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“Good ol' fashion barbecue in Memphis!!!”
Review of Central BBQ

Central BBQ
Ranked #13 of 1,510 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Reviewed April 5, 2014

Travel to Memphis/Tunica on several occasions over the years. Obviously when in the area you HAVE to try barbecue. And Memphis has a very eclectic choice of types and places. And this has to be my favorite place so far, though still others to try. Different from Rendevous, which uses greek type spices on ribs; this is more typical of Memphis.

It's located almost next door to the National Civil Rights Museum (behind)/former Lorraine Motel. Pretty much standard old downtown building; brick outside. Lot's of wood inside for decor. Pay at window before you sit down and they they bring you your food. Servers were friendly and attentive by checking in. But it's self serve as to drinks and ordering. So I'm not sure what else they are doing about dining other than bringing your food but they do check in to see if all ok. =) In fact, I think they are quite friendly. My order was punched in accidently wrong on a combo/three meat plate as double beef v. pulled pork, brisket and ribs. But when they brought food out instead of bringing it back to kitchen to change, they just brought me pulled pork in addition to the beef. Can you say barbecue heaven? Finally about atmosphere, and although this isn't a "high standard" to beat, they have the "cleanest bathrooms" of ANY barbecue place I have been to........anywhere! This is a comment for you ladies out there because I guaranty if you eat barbecue much, this is NOT a point of emphasis for most locations.

Now to the food..........the real point of any barbecue mission. Tried a combo platter to get a sampling of their various offerings. And they have a lot. The pork ribs are St. Louis style ribs to me. Very meaty. Not baby backs but not typical spareribs. They were tasty but good flavor. A little on the tougher side; not bad but not "fall of the bone" tender. They offer you basted/"wet" or dry ribs, or "1/2 and 1/2". I tried the mixed so I could taste both methods and it's pretty good dry rub but I prefer the "wet" style. Just seemed to add a little better meld of flavors to ribs with the sauce cooked in.

On back bar by drink station they have additional sauces for use. These include mild; hot; vinegar and mustard. Only tried the mild but it was sufficiently flavorful and had a little bite to it, the more you ate. I'm sure the hot would satisfy those of you who enjoy more "kick". Never been the best fan of mustard/vinegar sauces to add later to my meat. Not the biggest fan of Carolina style barbecue so those sauces I leave for those of you who enjoy that crap.

They have all the standard sides. I tried the green beans and the baked beans. The baked beans were very tasty. They added shreds of pulled pork to the top of the beans which is a nice touch to me. The green beans, homemade, were good but someone in the kitchen was probably a little lazy or not careful. Some of the beans did not have their strings pulled as they should and that makes chewing a little "additional adventure" to remove. Meat portions were generous. Not overly so but definitely not as spartan as Rendevous. Sides were a little small for the price paid to me and served in plastic containers.

This is my new favorite barbecue place in Memphis and I will visit again. Good atmosphere; good friendly people; and good food. What more could you ask for?

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank M J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 3, 2014

We were so looking forward to this after having heard how Memphis was the BBQ capital of the US and all that. The food was a bit disappointing and we were surprised the portions were quite small. We ended up ordering a second round of food, polished it all off and were by no means stuffed. The BBQ itself was nothing special - the ribs were a bit on the dry side and the beef a bit underwhelming. As it is sliced so thinly it probably would make a better sandwich than a plate. Good local beer on tap. I would not go back and would rather find a different bbq place if I go back to Memphis.

Thank traveller1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014 via mobile

The bbq here is amazing..my husband and I both got pork bbq plates, both of us used the mild sauce, and the kids shared the bbq chicken nachos (actually an appetizer but perfect for picky kids). The portions are huge and the pork was amazing. We also got the chips and bleu cheese appetizer, nobody else but me likes bleu cheese but since they bring it out on the side as a dip, the rest of the family was able to eat the yummy freshly made chips plain or dipped in one of the 4 bbq sauces you can get at the condiment station. You do have to order at the counter just inside the door, so there may be a line outside, but plenty of seats inside once you put your order in. So don't let that make you pass this place up!

Thank 1Simba2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

I decided on Central BBQ on my first Memphis Q experience after a recommendation from the Bartender at South of Beale Gastropub. I must say, it was wonderful. They tout the best pulled pork sandwich in Memphis and it was definitely one of the best I've had. It comes with mild sauce and slaw. I say ramp it up to the hot sauce. It was not too hot and very delicious. I will return.

Thank Hacketttj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Family of 4 taking our first trip into downtown Memphis and we wanted to try some Memphis BBQ while our son was in from college. We all chose the pulled pork sandwich and they asked if we wanted slaw and sauce on it or on the side. We chose on the side since some of the family is pickier than others. You get to choose your sauce where you fill a cup just like you do with ketchup and the such. We all chose mild. Only 1 of us liked the slaw and chose to put it on (usually 2 of us would have and the other would have eaten his slaw separately), as it was a very different taste from what we would normally expect and looks like it had mustard in it from the discolored look of it. In the future we would say no slaw for most of us. We all ended up not only liking the mild sauce but put on a lot more than we thought we would after each bite. Just could not get enough of it on that meat. My very picky college student, who doesn't even eat condiments, decided his dry pork sandwich was dry (DUH!) and boring. He asked to try a bit of the sauce on it so I poured a bit on one small section and he fell in love. He even asked for much more to put on it. This was the downtown location by the Civil Rights Museum. Good customer service, people constantly around taking away empty plates and the such. It is not a place we would go to often as it is not a low priced BBQ place, but it is good for a treat as it cost us more like what we would pay to go to someplace like Chili's or the such. Oh, almost forgot to mention....the potato salad and onion rings are also delicious!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sneezymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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