My husband turned 30 and I have been meaning to post for a while. I planned a Whiskey and Smokes tasting themed dinner for his birthday in which everyone brought a bottle of different whiskey and I provided cigars and BBQ. In preparation we went to the some of the " top" BBQ restaurants in Nashville and did a taste off. Each time we bot chose an entree with 2 sides and shared to compare notes. We at least got the pulled pork and mac and cheese each time. Our lineup included Peg Leg Porker, Slow and Low, Judges, Edley's, Jacks, Martin's and Center Point in Hendersonville. As the party we were throwing was downtown, pickup location was a factor. Judges was my least favorite and actually was pretty bad. I'm not sure if it was that it is "Texas BBQ" or just the overwhelming taste of chemical liquid smoke flavor (not sure if that is actually what it was) but I could not even finish my meal and that NEVER happens. Jacks to me is just a tourist trap. Peg Leg Porker won the match, with very good meat. They threw in an extra pound of BBQ for us when we picked it up. I ended up making the sides, because to be honest none of the restaurants made perfect sides and for the money we would rather have more meat. I made homemade stove-top mac and cheese, baked beans, cole slaw and jalapeno cheese cornbread. This was such a success and we probably had 35 people show up. Needless to say there was a lot of whiskey! Does anyone else have a favorite Nashville BBQ?
We have gone rib hopping several times with several groups and every time we have done this BBKings wins each time. Now we just go there!
Peg Leg is a great choice for shoulder and ribs. Martin's now has a location on Belmont. I've had a hit and a miss at the new location.
The Jack's location downtown is very much a tourist spot - try their location on West Trinity. I've found the quality there to be much better.
Edley's entire package is very, very good, but their meat falls behind Peg Leg and Martin's imo. The brisket and the wings at Edley's are both very good compared to other spots.
Papa Turney's in Hermitage puots out a decent product.
I think that I like Judge Bean's the most, so your unhappy experience is quite a surprise!
Whenever the subject of Nashville BBQ comes up, I like to point out this amazing set of articles by the Ulika BBQ competition team, who covered the city's barbecue better than anybody else has. Awesome work, this: