This old commissary-turned-bbq shop looks like something right out of a western film. Space is limited, but the barbecue is good. It’s located in Germantown, TN just outside of Memphis, but still in the metro area. I’ve been there numerous times down through the years and I enjoy several things from their menu. Oh, and they have deviled eggs…yum. I’ve also been told by servers that Germantown Commissary uses only wood in their pits. I believe it, because I’ve always seen wood stacked outside against the small building.
Here are a few notes about the ‘que:
- The ribs have always been tender and noticeably juicy. Juiciness is important. From my experience, some restaurants and bbq competitors produce meat that is not at all tough, but that is quite dry. Barbecue should be both tender and juicy.
- The shoulder coming off the pit has been tender and succulent. Unfortunately, much of the time it sits under a heating lamp, ready for service. This is my one problem with the place. They spend hours smoking shoulder low and slow to create smoky, dripping meat that is then dried out under a heat lamp. Other restaurants use different methods to keep their ‘que warm for service. Heat lamps are for fries, not barbecue. If you’re fortunate enough to get some that hasn’t been there long, it may not be dry. I’ve had dry shoulder at least fifty percent of the time, but I will say that the total combination of the meat, sauce and slaw produces a great bbq sandwich.
- The ribs have always had a nicely balanced wood smoke flavor for me.
- The shoulder, despite being sometimes a little dry, has always been brimming with wood smoke flavor.
Bark-Both ribs and shoulder have always had a crusty, flavorful, smoky bark. Years ago, a server told me that at Germantown Commissary, a single coat of sauce is brushed onto the ribs within the last 20-30 minutes of smoking to be cooked back into the meat until it is nearly dry. So the ribs aren’t exactly wet or dry, but somewhere in between. It’s a great texture for ribs. You get this somewhat dry, savory crust that is slightly sticky (caramelized) in places. It’s best of both worlds. I sometimes sauce my ribs this way at home ever since I learned it from that server at Germantown Commissary.
BBQ Nachos-The combination of the crunchy chips, smoky meat, creamy cheese sauce, spicy, vinegary pickled jalapeños, savory spices and bbq sauce appeals to so many senses. They are quite addictive.
BBQ Spud-It’s everything on the bbq nachos on a huge baked potato, but the cheese sauce is replaced with melted cheese (maybe Colby-jack). The combination totally worked for me. It could very well be a meal for two.
Sauce-The sauce is both classic and unique at the same time. It has the classic sweet and tangy flavors. Yet, there is another interesting ingredient that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I think tamarind is a good guess. The hot bbq sauce is really good. It’s one of my favorite spicy bbq sauces. If it’s not already on the table, I always ask for it.
Slaw-The slaw is a typical one-crunchy, creamy, tangy, salty. It compliments well the barbecue served with it.
Thanks for visiting my Memphis bbq blog! Tim Shirley