Man Fuel: I’m excited to announce that this is the first guest post on my site that reviews a restaurant. At first I wasn’t sure that I wanted reviews on my site that I didn’t create myself, but after hearing about “the best barbecue I have ever had in my life,” I knew I had to share the information! Check out this blog post about a three-person trip to Nashville, TN to visit a friend and a barbecue experience to remember.
Downtown Jack’s Bar-B-Que
Downtown in the District
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Trinity Lane Jack’s Bar-B-Que
334 West Trinity Lane
Historic Talbots Corner
Nashville, Tennessee 37207
Sophia: My theory on what makes a good vacation changes from time to time. I have realized I am not of the “adventuresome” vacation type that needs to climb a natural wonder of some sort on a trip. Nor am I of the “I just want to lie around and do nothing” type, although I do enjoy a nice ocean-side lounge. However, what is increasingly taking precedence on my vacation priorities list is a yummy food scene and Nashville does not disappoint. Of the multiple yummy meals I devoured in Nashville that left me permanently full, yet still craving more (e.g. buttermilk mac and cheese! hot chicken! almond croissants! croissant french toast!), Jack’s Bar-B-Que was by far the best.
The road to this meal was full of heated Online-Review-based debates between my three friends (one of whom was our host) and I. The fact that we were going to have a barbecue meal during our time in Nashville was a no-brainer. However, the three northerners on the trip* debated for two days about which barbecue place to try. We really wanted to sample Nashville’s best “candied meat,” as our Southern host refers to barbecue, so finally, Jack’s Barbecue came out on top.
Jack’s has a couple of locations, but we went to the one on Broadway in Downtown’s “touristy district,” as our host called it. Initially, that was a con on the Jack’s pro-con list during our extensive BBQ deliberations, however it pretty much consistently got the best reviews. Plus, it meant we could drink beer and listen to live country music at any number of bars nearby at any hour of the day or night it. Also, the sign outside Jack’s has flying pigs on it. Sold!
Atmosphere and Service:
People. Go here ready to eat. Make it your only meal of the day if you have to. You open the door and the smoky air attacks you, but only in the most genteel southern way. The walls are adorned with photos and mounted animal head taxidermy (a common decor in Nashville). The ordering counter is plain, simple, and you give your order to a man who has no facial expressions, but is clearly a BBQ pro. I ordered the triple meat sampler, asking for pork shoulder, pork ribs, and chicken as I secretly vied for the expression-less man’s approval of my can-do barbecue attitude. He remained impassive. Oh well.
Most of us went with the 3-meat sampler that came with two sides and it was definitely the correct option. After placing my order, I watched the same impassive man load up my plate with barbecue and my two selected my sides (baked beans and mac and cheese) as I waited. After receiving deliciousness on a plate, we checked out assembly line style and carried our trays to our seats. On the way to our seats, we stopped to grab small containers of the 3 types of homemade barbecue sauces the restaurant makes.
As soon as I took the first bite, I knew that this was the most tender, fall-apart delicious, barbecue I have ever had. When I tried to pick a rib up to eat, the bone just fell out. It was beautiful. The side dishes were decent, but the meats were the star. As Man Fuel will disapprovingly tell you, I am not a big meat eater, but friends, on this day, I was. I finished my entire plate as did the my three other friends who essentially liked their plates clean.
Afterwards we took a long stroll as our full bellies necessitated and of course we proceeded to smell like smoked wood for the next 8 hours, but it was all worth it. No one should leave Nashville without the scent of barbecue on them. I did not regret a single bite.
*Fun Fact: Northerners apparently can’t pronounce any southern words, such as: The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s historic home, which is pronounced “Hermi-tage,” not “Hermi-tahj” as I tried to fancify it.