Barbecue Brackets: Meet the Contestants!

Posted by Holly Whitfield | June 14th 2010 4662 0

I’ve been a little hesitant to start a bracketing system to find the best barbecue in Memphis.

There are at least 75 places around town to get barbecue. A Google search for Memphis Barbecue turns up 1.1 million results. Also, if you thought Memphians took breakfast seriously, you have no idea how fiercely loyal they are to their barbecue joints of choice.

There’s only one fair way to do this. I’ve taken reader suggestions and created three brackets (sandwiches, ribs and wild card) with eight contestants each.

Sandwich:

Barbecue Brackets: Sandwiches

Barbecue Brackets: Sandwiches

(click the image for a better view and a list of the contestants).

Here’s how the judging shakes out:

Round 1: Sandwich (no slaw), sauce, service, atmosphere, price.

Round 2: Sandwich (with slaw), one side item, service, atmosphere, price

Round 3: Meet and Eat – anyone is welcome to come eat and contribute to the judging for the championship. We’ll judge sandwich, a side item, service, atmosphere and price. Scores from other rounds will also figure in to the final score.

Ribs:

Barbecue Brackets: Ribs

Barbecue Brackets: Ribs

(Click the image to see the contestants)

Here’s how the ribs will be judged:

Round 1: Wet ribs, one side item, service, atmosphere, price.

Round 2: Dry ribs, one side item, service, atmosphere, price

Round 3: Meet and Eat – anyone is welcome to come eat and contribute to the judging for the championship. We’ll judge ribs, a side item, service, atmosphere and price. Scores from other rounds will also figure in to the final score.

Wild Card:

(The wild card category is for entree items served at barbecue restaurants that aren’t traditional barbecue.)

Barbecue Brackets: Wild Card

Barbecue Brackets: Wild Card

(Click the image to see the contestants)

Here’s how the judging will work out:

Round 1: Wild card item, service, atmosphere, price.

Round 2: Wild card item, one side, service, atmosphere, price.

Round 3: Meet and Eat – anyone is welcome to come eat and contribute to the judging for the championship. The wild card item plus service, atmosphere and price will be judged. Scores from other rounds will also figure in to the final score.

So, there you have it. I’ll announce the dates of the Meet & Eats as they get closer.

Do you have any initial predictions?


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Comments

  1. @prixdc says:

    No way! BBQ Shop needs to be included in the Rib category. If you haven’t had them in the past year or two (they changed their recipe/technique), go eat them and you’ll know why.

  2. shaneofmemphis says:

    Good looking brackets. I am guessing that each restaurant was allowed into only two of the contests? If that wasn’t intentional, then I think it was a happy accident.
    I’m really excited to see how this comes out, as I believe it will be far more fun than the typical barbecue contest experience.

  3. brandi says:

    Oh man, R.P. Trax has the BEST

  4. brandi says:

    Oh man, R.P. Tracks has the BEST barbecue tofu nachos! If you had a veggie bracket they’d definitely have to be on it!

  5. Tiger08 says:

    You forgot Leonard’s BBQ on Fox Plaza, oldest BBQ restaurant in town with the best BBQ sandwiches and dry ribs in town

  6. […] I Love Memphis » Barbecue Brackets: Meet the Contestants! […]

  7. Melissa says:

    OMG Marlowe’s against Rendezvous in the first round ahhhhhhhhh!!! That is a tough one!

  8. Central is not in the rib bracket? Seriously? This is an ominous oversight that does not bode well for this competition.

    I also agree that BBQ Shop should be in the Rib division as well.

    Wait, Interstate is NOT in the Sandwich division? Que???????

    Maybe it’s time to walk this back and rethink this…..

    • Steve,

      I couldn’t include everyone in every bracket and ever hope to finish. To make the brackets, I took the places that were submitted most often for each category plus a few that have been recommended that are less well known. I also wanted to show a range of places over all three categories.

  9. Heh, I understand. You do realize that you went from light-hearted fun (Breakfast) to religion (BBQ) with this, right?

    🙂

  10. Andrew says:

    Coletta’s wins the wild card category. I don’t even have to taste the other stuff to know.
    Although I do look forward to finding some new bbq places.

  11. Harry Jaffe says:

    Just to echo a previous post. How in the wide, wide world could Leonard’s be omitted? The restaurant began serving BBQ in 1922, and my father ate there in the Great Depression–two BBQ sandwiches for 15 cents. I think the BBQ sandwich is better than the ribs. The BBQ beans are outstanding, too. While there, purchase a bottle of their sweet sauce as well as a bottle of their hot. Neither is sold in stores.

  12. Reginald says:

    1 and Only’s Smoked Turkey will impress if not the wild card competition…

  13. Reginald says:

    Meant to say “if not win the wild card competition…”

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  17. cary says:

    Rib competition and not including Central BBQ?
    A vote for Central and Ribs!!!!

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