365 Things to Do in Memphis #93: Eat Barbecue at Memphis International
One of my favorite things about flying into Memphis International Airport's Terminal B is that as soon as I get off the plane, I know exactly where I am by the smell. There's an stand in the middle of the terminal that fills the entire hallway with that familiar, smoky I'm-home smell of Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue. Assignment #93 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to give it a try next time you fly.
Airport food can be a little risky, but Jim Neely's stand is the real deal. The company has been in business for 30 years, and Jim is the uncle of Pat Neely (you know, the guy with the TV show).
When I stopped by the stand around lunch on Friday, there was a long line. It moved quickly, though, and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich (sidenote – the total came out to a locally appropriate $9.01).
The sandwich was massive – they managed to fit what had to be half of a pork shoulder onto the bun. It came with sauce, slaw and a big stack of napkins. If you're in a hurry between connections, keep your sandwich in the bag until you can sit down – this isn't a walking meal (and even if you're sitting, it's going to be likely that you'll make a bit of a mess).
Terminal B food court
Memphis International Airport
(ed. note – A huge thanks to MEM's Janice Young for helping out with this story. She got me through security and to the food court unscathed. Thanks, Janice!)