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interstate bbq: love the slaw
i'm from the east, not know for bbq. went here on my trip to memphis and I have to say i've had better back home. i ordered the slice pork (pulled as opposed to chopped) and had a double order of the slaw. I liked the slaw better than the pork. The sauce seemed to have a tomato vinegar touch w/some hot sauce. I tried my friends pork rib, very tender but I expected better. I'd try other places rather than going back.
Atmosphere was neat. Dined w/men in suits, truckers, people in camo., building contractors. Quite a mix.
Favorite Dish: The slaw, it was just delish.
Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Que: Bar-B-Q Spaghetti?
OK, I'll first of all admit that I have never been to the main location on 3rd Street. I passed it on my very first trip down to Memphis in 2001, but didn't stop in. However, on my last trip to Memphis in September, 2009 I did get a chance to try out one of the menu items at their location at the Memphis airport on the way back to Chicago.
Since I had a couple of hours before my flight to Chicago I walked over to the other terminal (Delta) and bought a To-Go Order of Bar-B-Q Spaghetti. The smell was wonderful and as I walked back to my terminal I could hardly wait to open that plastic box and have a few bites. And the taste was as good as the smell. There was plenty to eat also, so after only having finished 1/2 my order I had to close the box as I was stuffed.
The plane was a little later leaving then scheduled (really!!!) so about 1/2 way through the flight I opened up the styrofoam box once again and devoured the second 1/2 of my meal. My other flight companions and the flight staff kept looking around to see where that savory smell came from. Needless to say I had several inquiries what it was that I was eating and I bet more then a few of the people I talked to that evening had a taste of the Bar-B-Q Spaghetti when they got down to Memphis in the future.
There is a recipe on line, so one of these days I've got to try and recreate it at home.
Favorite Dish: The Bar-B-Q Spaghetti as described above
Interstate BBQ: Horrible all around
Absolutely horrible. The service was so bad I left no tip for the first time in my life. Food came out cold, and the BBQ was mediocre by Memphis standards. I will never go back here again. I can get better service AND better BBQ here in Cleveland, OH. Their bathrooms are funky, and there are a couple tables right next to it. The entire staff needs an attitude adjustment, and none of them qualify as professional restaurant servers. The kitchen looked in disarray.
Favorite Dish: BBQ spaghetti was alright, surprisingly, considering how bad the rest of our experience was.
Interstate BBQ: Southside Memphis BBQ
We went to Interstate for lunch on our third and final day in Memphis. By this time I was getting a bit bloated from all the food we'd been eating so I only got the chopped pork shoulder sandwich...which was huge I might add. You couldn't actually pick it up without it completely falling apart. Cole slaw was served on top of the pork which is cooked wet (i.e., with BBQ sauce).
The best part about Interstate's BBQ is the smoky crust that forms during cooking. Even in the chopped pork sandwich I could feel the crusty bits crunching in my mouth. The sauce was very good, a bit spicier than the sauce at Corky's. Their cole slaw was also spicier and less vinegary that at Rendevous or Corky's. Rita had the rib tips which were great! Interstate is more unassuming on the inside and is less crazy than the other two. Service is good and adequate. No yucking it up with the customers though. I sensed more of a local presence and not as many tourists which is probably due to Interstate being a bit out of the way.
We also hit on of the two Interstate BBQ locations at the Memphis airport on our way home. They also have a Corky's there. We wanted the homemade chips at Corky's but when they told us they didn't have them there we went to Interstate to get food for the flight home. I got the half-slab dinner which is served wet (I don't think Interstate does dry). The ribs were tender and tasty in the spicy sauce. I was sweating up a storm by the time I was done with those ribs! I also got their Sock-it-to-me Cake for dessert. I had it for breakfast the next morning and it was really good! Rita had the smoked/BBQ bologna sandwich which she liked very much.
Favorite Dish: Rib tips, chopped pork sandwich, half slab ribs and cole slaw, Sock-it-to-Me cake
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