I first learned about Coach’s Grillz & Bar-B-Que from a work colleague, Frank Morris. By his description of the location, I figured it had replaced the previous Smoked Out Championship BBQ and Tango & Murph’s BBQ before that. Indeed, Coach’s now occupies that same space just on the outside edge of the Raleigh area of Memphis, going toward Millington. I enjoyed great bbq from both of those
previous bbq joints and saw them close their doors. But Coach Ben Thomas has an awesome thing going there. I can see longevity-a permanent Memphis bbq fixture. As a coach for local Memphis schools, he has incorporated former high school ball-players into his business. The same athletes he once smoked meat for at their victory parties, are now still building character, helping him run his barbecue business. These bbq jocks wear some killer jerseys that display the team name Bar-B-Que Crew on the back, showing that they’re ready for the competition. And after a succulent, smoky and fantastically sloppy bbq sandwich from the coach, I’d say they’re on a winning streak. The pork was very moist-enough that I was easily able to squeeze juices from a piece of meat that I took
from my sandwich. The succulent meat was also contrasted by tasty, crusty bark from the exterior like pieces of smoky bacon mixed throughout the tender pork. The pork shoulder meat on my sandwich was full of well-balanced, very noticeable smoke flavor. The pink smoke ring can be observed in my pictures of the sandwich I had from Coach’s BBQ. The barbecue sauce was flavorfully balanced with tanginess, a little spiciness and sweetness, but not too much so. This sticky sauce was tasty, but still complimented the sandwich with the crunchy slaw, rather than overpowering it. Coach’s Grillz & Bar-B-Que may be a new draft player in Memphis bbq, but I think the sandwich is one of the best in town. Score=7-0, Coach’s BBQ.
Growing up in the South, my mom often fixed stewed cabbage that I still crave. And yes, in the South we say that our food is “fixed.” So when Coach Ben mentioned, “grilled cabbage,” I perked up a bit. I mean how many places, even in Memphis, serve grilled cabbage? An order comes as a quarter of a head of cabbage with a light dusting of bbq seasoning. The light touch of smokiness, slightly charred edges and spices complimented the buttery cabbage-a slam dunk of bbq veggie flavor that all vegetarians and carnivores alike can enjoy. Score=14-0, Coach’s BBQ.
On my next visit, I’ll have some tough choices to make, because everything looks so amazing. Do I get ribs or rib tips? Fried catfish or that incredible stacked cheeseburger? Smoked wings or bbq nachos? I also noticed bbq fries on the menu, which I’ve been dreaming about since my last visit. I’m no sports analyst, but in the world of barbecue, Coach’s Grillz & Bar-B-Que served me a touch down bbq sandwich and grilled cabbage that I’ll be back for. So there you have it. I’m headed for the playoffs!
Don’t miss my Quick-Fire Guide below. Also, check out full reviews and Quick-Fire Guides of other bbq restaurants from my BBQ Guide.
Here are a few notes about the ‘que:
- Shoulder-The pork shoulder was very moist-enough that I was easily able to squeeze juices from a piece of meat that I took from my sandwich. The succulent meat was also contrasted by tasty, crusty bark from the exterior.
- Shoulder-The pork shoulder meat on my sandwich was full of well-balanced, very noticeable smoke flavor. The pink smoke ring can be observed in my pictures of the sandwich I had from Coach’s.
Sauce-The barbecue sauce was flavorfully balanced with tanginess, a little spiciness and sweetness, but not too much so. This sticky sauce was tasty, but still complimented the sandwich, rather than overpowering it.
Grilled Cabbage-The grilled cabbage did pick up a little of the smokiness from the pit and some nicely charred edges. That charred smokiness with a light dusting of bbq seasoning complimented the buttery cabbage.
Thanks for visiting my Memphis bbq blog! Comments, rants, raves, disagreements and downright bbq feuds are welcome below. Tim Shirley