Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: Strange 'Cue

By Andy Wise - bio | email

(WMC TV) - Barbecue, at least here in the Mid-South, is like relationships.

Creativity and variety keep things spicy.

These are the five most creative, most unusual barbecue dishes in Mid-South restaurants, according to me and to your Scorecard nominations on my Facebook page (

* BBQ SALAD, The Bar-B-Q Shop, 1782 Madison Ave., Midtown Memphis, 901-272-1277,

"When you go to a restaurant, you typically expect a chef's salad," said The Bar-B-Q Shop's Eric Vernon. "Since we're a barbecue restaurant, we thought, 'Why don't we put our Boston butt on top of a salad?'"


Freshly-chopped Boston butt, piled into a gorgeous bowl of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese. With bleu cheese on the side, or, even better, The Bar-B-Q Shop's signature barbecue sauce, the BBQ Salad is a meal in itself.

* BAR-B-QUE OMELET, Cockadoos, 85 Second St., Downtown Memphis, 901-590-0610,

"In a barbecue town -- and being a breakfast place -- we had to come up with something that would set us apart," said Cockadoos' owner John Bradley Wells.

Three eggs, smoky provolone cheese, a hearty portion of pulled pork -- and whatever else you want to stuff in it -- put Cockadoos in its own breakfast & barbecue category.

"It's a good taste," said customer James Mullen of the restaurant's Memphis Bar-B-Que Omelet. "I didn't think barbecue and egg would be really good together. But I guess the chicken and the pig, they hang out well."

Perfect harmony -- with three cathead biscuits on the side.

* DEEP-FRIED RIBS, 10 Bones BBQ, 5960 Getwell, Suite 126, Southaven, MS, 662-890-4472,

Pit Master Mark West starts his award-winning baby-backs the same as many pit masters.

He trims the membrane, adds the dry rub, glazes the racks as they smoke for seven hours.

Then he does THIS:

"Cut them down to one bone and just drop them in the deep-fryer for a few minutes," West said. "It just kind of seals all those flavors & those juices inside that rib."

"It's just that little added 'ummph' that you don't get from just your regular smoked and grilled ribs," said customer Bo Brown, with a little sauce on his lip.

* BBQ TOFU NACHOS, RP Tracks, 3547 Walker Ave., University of Memphis Area, 901-327-1471,

The thing with tofu -- a bean curd made with soy milk -- is it takes on the flavor of whatever is mixed with it.

It's a little harder, though, for tofu to duplicate texture.

But RP Tracks and its tofu nachos nailed it. The tofu tastes and feels like pork.

"Get that barbecue fix without eating a pig," said Manager Jeff Potter.

The tofu nachos are especially nice with jalapenos, cool sour cream and an ice-cold beer!

* BBQ WHEAT GLUTEN, Saigon Le, 51 N. Cleveland St., Crosstown/Midtown Memphis, 901-276-5326

Wheat gluten is essentially wheat with all the starch washed out. It's tender, chewy -- a lot like sausage.

When Saigon Le's cooks add a Vietnamese spin with savory Asian barbecue sauce, it is another great vegetarian option among Mid-South barbecue dishes.

"It's the 'go-to,' honestly," said Trey Street, a loyal Saigon Le patron from Cordova, TN. "It's savory. It's really sweet. The gluten kind of counters it with a nuttiness. It's a really good vegetarian protein alternative."


Edy's, 2491 Winchester Rd., Memphis Intl. Airport, 97 on Nov. 7

Front Street Deli, 77 S. Front St., Downtown Memphis, 97 on Nov. 7

Dream Berry Frozen Yogurt & Treats, 94 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 96 on Nov. 7

Daylight Donuts, 7546 Highway 70, Bartlett, TN, 95 on Nov. 8

McDonald's, 3068 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 95 on Nov. 8

Panchos Mexican Restaurant, 2841 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 95 on Nov. 8

Pietro Pizza & Subs, 7717 Highway 70, Bartlett, TN, 95 on Nov. 8

Subway, 2669 Lamar Ave., Bethel Grove, 95 on Nov. 8

Burger King, 2348 Lamar Ave., Bethel Grove, 95 on Nov. 8

Crossroads Bar & Grill, 1278 Jefferson Ave., Crosstown/Midtown Memphis, 95 on Nov. 7

