Cates Family Meats-Fair Concession

Posted by on February 5, 2016

Cates Family Meats

See my Quick-Fire Guide below. Also check out full reviews and Quick-Fire Guides of other bbq restaurants from my BBQ Guide

fire icon10Cate’s Family Meats was located in Southaven, Mississippi as a meat market only and not actually a restaurant. There was, however, the occasional tease the times that they were been featured on local news segments displaying their bbq pit fired up and loaded with sausages, ribs, shoulder, chicken and the like. While Cate’s Meat Market teased us with their succulent-looking barbecued meats they didn’t actually sell bbq to the public. Instead, Cate’s Meat Market was barbecuing food for the homeless during the holiday season-a tease for me perhaps, but a noble one. That is until they opened a concession at the annual Southaven Springfest in 2009. The event itself was loads of fun. There was a bbq contest sanctioned by MBN-the Memphis Barbecue Network, fair rides, live bands and numerous concessions. I judged at the contest in 2010, but in ’09 we were there for the boys. When I saw that Cate’s Meat Market had a concession booth, with their bbq pit, smoke billowing out, and I knew what I would be having for lunch. I was disappointed to discover that they had run out of ribs, but Angelica and I had the bbq nachos. The meat was tender with portions of the pulled pork shoulder crust mixed throughout and nice wood-smoky flavor. The sauce was just a commercial one, but it worked well with the cheese sauce, tortilla chips and smoked pork shoulder. The crunchy chips, the creaminess of the cheese sauce, the smoky meat with sweet and tangy sauce and a touch of heat all came together to create everything you want in Memphis-style bbq nachos. The guy there explained that the bbq concession was something new for Cate’s Meat Market, something they were trying out. I thought, “If the concession business doesn’t take off, I might have to go homeless during the holidays! Got to try those ribs.” Now that the Cates Family Meat market has closed its doors, let’s not forget the many hungry homeless they fed. If you’re reading this, give ‘em a “shout out” in the comments section.

fire icon10Quick-Fire Guide:

Here are a few notes about the ‘que:


  • Ribs-Ran out before I got there.
  • Shoulder-The smoked pork shoulder meat on the bbq nachos was tender and juicy. Not at all dry. Nicely seasoned bark was also mixed in for nice contrast in texture.


  • Ribs-Ran out before I got there.
  • Shoulder-The smoked pork shoulder meat on the bbq nachos had nicely balanced wood smoke flavor.

Sauce-Sweet and tangy store-bought sauce. The essence of bbq is the smoked meat. Sauce is just a condiment.

Thanks for visiting my Memphis bbq blog! Tim Shirley

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