This is a first in a series of well, as many BBQ joints that I consider the best in the world. Today, I found a little gem that’s conveniently located just off I-55 at Exit #7 in Memphis Tennessee. The exact name of this roadside BBQ joint is “Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que.”
Interstate Bar-B-Que has a bit of history behind it and I thought would be important to point out. To many of Jim’s customers, Interstate Bar-B-Que is the best tasting barbecue in Memphis; a city where many say is the barbecue capital of the world. To the neighborhood residents and businesses, it’s the perfect example of one man’s successful urban renewal campaign and to his family it has given them plenty of career opportunities.
Neely worked long hours in the insurance business back in the 1970s and found it harder and harder to find a good pork barbecue sandwich in the heart of Memphis. He bought an old run down grocery store in a rough part of town, asked a friend for some barbeque advice and made it what it is today. If you would like to get a more detailed description of the history of Interstate Bar-B-Que, visit the history page of Jim’s website.
At Interstate Bar-B-Que, they slowly cook their meats in a specially built pit using indirect heat. They use a combination of hickory wood and natural gas in a closed pit. This way it creates vapor. With moisture that surrounds the meat and keeps the natural juices in and keeps it from drying out. With this method, they cook their meat for about five hours and with two of the specially built pits, they can cook as many as 500 ribs at a time.
Jim even came up with his own special BBQ sauce in which he spent two-and-a-half years talking to the older folks from the area who had some great recipes (and probably remember the great BBQ of yesterday). Obviously the combination he came up with was a winner.
Awards Interstate Bar-B-Que has won are very impressive starting out with being named the second-best barbecue in the nation by People Magazine. Vogue magazine proclaimed Interstate Bar-B-Que the best commercial barbecue in Memphis, The Commercial Appeal named Interstate the best all-around pork barbecue sandwich in the city. Finally, USA Today published — Best place in America for a pork BBQ sandwich.
With that said, lets get down to some of the classic and interesting items on Interstate’s menu. I don’t recall ever coming across a Bar-B-Que salad before, which piqued my interest when I saw this item. The Bar-B-Que salad features fresh iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, cheese, bacon bits and BBQ sauce or salad dressing of your choice. Another interesting item is the Bar-B-Q Spaghetti Dinner, which is an Interstate original. There’s BBQ pork in a mixture of BBQ sauce and spices, spaghetti pasta with a side order of slaw and bread.
Of course Interstate Bar-B-Que has the classic items, as you would expect from one of the best BBQ joints in the world. There’s the Half-Chicken dinner, Smoked Turkey dinner, Pork Spare Ribs, Beef Ribs, Chopped or sliced Pork or Beef, Rib Tips, a Sampler Platter with Pork Ribs, Beef Ribs, Links, Beef Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Beef Links, Beans, Slaw and Bread.
When you come to Interstate, bring your appetite and save room for dessert. They offer some great southern traditions that will certainly bring a smile to your face. Desserts include Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, Sock-It-To-Me Cake, and finally Apple or Peach Cobbler.
Interstate is also kid friendly with a couple of options for junior. All prices published on Interstate’s website are very reasonable ranging from $1.90 for Pecan Pie to about $18.00 for a slab of ribs. You can even purchase family packs, which includes meat, slaw, sauce and buns – Everything you need for a family dinner.
One of the best things of Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que joint is that you can order worldwide delivery of the items on his menu as well as his sauce. So, if you have a hankering for barbeque food from one of the best BBQ joints in the world (as my mouth is watering as we speak), just pick up the phone and dial 1-888-227-2793. For more information about Interstate Bar-B-Que, visit jimneelysinterstatebarbecue.com.