Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I've seen fire and I've seen meat

Ever since the first time my dad let me help light the backyard grill, I have been fascinated with the variety of flavors that can be produced with different combinations of fire and meat. I am such a perfectionist with a grill that I have to stop myself from butting in when I am at someone else's house and the host is grilling. There is an art to proper grilling and an art to proper smoking to make BBQ.

When I decided to convert my struggling catering business into a BBQ joint, which is called Mothership BBQ, I took my lifetime of research one step further. I drove hundreds of miles to eat at renowned BBQ places all over the south. I have gone through hundreds of variations on recipes for the sauce. I have tried an equal number of attempts to get the right spice mixture for the rub. I have done the same with the sides.

Because there are so many regional differences in BBQ, I don't think that there is such a thing as the "best" BBQ. In Texas, they cook beef. In the Carolinas, they have a thin, vinegar based sauce. Kansas City, St. Louis and Memphis all have a style. If you're from Austin and you're used to eating brisket and beef ribs, you may not like pulled pork and back ribs. In Memphis, you have a choice of having your ribs wet or dry. There is a pocket in Alabama that uses a white, mayonnaise based sauce. There is an even smaller pocket in West Tennessee where the BBQ is a whole hog, smoked for 18 - 24 hours.

I make the best damn BBQ I have ever eaten in my life. That was my goal. If you like a different style, you might disagree. There's nothing I can do about that.

I make what I call Nashville style BBQ. It is pork, ribs and shoulder. I have eaten many times at lots of different BBQ places around town. Nashville BBQ is very close to Memphis style. Memphis sauces are ketchup based with lots of different spices, a result of being on the river and having access to those spices 150 years ago. They also use a spice rub, which most Nashville style BBQ places use.

Mothership BBQ should be open next week or the week after. I am doing the conversion by myself, building counters, putting in the handicapped bathroom and ramp, and all that stuff. It is taking forever, because I don't know how to do any of that crap. For a guy who just wants to make killer BBQ, I sure am spending a lot of time at Home Depot. When I get finished, I'm going to hire a couple of folks and put an "open" sign in the window. Take it slow and figure out what we are doing. I don't have much room for seating, maybe 30 or 40 people, but I'll put some picnic tables out back, and there is a park across the street.

Mothership BBQ is at 2806 Columbine Place. That's in Berry Hill, about a block behind Sam and Zoe's.

There have been some bloggers who have had sneak previews. Jag has eaten Mothership BBQ. So has Aunt B. And so has cookinboy, who happens to be a culinary school graduate. Go see what they have to say.

I'm nervous as hell. I'm nearly broke. I hardly ever get to see my kid these days.

Come eat.

18 Comments:

At 12:09 PM , Blogger saraclark said...

You will get dedicated fans, don't worry. I am having some fine Carolina BBQ tonight. It's called B's from Greenville, NC. They are a cinderblock building on a sandy back road. It's a 13-14 hour drive and we stockpile it in the freezer and dole it out like methadone.

Pulled and chopped(almost minced) with that vinegar based sauce. I echo CLC; hurry up we're hungry.

 
At 12:42 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

Post when you open, then we'll come eat... and probably crosspost your opening!

 
At 1:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog has been most entertaining and I am sure you bbq will be most delicious.

Will build you a website for trade (of bbq of course)

 
At 1:37 PM , Blogger Ryan said...

Can't wait!

Em and I will be there. (He has a tendency to "Drop Trou" in public--I hope you're cool with that).

Best,
Ryan

 
At 3:23 PM , Blogger HUCK said...

Best BBQ in the 'Ville', maybe in all of Tennessee. I'll vouch for it. I was lucky enough to get a small sneak preview myself...

 
At 3:25 PM , Blogger W said...

I imagine this will be the most blogged about resteraunt opening ever. At least in Nashville.

How about some live music??

 
At 3:27 PM , Blogger W said...

Ummm, sorry. I meant the most blogged about JOINT opening ever.

 
At 4:41 PM , Blogger Kat Coble said...

Trust me. I'll be there. I'm excited about it.

 
At 6:08 PM , Blogger SistaSmiff said...

OOOOOOOHHHH....the Smiffs will be there. Mr. Smiff is a North Carolina boy who takes his barbecue most seriously. Can't wait!!!!!

 
At 6:48 PM , Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I tend to favor turkey bbq for some reason, but the wide praise for your pork has me intrigued.

 
At 7:20 PM , Blogger newscoma said...

I'm headed to Nashville in a couple of weeks. I'll stop by. CONGRATULATIONS, Knuck.

 
At 7:43 PM , Blogger Jilly said...

good luck!!!

 
At 9:12 PM , Blogger divalicious said...

Okay... I'm a 6th generation Nashvillian... my people are more fervent in their love of BBQ than their love of Jesus... so, are you closer to the style of Mary's on Jefferson, Prince's or Corky's (god forbid)?

We may have a family outing for opening!

 
At 7:34 AM , Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

I'll be there for the opening, no worries. (Like you were laying in bed at night worried that I wouldn't come to your BBQ place) Lemme know when it is. I can't wait, I love BBQ!!

 
At 9:18 AM , Blogger jag said...

Come eat? I don't think I'll have a choice. That pulled pork is more addictive than crack.

Heh. I thought my word verification said dildo. Fitting. It's dijdo, though. Too bad.

 
At 12:18 PM , Blogger Vol Abroad said...

It may be a while before I get there, but I'll definitely go -

Congratulations and good luck!

 
At 2:22 PM , Blogger Steph said...

When do you plan to open? We LOVE us some BBQ... so we will be there on opening night! Let me know and I will put it on the calendar (and so it will be done!)

 
At 4:35 PM , Blogger Busy Mom said...

I'm there! Just say when!

 

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