Tennessee & Kentucky BBQ

We were on a little BBQ, beer, and bourbon vacation.  Nashville area was our first destination.  In 2 days, we ate at 3 restaurants.  Our first stop was Puckett’s in Franklin, and we had awesome ribs and got to listen to some great live music.  The second day we did some sightseeing in downtown Nashville, and I had an incredible brisket sandwich topped with spicy pimento cheese, and a fried egg, at Edley’s.  Later that day we had a delicious meal at Jim ‘N Nicks.  They have great pulled pork and irresistible cheese biscuits.  I’m a bread lover, and I’ve had a fair number of cheese biscuits, but nothing like these.  A basket of those could’ve easily been my meal and dessert, forget the BBQ!  We decided to stick to pork for the rest of the trip, because brisket is not as good as in Texas.  We did try to go to Martin’s, just south of Nashville.  They’re known for whole hog, cooked for 24 hours.  Unfortunately, only on weekdays, and you have to get there early.

These pictures are all from Edley’s.  My photographer must have liked them best!  One of the cooks reminded us of Belushi, so he made the cut.

Edleys BBQ 1

Edleys 5

Edleys 3

Edleys 4

Edleys 2 Crowd

When we got to Memphis, our first stop was Central BBQ.  If you’re ever in Memphis, the dry ribs at Central are a must.  We’ve had a lot of ribs, and make pretty darn good smoked ribs at home, but these will positively make you fall silent!

Central BBQ 1

Central BBQ 2

Central BBQ 4

Central BBQ 3

Our second BBQ venture in Memphis was Tom’s.  I had rib tips and turnip greens, very delicious.  Both BBQ places had totally different rubs,  both got rave reviews from The Food Network, and the Travel Channel – and for good reason.

Toms BBQ 1

Toms BBQ 2

Toms BBQ 3

OK, 5 days in, and we took a slight detour from BBQ.  We had to go back through Nashville to get to Louisville.  We heard a lot about Hattie B’s hot chicken, so it was our lunch stop.  I had tenders, greens, and black-eye pea salad (the best I’ve ever had).  I noticed that most of the locals ate the tenders with a knife and fork – not us – we bond with our food.  And you certainly need to bond with this food, if you’re in Nashville.

Hatties Hot Chick 1

Hatties Hot Chick 4

Hatties Hot Chick 3

Hatties Hot Chick 2

At supper time we were finally in Louisville.  I heard we had to try Mark’s burgoo. And it was outstanding, so there was a container in the fridge that I ate over a 2 day period.  We went to Momma’s for some really delicious ribs.  They were Kansas City style, and they’re different than Central BBQ in Memphis, but tied for first place, with us – positively fabulous.  I don’t like BBQ sauce, and their hot BBQ sauce was remarkable.

I can’t talk about BBQ anymore, in fact, I can barely think about it.  So, let’s talk liquor!

Copper and Kings is an artisanal brandy distillery Louisville, and was a great stop. The brandy is not sweet, and of course, many distillations to choose from.  There’s some interesting things associated with making brandy, whiskey, etc.  Some barrels used to age other liquors from other distilleries, are often the aging barrel used used by other distilleries, to produce particular flavors. Also, at Copper and Kings, they use very very loud music to vibrate the barrels where they are aging their liquors.  Some whiskey distilleries use temperature fluctuations to move the liquor in the barrels.  (We went to Feast BBQ after this stop – not memorable, for us, but rated pretty highly.  I’m figuring out that if the people reviewing the restaurant are from the north, they might not have a truly refined palate for BBQ!)

Copper and Kings 1

Copper and Kings 3

Copper and Kings 2

Copper and Kings 4

Copper and Kings 5

Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfurt, Kentucky had gorgeous, very historic grounds.  I couldn’t manage much of a tasting, because the Copper and Kings tasting kind of knocked me on my butt.  However, the chocolate covered, pecan topped bourbon balls were out of this world.

Buffalo Trace 1

Buffalo Trace 2

Buffalo Trace 3

Buffalo Trace 4

Buffalo Trace 5

Buffalo Trace 6

Buffalo Trace 7
Picture of burgoo recipe used in the burgoo and bread house on the Buffalo Trace distillery grounds

Corsair Distillery in Bowling Green, Kentucky is an artisanal distiller, making several gins, oat whiskey, buckwheat whiskey, quinoa whiskey, and on and on.  Everything I tasted was really good.

So we managed one more BBQ place on our return to Franklin, TN.  BB’s BBQ which was strictly takeout was really good.  We really wanted to order pork, and tried, but we could not longer justify yet another pig losing it’s rib cage for us, so we had chicken and turkey.

My confession is that we got so tired of BBQ, we ate Japanese food the last 2 days! I’m sure that we’ll probably repeat this type of vacation, maybe in the Carolinas.

And if you try a BBQ vacation, and it gets too much for you – look for this!!!

Spam Tour



  1. Glenda Dwyer says:

    Lainie, April, 2015, we attended Mule Days in Columbia, TN. We ate @ the Columbia Puckett’s several times, so obviously we enjoyed their food and live music. During our time there we ate at a lot of different restaurants – and, as Terry says, “there was not a dog in the bunch”. Thus that says even more for Puckett’s because that was our repeat return to restaurant.

    After Mule Days we spent a few days in Nashville, then did all 400+ miles of the Natchez Trace – we loved that experience. Google it :). Glenda

    1. Lanie Fioretti says:

      Awesome! For those that haven’t made that trip, it’s so worth it. And you’re right, we did part of Natchez Trace, very gorgeous.

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