Monday, September 21, 2009

Germantown Commissary (8/10) - 2290 Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN 38138

Our drive from The Bar-B-Q Shop past The Barber Shop (closed for the holidays) to Germantown Commissary took us through the only nice neighborhoods we saw while in Memphis; well kept houses and pedicured lawns lined the right side of the street while the less esthetically pleasing railroad tracks ran across our left.  We saw a few homeless staggering along our path but that was to be expected while driving through Memphis.

Playboy raved about the Commissary's ribs in its "America's Best Barbecue" article that ranked Germantown Commissary in Playboy's top-ten national barbecue restaurants.  The pictures furthered the Magazine's support.  We finally approached the Commissary around 2pm and despite just eating an incredible meal at The Bar-B-Q Shop, I was pumped for another meal.  

What is a Commissary?  Glad you asked.   Basically, its a small general store that sells supplies and other goods.  Walker Taylor purchased the building in 1981 and wanted to keep the name.  I'll never forget walking into the Commissary for two reasons.  First, we immediately spotted a fairly lame Elvis impersonator destroying a pork sandwich.  The restaurant definitely had make-yourself-at-home, warm feeling to it and the accompanying friendly wait-staff were definitely friendly.  But the Commissary had a really aggressive motto - "So Good Y'ull Slap Yo' Mama!" - all over the merchandise.  I'm still not quite sure what that even means.  To me its almost worse than the miserable Fox Sunday Football Robot that loves to dance and play guitars and get dressed up for the holidays.

The pulled pork sandwich was definitely enjoyable.  It had good flavor, and had great texture in comparison to the coleslaw we both put on top of the meat.  The bun was soft and buttery, both a plus from my perspective.  The ribs took the meal to the next level.  They had a great hickory-smoked flavor, and the rub on the meat had combined with the rendered fat to create a delicious sticky substance on the surface of each bite.  Although the rib meat was great on its own, I preferred applying a generous amount of dry rub (probably in an effort to replicate my Bar-B-Q Shop experience).

Neither the mild or hot sauce had any heat -- perhaps they mislabeled a bottle -- and had a sweet molasses flavor.  Matt ordered a large slice of caramel cake and decided to only eat the icing.  Good work.

As we left the restaurant, an elderly couple near us ordered two of the most aggressive plates of barbecue pork nachos that I've ever seen.  It was quite an intimidating sight to see.  Matt and I would have trouble finishing one of the plates and this moderate sized couple were ready to double-down on nachos.  They let me take a picture of their food.  They are doing good things.  I wish they offered me the opportunity to take a little dabble of their cheese.

Germantown Commissary on Urbanspoon

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Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.