Music, wood smoke and the smell of lively concoctions fill the air on Beale Street, where neon lights guide the way to good times for tourists and locals alike. But in the midst of that neon jungle, a sign stands out from the rest. Who can possibly miss the pig in sunglasses, flexing his bicep with microphone held firmly in the same hoof? The sign reads, ‘Pork With An Attitude!’ Enter the world of The PIG on Beale.
But first, allow me to take a step back. My first experience with The PIG on Beale was not actually at The PIG on Beale, but at their former Millington location, Millington PIG. Millington is a small military town, a mere ten minute drive from the Memphis city limits. It hosts the annual Memphis Airshow and is home to the award-winning championship Mirimichi Golf Course, brain-child of hometown music sensation, Justin Timberlake. the Millington PIG was a star in its own rights in the world of barbecue. A step into this bbq diner with retro décor of classic movie posters, booths with glitter-covered seats and a jumpin’ jukebox, felt like going on a time machine ride that made a pit stop in the 50’s. And old-time wood-smoked barbecued ribs completed my trip to the past. The wood smoke flavor, tenderness, caramelized bark and a sweet-n-tangy bbq sauce on those meaty bones solidified Millington PIG as a bone-a-fide rib joint. Millington PIG has since closed its doors, but the original store on Beale Street is still rockin’ out ribs and shoulder.
About a year later I made my way down Beale to The PIG to get the ‘que from the source. I’d heard mixed reviews about the place, but that it had improved. The Pig on Beale had the same cool retro décor of the Millington PIG and still smoked up some of the best meat in town. There, I had one of the very best smoky bbq sandwiches I’ve ever put in my mouth-period. It had all of the elements of a smoky, tender, well-seasoned barbecue sandwich with slaw and same great sweet-n-tangy bbq sauce. The crust throughout the meat had the kind of pink color that is present when meat has been wood-smoked low and slow. Those bits of extra smoky meat I always look for in an authentic Memphis-style barbecue sandwich-a bbq sandwich with an attitude. So go and enjoy yourself. Go ahead, be a PIG!
YOU BE THE BBQ JUDGE! Don’t forget my reader reviews page to let me know of your favorite bbq joint anywhere on the planet!