...that's right....just off the interstate. You'll be driving right past it. Actually, Interstate probably has my favorite balogna sandwich in town.

              2. re: BiggieD

                Tom's is closed on Sundays, as it is in an industrial area, so is Cozy Corner...(wanted either on a Sunday and could not go)

              3. Germantown Commissary is outstanding and they are open 7 days/week. Oooopppps. GC is too far from I 55 for you unless you want really good BBQ in a great atmosphere.

                Germantown Commissary @ 2290 S. Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN. 901 - 754 - 5549.

                http://www.commissarybbq.com/

                1. If you want to stop in Memphis, TN for BBQ I suggest you go to Cozy Corner BBQ due to it's location close to I 40. Right after your cross the Mississippi River get off I 40 at Exit 1B and go N on N Danny Thomas Blvd. Go about 2 blocks and you will pass St. Jude Children's Hospital then take a right on N. Parkway. Go 2 blocks to Cozy Corner for outstanding BBQ. When you leave CC head E to N Manasas and take your left. Go a block and take a right on Jackson Ave. then go about half a mile to I 240. Go under the IS and take a left going N and get on I 240 or I40 and go N. Go about 15 miles on I 240. You will turn E and then S before you reach Exit 12C then take I 40 E 200 miles to Nashville, TN.
                  Cozy Corner @ 745 N. Parkway, Memphis, TN. 901 - 527 - 9158.
                  http://www.cozycornerbbq.com/

                  -----
                  Cozy Corner Restaurant
                  745 N Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Littleman

                    Thanks littleman - do they offer bear cue? lol Hubby is set on Payne's right now but they didn't answer the phone yesterday. I'm guessing they're closed on Mondays which is when we'll be driving through. I'll call tomorrow again and see what they say. If Payne's is out then I'll check out Cozy Corner. I'm really drooling for that Uncle Lou's chicken though.

                    -----
                    Cozy Corner Restaurant
                    745 N Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105

                    1. re: texasredtop

                      Uncle Lou's may be your best bet if Payne's is not your choice. Marlowe's is just S of Graceland on Elvis Presley a little S of Uncle Lou's. They have good BBQ too. And they are open 7 days/week. They have been on DDD's if that means a lot. Where are you headed. It's too hot to hunt. Good luck.

                      Marlowe's Restaurant and Ribs @ 4381 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN. 901 - 332 - 4159.

                      http://marlowesmemphis.com/

                      1. re: Littleman

                        We are headed to the east coast (Savannah to DC) for a week then back through Memphis on our way to NO for 5 days.

                        Just tried to call Payne's again and no answer.

                        1. re: Littleman

                          Marlowe's doesn't open until noon which may not work. We will be coming through around 11, no later than 11:30 and don't want to wait half an hour for somewhere to open. Who opens for lunch at noon? Never saw that before.

                          So I'm back on Payne's and The BBQ Shop for the time-being.

                      2. re: Littleman

                        Cozy Corner not open on Mondays :-( I know the thread title says Sunday but I made a mistake. We'll be coming through around 11:30 on a Monday morning. Checking out Marlowe's now just in case Payne's is closed on Mondays.

                        -----
                        Cozy Corner Restaurant
                        745 N Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          Interstate has a location in Southaven just off I 55 but they don't list their business hours on their website. Give them a call. 10 Bones has good BBQ and they are 4 miles or about 10 minutes from I 55. Good luck.

                          Interstate BBQ @ 150 Stateline Road W, Southaven, MS. 662 - 393 - 5699.
                          10 Bone's BBQ @ 5960 Getwell Rd # 126, Southaven, MS 662 - 890 - 4472.
                          http://www.10bonesbbq.com/

                      3. We had a change of plans due to a nightmare in Baltimore so we left the DC area a day early and were through Memphis on a Sunday after all and all I had mapped was Uncle Lou's and The BBQ Shop. We ate at Uncle Lou's because the BBQ Shop was closed on Sunday and it was good. A three piece dinner will get you 5 pieces. The sauce is very good but my chicken was room temperature. My husband's chicken was hot so I should have swapped out some of mine for his. And the biscuit was not fresh at all, it was so dry it fell apart. The fried okra was good but didn't like the fries. I would go back if I were in the vicinity just to try it when it's fresher. It's a great idea but I think it's important that the chicken be dipped while it's still very fresh.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: texasredtop

                          I guess all of this talk BBQ talk gave me a craving. I actually stopped by Interstate BBQ last Sunday and ordered a BBQ bologna sandwich. It was perfect.

                          1. re: texasredtop

                            Huge mistake opting for Uncle Lou's, next time go for Gus's. Its on a whole other level

                            1. re: texasredtop

                              TX Red Top............Here's a place you need to visit if you get in the Delta. This is a real "bear" store.

                              http://www.onward-store.com/index.html