I’ve been pursuing Patrick Martin, pitmaster and namesake for Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville, Tennessee for a while now. The first glimpse I had of his BBQ prowess was on a little known (and seldom aired) show on the Food Network called Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives (you can see his episode HERE). He’s part of the BBQ super team called Fatback Collective and one of the few cooks doing whole hog for their restaurant. I’m really honored that he took time away from everything else he was doing (including cooking) to jot down his favorite BBQ spots. I know you’ll be impressed.
Here are Patrick’s favorite BBQ joints in his own words:
Siler’s Old Time BBQ – Henderson, TN – Henderson is where I learned to cook BBQ hanging around and working at some of the old joints like L & L and Thomas & Webb. They cook whole hog and that’s it, carrying on the tradition of west Tennessee whole hog BBQ. Cooking hogs everyday and closing when they run out. Red slaw on the sandwich is to die for!
Photo of Siler’s Old Time BBQ courtesy of Southern BBQ Trail
Skylight Inn A.K.A. Pete Jones BBQ – Ayden, NC – This place embodies what BBQ is and should be in America. Like my old stomping grounds in west Tennessee, my buddy Sam Jones and family cook hogs everyday and when they’re out, they’re out! Chopped pork on cornbread squares!!! Don’t let them catch you talking on the cell phone while at the counter while ordering as Southern Hospitality can get real inhospitable real quick if you do!
Photo courtesy of Southern Living
Scott’s BBQ – Hemingway, SC – Rodney Scotts whole hog is as good as you’ll find! His sauce recipe should be cataloged in the library of congress.
Photo courtesy of Serious Eats
Cozy Corner – Memphis, TN – Get the bird!!! Trust me y’all, get the bird!
Photo courtesy of Ben’s Biz Blog
Central BBQ – Memphis, TN – I was born in Memphis. I freakin’ love Memphis. its the “dirty” South you know? when I was a kid my mom & dad would go on a date and my Uncle Robert & Aunt Elaine would keep me. They’d take me to Gridley’s and that’s where i fell in love with true Memphis BBQ. Well now Central BBQ is my favorite spot to grab a classic Memphis style sandwich. It’s just awesome!
Photo courtesy of Full Custom Gospel BBQ
Corky’s (the original on Poplar) – Memphis, TN – The best dry ribs on the earth!
Photo courtesy of the Food Network
Jim-N-Nick’s BBQ – Birmingham, AL – Man these guys just knock it dead! Yes they are now a chain but I’ll put their BBQ up against anything out there! That’s a big statement, but i know what the heck I’m talking about! Nobody has higher standards than Nick Pihakis and his crew, and I’m not just talking about the BBQ world -I’m including the finest chefs in the world.
Fox Brothers BBQ – Atlanta, GA; these guys cook THE BEST brisket I’ve ever had. Period. sorry texas i know that stings, but it is what it is. Oh and by the way, guess where these boys are from? You guessed it – Texas.
Photo courtesy of My BBQ Blog
Meyers Elgin Sausage – Elgin, TX – A few years ago i had the privlieage of being a panel guest at the annual NBBQA conference Austin, TX. I literally ate at 20+ bbq joints within a couple of hours of Austin. This is the best Elgin hot guts (texas style sausage) I’ve ever had.
Photo of Meyer Elgin’s Sausage courtesy of LTHForum
Blue Smoke – New York, NY – For the past 4 years ive been honored to be invited as one of the PitMasters for the Big Apple BBQ Block Party and I always find myself chowing down at Blue Smoke. Danny Meyer and Ken Callaghan have done something that was previously thought impossible – bring real deal BBQ to NYC, and its just flat out awesome!
Photo courtesy of Pigtrip.net
Big Bob Gibson – Decatur, AL – An institution!
Photo courtesy of Spoon Saga
Rib Shack – Corinth, MS – This is an emotional pick for me because these folks are from our hometown. I love the Rib Shack!
Edley’s – Nashville, TN – Why would I list one our competitors? Cause they’re dang good thats why. Yeah i spend enough time at Martins Bar-B-Que Joint to get my fix on smoked meat, but when I’m home sometimes I get the urge for more I roll over to Edley’s! Great guys! I’m also a believer in the old addage that “the tide lifts all the ships”. I love supporting the BBQ community around Nashville. The fact is if you don’t find yourself doing this in your town then in my opinion you’re an insecure idiot. Help your brethren out by spending money with them and bringing them some good karma! You might even get some of that good karma back!
Photo courtesy of Nashville Lifestyles