Every time we mentioned getting something to eat in Memphis, the name of Corky's always came up
If you listened to my friends you would be convinced you couldn't have a good visit to this beautiful city without eating there. The Roadies love BBQ so it didn't take a lot of convincing to get us over there.
We could smell the restaurant before we could see the distinctive sign with the pig on it. Parking the car, I noticed everyone was hurrying through the doors with anticipation. The people trailing out had the comfortable, sated look of people who wouldn't need to eat again until tomorrow morning.
The owner, Barry Pelts, met us inside the restaurant and took time to sit down at our table. We talked about the business of BBQ and he strongly encouraged us to try his dry rub ribs. A hundred miles outside of Memphis you can't find this type of rib. People think of plain, unadorned ribs when they hear about dry rub, but this is not the case. Dry rub ribs are covered with seasonings so that a crust forms over the ribs.
Our server was a woman who called herself Ms. Ann. I wish she could have joined us as another Roadie. She is the type of waitress any restauranteur would give his right arm to have on staff. As soon as she found out this was our first time at Corky's, she told us what we needed to try. Wet ribs, the pulled pork, and I added some beef brisket to the list because I wanted to see how Corky's prepared them. Dry ribs were added to the table so we could experience them before we left Memphis.
The dry ribs were better than advertised. The meat was so tender it was falling off the bones and we didn't need a knife to cut them. I don't know what I was expecting, but after one bite I insisted that I needed to bring some dry rub mix home with me to Massachusetts. The spices gave the meat a wonderful flavor and a lightly crunchy texture in contrast to the tender meat.
Their potato salad deserves its own set of awards. If we weren't on the road I would have ordered a vat of it to bring home. I told Sheila to try it and from the gleam in her eye I knew there wouldn't be any left on her plate either.
I wouldn't have thought that we would finish everything, but our table looked like a football team had descended on it when we were done. There barely enough to make up a late snack. Ms. Ann almost had to call for a dolly to wheel us out of the building, but we were happy.
The Roadies left with full bellies and regrets that this would be our only time at Corky's for the time being. If I'm ever within a hundred miles of Memphis again, it will be my first destination. This is the best part of going on a road trip---meeting new people and eating at the places the locals love. Discovering gems like Corky's makes ever mile worth it.
For more information on Corky's visit www.corkysbbq.com.