Seldom, and I mean seldom will anyone find a bbq shop in Memphis that stirs bbq sauce throughout the meat, high school cafeteria style. Thankfully, sauce is usually layered onto the meat, allowing for some sauce-covered bites and still some bites of the naked meat, so that the pork can shine in all of its wood-smoked glory, complimented by (not masked by) the sauce and slaw. It’s just a better way of controlling the meat-to-sauce ratio. One of the few times I’ve found our previously mentioned cafeteria bbq, was at L & L BBQ and Sports Bar on Chelsea Ave. Walking in, I had to find my way through the darkness to the counter to the right, where I yelled my order over the sound of the jukebox to a guy with braids who was dancing to the beat. I could’ve sworn he scooped the meat from a Crock Pot with an ice cream scoop and plopped it right onto my bun. Despite the fact that it was about one o’clock in the afternoon, the bar was so dim, when I walked back outside, I actually forgot it was daytime. While my retinas recovered from sudden flash blindness, I gave my sandwich a bite in the car. I did get some smoke flavor and the sweet sauce had a balanced flavor (not too sweet), so it wasn’t a terrible bbq sandwich. It wasn’t something I would’ve returned for, but it was actually an enjoyable sandwich overall.
After losing some photos due to theft, I went back to L & L, only to discover a new name-N’ Flames. It was still the same bright blue building, just with the new name temporarily painted on. The new owner would later paint the building red with orange flames burning up from the bottom, perhaps a sign that the new restaurant wouldn’t last there either. It also closed, but this time before I could make it out. L & L is closed, but I document it here, because it’s still part of my bbq journey. 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-Was too tender-mushy. It did, however, have some of the bark mixed throughout for a little texture.
- Shoulder-Had slight smoke flavor.
Sauce-Was mixed throughout the meat, which largely masked the flavor of the smoked pork itself.
Slaw-Was crunchy, tangy and slightly sweet.
Thanks for visiting my Memphis bbq blog! Comments, rants, raves, disagreements and downright bbq feuds are welcome below. Tim Shirley