And so I arose the next morning post-wedding with barbecue on my mind. Nothing could deter me from my mission. Luckily enough, I had a partner in crime (or 'cue as it were) - Gourmet Gal - whom you may recall from our Mac n' Cheese bake-off a while back. She was game for a day touring Music City with mandatory stops for 'cue.
Before the meat though, we felt obliged to see what Nashville had to offer above and beyond vittles. A visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame seemed like a good start. One hour quickly turned to two as we listened to the roots of today's Country sound, ogling memorabilia like Elvis' gold baby grand piano and Chet Atkins' guitars (pictured below).
The museum left us in a musical frame of mind, so we held off on eating and strolled down Broadway to check out the late afternoon scene - and sounds. We were happily greeted by a series of honky tonks with the twang of Country music humming within. We tried to resist, but when we hit upon Legend's Corner we could resist no longer, and took a quick pitstop for Coronas and the cowboy rhythms of Craig Campbell.
After a foot-stompin' set, we'd worked up a hunger. Thankfully, two of Nashville's popular barbecue spots were only steps away.
We decided to start our 'cue tasting tour at Rippy's with its comfy, unfussy bar feel and windows open to catch the occasional breeze. Hmm...What to get? With a knowing wink from our waiter, we ordered up a Half-Rack of Ribs and a Pulled Pork Sandwich.
Clearly, we were wrong about the wink - there was no "knowing" behind it. Personally, I like to think our waiter was a vegetarian, cause clearly he'd never eaten Rippy's meat. One bite into the flavorless, dry specimens that they called ribs, and I wanted no more. The Pulled Pork Sandwich was just as bland and withered. Rippy's sauce wasn't any help in reviving the dead either. It was a bizarre, overly sweet, oregano-riddled rendition. Yick! Gourmet Gal and I couldn't signal for a check fast enough. We hustled out of there and headed straight across the street to Jack's Bar-B-Que
Stepping through Jack's door the seductive smell of smoke tickled our nostrils. What a marvelous perfume! And, I'm delighted to report that the meat lived up to the glorious Dixie aroma. We ordered up a plate of three: St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket and Tennessee Pork Shoulder. The sauce? Well, there wasn't just one kind of sauce. There were four to choose from. And, in a word: yum!
We were sated. It was time. New York City beckoned - not to mention the gym. As we headed to Nashville International Airport, we could only hope that the belt buckles on American Airlines could accomodate our new expanded waistlines - and, for the sake of said waistlines, that Jack's doesn't ever open a NYC outpost.