Jim Neely’s son, Ken Neely opened Ken Neely’s Hickory Bar-B-Que on Winchester a few years ago. It was unfortunate that it didn’t stay open for very long. The ribs were really the best I’ve had from any of the Neely family restaurants. I wasn’t particularly fond of the slaw or the sauce, but the ribs themselves were tender and had delicious wood smoke flavor, just as the name implies. I thought that the bark had too much brown sugar though, which is something I have not experienced from the other Neely’s joints. Brown sugar rubs were a trend on the competition bbq circuit at the time, and something I am not partial to. Instead of sweet rubs I tend to favor savory rubs.
Dad’s Interstate Bar-B-Q has a different flavor profile for sure. But it was cool that Ken Neely was serving bbq with his own style, showing his own culinary identity from the other Neely’s. Regardless of sauces and seasonings, the essence of bbq is the smoke flavor, which was done right at Ken Neely’s Hickory Bar-B-Que. This bbq joint is closed, but let the record be known that his smoky, tender ribs was my favorite Neely bbq food. Check out my Quick-Fire Guide below as well as other Quick-Fire Guides and Full Reviews of other bbq restaurants from my BBQ Guide.
Here are a few notes about the ‘que:
- Ribs-The meat pulled easily from the bone-ideal for ribs.
- Ribs-The meat had great smoke flavor. Ken Neely’s ribs were my favorite ones of any of the Neely restaurants.
Sauce-I like a sweet and tangy sauce, but I didn’t care for the ratio here. I thought there was something harsh-tasting in the sauce.
Slaw-As with the sauce, there was an unpleasing flavor in the slaw for my taste; something bitter. And I’m not just a mayonnaise slaw guy. I also enjoy mustard and vinegar slaws just as much as the next guy, but there was just something off-putting in this one.
Thanks for visiting my Memphis bbq blog! Tim Shirley