They say death is the great equalizer, but I think it’s really bbq. One of our favorite things about bbq is that often the little hole-in-the-wall place makes tastier food than a fancy joint. In fact, if you see a place that claims to be a BBQ place but has valet parking and servers wearing ties, chances are it’s not going to as authentic or as good as the dumpy looking shack with a smoker in the ally out back.
As southerners, Jonathann and I love our bbq, and we are always game to try a new bbq place. When Jonathann picked me up from work the other day to grab lunch, it was the perfect opportunity to try the new Peg Leg Porker in the Gulch.
Cary Bringle is the man behind the smoker. His roots are in West Tennessee, so you know the man knows a thing or two about this region’s pork bbq. He sells his own brand of rubs and sauces under the Peg Leg Pork Brand, and even though you don’t think “down home” when you hear the name Bon Appetite, the magazine named Bringle’s West Memphis Wet Sauce the number 2 bbq sauce in the country.
I do have to agree with Bon Appetite, the bbq sauce is amazing and was one of the highlights of our meal. It had unique flavors including what I’m guessing was rosemary (it could have been sage or thyme. I often get my fall spices confused.)
The restaurant isn’t in the most obvious location, but we were eventually able to follow the scent of the smoke to the Porker. The restaurant is a huge, open, unpretentious space (which is kind of a rarity in the Gulch area) with concrete floors, a large bar, lots of tables, and the counter where you order. Although we were there during a weekday, it looks like it would be an awesome place to hang out and watch some football.
Jonathann and I ordered the dry rub ribs and the pulled pork as our meats. I loved the pork. It was served in thick chunks of shoulder with the fat carefully removed. I always prefer my pulled pork tender, but not greasy, and the Porker’s pork was right on the money. My only minor complaint is that I really like the crust that forms on the shoulder, but my portion hardly had any (southern girl problems, ya’ll).
The ribs were also delicious. I am usually not a fan of dry rub ribs because I find that the seasoning often overwhelms the meat, and you end up getting pepper caught in the back of your throat causing you to choke and cough the rest of the meal. The Porker’s dry rub was perfect. It added flavor that complemented the meat and enhanced its flavor. The rib meat just slipped right off the bone when you went to take a bite.
Most of the sides were pretty typical of what you get at a bbq place. We ordered green beans, fries (they were crinkle cut), mac and cheese, and baked beans. All the sides were good, but clearly the meat is the focus at the Porker. I really dug the mac and cheese because it tasted just like good ole’ Velveeta, which I have a serious weakness for. The one side, however, that broke the mold was the baked beans. These were pretty spectacular. The beans were the right consistency, not too hard, not mushy. I suspect they are made with the Porker’s outstanding bbq sauce, which put them at the top of my list for best baked beans in town.
eating ribs is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it
We will definitely be headed back to hang out, grab a beer, and some great bbq. Hope to see you there!