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“No kidding- perhaps the best on planet earth.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Payne's Bar-B-Que

Payne's Bar-B-Que
Ranked #74 of 1,436 Restaurants in Memphis
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“No kidding- perhaps the best on planet earth.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

I've been dining at Paynes for 30 years and I crave it . I regularly eat BBQ all over town and no one has better. Ms Flora's hands and talent are essential elements of this magic. BBQ in its own class. I must admit its inconsistent -occasionally off a bit- but never off by far. Best eats: Jumbo, sliced,(with a little of the crispy outer layer of the shoulder included) "hot" sandwich, or BBQ bologna , also "hot".
I love eating at Paynes( Lamar near McLean)- it is a major dive but I wouldn't change one thing about this remodeled old gas station. To me its sacred. If you don't like paynes you should stay in east Memphis.

1 Thank Lyle5953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Not Impressed!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

Let me start by saying I was really looking forward to trying Payne's after reading some of the positive reviews. I was not impressed at all. When first entering the restaurant I was really excited, you could really smell the smokiness of the bbq and I thought I was in for some really good bbq. I ordered the small pulled pork sandwich, the pork itself was flavorless and the sauce was much too sweet, the mustard coleslaw sounds weird but it actually made the sandwich bearable. Save your money & time (Payne's is definitely off the beaten path & far away from the touristy part of town). I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever find the perfect bbq restaurant in Memphis.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Nicole C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Rock, AR
Level Contributor
68 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Just a wonderful place. A must visit!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

This is a family owned place, 40 years old. Come for the easy chat with the owners, but come back for the fabulous chopped barbecue sandwich.
It is in a reclaimed service station. The roof drips a bit when it rains. There is a smoky haze throughout the restaurant. You order at the window, wait a minute or two, and take it to a table. They are cash only.

The jumbo sized chopped pork sandwich is big--if you're hitting several joints, order the regular sized. I ordered my jumbo "hot" which comes with a spicy red sauce. It's not too spicy--but has a nice burn at the end. I'd guess from Crystal hot sauce.

But the meat! Oh man. Juicy, with a black pepper background and a wonderful crunch from the chopped in bark.

I eat a lot of BBQ in TN, TX, and AR, and this is right up there at the top. Highly recommended.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank JJsMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“fantastic chopped pork”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

The chopped pork sandwich was fantastic! The meat was tasty and tender, the sauce was perfect. The coleslaw was too mustardy for me. We were disappointed they didn't have any ribs when we went because it was their first day open after the holidays. I wished they had more sides; they had only beans and chips.

Visited January 2013
Thank eljefe20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odessa, Florida
Level Contributor
150 reviews
140 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Pork Shoulder Sammich. Wow.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

Ya gotta love Memphis! There are so many wonderful places to get barbeque. This is Ground Zero for smoked pig lovers and how can anyone decide that wet sauces are superior to dry rubs when they're both so fantastic?

Payne's is a testament to the historical fact that bbq comes from the need to make cheaper cuts of meat taste better by slow cooking, smoke and seasoning. You can but you're not likely to find great bbq in an upscale neighborhood. That's because bbq is the food of the poorer folk who have to take what they can afford and use their cooking skills to prepare it in ways that transform it out of its environment.

Payne's takes its simple pig to the cooker and raises it to the level where it is worthy of the gods. You'll go in the old garage and wonder if you made a mistake coming here but there'll be a big a big 'ol smile on your lips when to tuck into your sandwich. Wow.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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