Whole books have been written about what Southerners call barbecue, so it’s not a topic I’m going to tackle with any depth. But here’s a woman who did—as a graduate thesis at the University of Virginia, for heaven’s sake—so dig in. Quick mention: What you all do with a grill (“I’m going to barbeque some hamburgers”) would be confusing to a Southerner. We grill hamburgers and eat barbeque. 🙂
We Southerners do take our food seriously. Check out the Southern Foodways Alliance—an Institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. They’ve got a whole lot to say about barbecue. (So does Southern Living.)
Suffice it to say, sampling the local purveyors of barbecue is a MUST on my list of things to do in the South, and every neighborhood has its own favorite. I ran the preferred barbecue question up the Facebook flagpole, and came up with a recommended list for my out-of-town friends. (Top choice is on top.)
Available in Murfreesboro:
- Slick Pig BBQ: Local to Murfreesboro.
- Jim ’N Nick’s: A regional chain, but we like it, not least because everything is cooked fresh. There are no freezers at Jim ’N Nick’s.
- Whitt’s: A Nashville chain. Whitt’s taught me about the deliciousness of coleslaw on a barbecue sandwich.
- Famous Dave’s: A national chain and not always well run, but it’ll do and we generally like it. Located in Smyrna (10 miles from Murfreesboro).
Available in Nashville:
- Martin’s BBQ Joint: Local and much loved, much lauded.
- Edley’s: another Nashville local.
- Slow & Low BBQ Bistro: Nashville only.
- Jack’s Barbeque: Nashville only.
- Jim ’N Nick’s
- Famous Dave’s
But wait—let’s talk about Nashville Hot Chicken too! It’s a thing, y’all. And if you like a little heat, you should check it out. OMG. Locals have been loving it for years.