Lenny's Sub Shop, 2491 Winchester Rd., Memphis Intl. Airport, 94 on Nov. 7

Baskin Robbins, 4758 Navy Rd., Millington, TN, 94 on Nov. 7

The Corner Pub, 4148 Wales Ave., North Memphis, 93 on Nov. 10

Arcade Restaurant, 540 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 93 on Nov. 9

Burger King, 4663 Navy Rd., Millington, TN, 93 on Nov. 8

The Merry Cook, 2898 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 93 on Nov. 8

Sonic Drive-In, 2865 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 93 on Nov. 8

Crumpy's Wings & More, 220 Claybrook St., Medical District, 93 on Nov. 7

Corky's, 1740 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 92 on Nov. 9

Raleigh Bar-B-Que Restaurant, 3530 Ramil Rd., Raleigh/Frayser, 92 on Nov. 9

Lenny's Sub Shop, 4726 Spottswood Ave., East Memphis, 92 on Nov. 7

Nagasaki Inn Restaurant, 3951 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 91 on Nov. 13

All Stars Hot Wings, 3111 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 91 on Nov. 8

McDonald's, 4657 Quince Rd., East Memphis, 90 on Nov. 10

Burley's, 662 Madison Ave., Medical Center, 90 on Nov. 10

Lou Jack's Diner, 3183 Winchester Rd., Capleville/Airport Area, 90 on Nov. 9

Taqueria La Guadalupana, 4818 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 89 on Nov. 12

Little Caesar's Pizza, 2669 Lamar Ave., Bethel Grove, 89 on Nov. 8

Pa Pa Pia's, 83 Union Ave., Downtown Memphis, 89 on Nov. 7

Wendy's, 5998 Stage Rd., Memphis/Bartlett, 88 on Nov. 9

Taste of China, 4514 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 88 on Nov. 13

Tortilleria La Unica, 5040 Summer Ave., East Memphis, 88 on Nov. 12

Adline's Hot Wings Express, 2736 Warford St., Frayser, 88 on Nov. 8

Payne's Bar-B-Q, 1762 Lamar Ave., Orange Mound/S. Memphis, 88 on Nov. 8

Chick-Fil-A, 1230 Germantown Pkwy, Germantown, TN, 88 on Nov. 7

Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken, 6085 Stage Rd., Bartlett, TN, 87 on Nov. 9

Elfo's, 2285 Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN, 87 on Nov. 9

Los Comales Restaurant, 4774 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 86 on Nov. 12

Rally's Hamburgers, 3280 Poplar Ave., East Memphis, 86 on Nov. 9

Sonic Drive-In, 2460 Poplar Ave., Midtown/E. Memphis, 86 on Nov. 8

China Inn II, 2829 Covington Pike, East Memphis, 86 on Nov. 8

Baskin Robbins, 85 S. Highland St., Poplar Plaza/E. Memphis, 86 on Nov. 7

Chang's House, 5999 Bartlett Center Dr., Bartlett, TN, 85 on Nov. 10

Vietnamese Lotus Restaurant, 4970 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 84 on Nov. 12

Oleo's Sandwich Shop, 1509 Willis St., North Memphis, 84, date not listed.

Rum Boogie Café, 182 Beale St., Downtown Memphis, 84 on Nov. 9

Germantown Commissary, 2290 Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN, 84 on Nov. 9

La Hacienda, 1760 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 84 on Nov. 9

Taco Bell, 4655 Riverdale Rd., Hickory Hill/SE Memphis, 84 on Nov. 8

El Mercadito, 6220 Stage Rd., Bartlett, TN, 84 on Nov. 7

Saito Restaurant, 6600 Stage Rd., Bartlett, TN, 83 on Nov. 8

Edo Japanese Restaurant, 4792 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 82 on Nov. 12

J R Fish & Chicken, 2974 Covington Pike, East Memphis, 82 on Nov. 8

Local Gastropub, 95 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 80 on Nov. 7

American Café, 2055 West St., Germantown, TN, 80 on Nov. 8

Captain D's, 2815 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 80 on Nov. 8

City Donuts, 6335 Stage Rd., Memphis/Bartlett, 80 on Nov. 8

Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana, 1215 Germantown Pkwy, Germantown, TN, 72 on Nov. 7

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