Friday, September 18, 2009

Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue (6/10) - 2265 S 3rd St, Memphis, TN 38109

Sunday - Day 3:  Matt and I arrived into Memphis a little after noon and decided to switch things up a bit and check out Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken.  I'd frequented Gus's on a prior trip after Hurricane Gustav forced my buddy's bachelor party to relocate to Memphis instead of New Orleans (coining our phrase: "George Bush hates bachelor parties").  Looking our best, we ordered a 3 piece plate with a side of fried-green tomatoes.

Gus Fried Chicken only serves its chicken one way, spicy, and it's spectacular.  If you don't like fried food or anything with heat, you'd probably have a great time with this girl I ate dinner with a fews year ago when I first joined the employment pool.  She told me that said she hated pizza, Mexican food, and anything with spice.  I have never ever been more turned off in my life.  I have since dreamed about smashing a spicy Mexican pizza on her head for being such a simpleton.

We finished the chicken and we drove towards Cozy Corner while I sucked on the leftover chicken bones.  I heard they had great smoked cornish game hen and we were excited for the change of pace.  Cozy Corner was closed and would be closed the following day as well.  We then routed our way to Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue and called in advance to ensure it was open.

We arrived after travelling through what I seriously hoped was the worst neighborhood in town.  While stopped at a red-light, the driver to our immediate right opened up his driver-side door and vomited all over the road.  Nobody parties harder than that guy.  We took a seat and ordered ribs, barbecue spaghetti, a sliced pork sandwich (more pulled than anything) topped with slaw, and beans and potato salad.

Mark from BarbecueQuest (previously linked) said that Interstate served the best pork sandwich money could buy.  Without any disrespect to either Mark or the Neely's, we both were disappointed.  The sauce completely suffocated the flavor of the meat even to the point where I pulled meat out of the bottom of the sandwich - all sauce flavor.  We couldn't really be too surprised considering the sandwich was basically sitting in still pool of sauce.

The barbecue spaghetti was pleasantly tasteful.  I would neither eat an entire plate of it on my own nor serve this at my own hypothetical restaurant, but I was happy we ordered it.  Chunks of pork littered the plate and there was as much sauce on the spaghetti as there was on our sliced pork sandwich.  The ribs were the best out of the three dishes we ordered.  The large, meaty, tender ribs were cooked extremely well and had a great flavor.  Unfortunately, the next time I'm in Memphis I'd probably pass on another visit to Interstate at the expense of the other restaurants I tried in the area.

Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue on Urbanspoon


  1. Seriously... you came to Memphis and failed to try Cozy Corner or Central?

    I so feel for the tourists... they never get the good stuff.

  2. Easy there Rob. Tried going to Cozy Corner but it was closed and I've been to Central BBQ on a previous trip but that was before I ever documented my barbecue journeys. Ribs were incredible for what its worth.


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.