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Mar 3, 2012 02:42 PM

One Great Memphis BBQ Meal Needed

In early April I'm flying into Memphis and then heading south to Clarksdale, MS for the Juke Joint Festival. I'm going to have time for one truly great bbq lunch or late lunch in Memphis on the way to or from the airport. Ideally it won't be somewhere too far out of the way between the airport and points south - but the quality of the bbq is more important.

What's the latest thinking on the best bbq Memphis has to offer? Thanks.

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  1. Marlowe's is close to the AP. Interstate is another joint close to I 55 S of AP. Clarksdale has great BBQ.

    Marlowe's Restaurant and Ribs @ 4381 Elvis Presley Blvd., Memphis, TN. 901 - 332 - 4159.
    Interstate BBQ @ 150 Stateline Road W, Southaven, MS. 662 - 393 - 5699.

    Ground Zero Blues Club @ Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 662 - 621 - 9009.
    Hick's BBQ @ 305 South State St., Clarksdale, MS 662 - 624 - 9887.
    The Ranchero @ 1907 State St., Clarksdale, MS 662 - 624 - 9768.

    Where are you staying in Clarksdale. The Shack Up Inn is popular. There's a new place called Five and Dime.

    BTW President Clinton dined at Hick's. Ask to see the pictures. And there's a lot of old NFL photo's at Ranchero. Charlie Conerly was from Clarksdale.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Littleman

      Staying with a friend. I've spent a lot of time in Clarksdale and never been terribly impressed by the bbq there. I've never understood why people are so fond of Abe's, though the pulled pork is okay. I do like the tamales at Hick's quite a bit. Best bbq I've had in Mississippi is in Greenwood at Hoover's Grocery in Baptist Town.

      Proximity to the airport isn't too crucial, I should be able to get into town in Memphis well before it's time to get back to the airport on the way home.

    2. If you only have one barbecue meal in Memphis, please do not go to Marlowe's.

      Are you looking for ribs? Go to Central. Are you looking for a shoulder sandwich? Go to Payne's. Are you looking for the best of both worlds? Go to the BBQ Shop.


      2 Replies
        1. re: Michael H

          Exactly what I would say. I went to Marlowe's for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It was ok- liked the place, but the ribs? Passable most places but not really Memphis-worthy... Central, Payne's or BBQ Shop are all worthy, but you can also get a pretty damn good sandwich at Interstate if you are running late...

      1. Make a quick trip into midtown and eat at Central BBQ! My fav. Followed by BBQ Shop, also in midtown. Enjoy!

        2 Replies
        1. re: VStallworth

          Hi, staying at the Marriott on Main St. I have the same question as the OP. Won't have a car. Suggestions for BBQ, and also where else to dine in the area. TIA!

          1. re: CookieLee

            Go to Rendezvous or Blues City Cafe. If you don't mind taking a cab you could go to Central, BBQ Shop, A & R, Interstate or even Germantown Commissary.

        2. I love Central BBQ. One of my favorite BBQ places I've ever been to, and I think I have high standards.

          1. Ended up going to Payne's upon arrival. YUM! Truly excellent. By the time the day of departure rolled around we had had our fill of ribs - at the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale - so we opted for Gus's fried chicken instead of bbq. Also major YUM. I'll be back in August, probably spending a night in Memphis, so I'll give Central a shot. Thanks for your help.