Project Green Fork Restaurant of the Month: Central BBQ - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Project Green Fork Restaurant of the Month: Central BBQ

(WMC-TV) - PROJECT GREEN FORK RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH:  Central BBQ, 2249 Central Ave., Midtown Memphis (Cooper-Young), 901-272-9377, (see website for other locations, including upcoming Downtown location at St. Martin St. & Butler Ave., across from the National Civil Rights Museum)

Walk up to lunch at Central BBQ. You'll see two things you don't normally see during a week-day lunch rush.

One:  smiling, laughing customers who will wait despite a line that snakes out the door into the parking lot.

Two: customers in the parking lot persuading those intimidated by the line to kindly turn around -- and stick around.

Central BBQ is worth the wait.

"It's just amazing," said Jack Madison, a tweener who talks like a food critic when he waxes about Central BBQ's chicken, ribs and pork shoulder. "It's tangy and spicy, which just gives it a delectable taste."

Yes, a 11-year-old used the word "delectable" to describe this Midtown decade-old institution, among Memphis' barbecue elite.

Central BBQ, a certified Project Green Fork ( restaurant for four years, earned our PGF Restaurant of the Month for a comprehensive recycling and energy-efficiency program:  food waste compost, renewable grease disposal, washable/re-usable cups, energy-rated windows and a weatherized facility.

In its first year as a PGF restaurant, Central BBQ's Midtown location actually saved green -- going green.

"We saved about $4,000 (in dumpster fees)," said owner Craig Blondis. "We significantly reduced our carbon footprint in the landfill by half and saved money in the process."

In the process, their menu for carnivores made room for vegans. A vegetarian favorite:  the barbecue portabella mushroom sandwich with gouda cheese.

"No vegans can even pass up Central," said cook Duran Robinson. "They come here, eat salads, portabellas, some greens, green beans, some with no meat in it!"

"With the whole Project Green Fork thing, a restaurant that shows commitment like that, you want to support it," said customer Matt Clark, a dental school student.

Stop in that parking lot, pivot and do your dental work a favor. Get back in line at Central BBQ. 


Take A Break Coffee Shop, 2150 W. Poplar Ave., Collierville, TN, 100 on April 2 

Sweet CeCe's Frozen Yogurt, 1250 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 98 on March 15 

Subway, 6490 Memphis-Arlington Rd., Bartlett, TN, 96 on April 2 

Domino's Pizza, 5784 Raleigh Lagrange Rd., East Memphis, 96 on April 2 

Mad Lilly Cakery, 1165 N. Houston Levee Rd., Cordova, TN, 95 on March 21 

Game Time Grill & Wings, 7838 Church St., Millington, TN, 93 on March 13 

CK's Coffee Shop, 4969 Park Ave., East Memphis near Eastgate Shopping Center, 92 on March 30 

Taqueria Reyes, 1535 Cherry Rd., South Memphis, 92 on March 30 

5 Star Grill, 2006 E. Shelby Dr., Whitehaven, 92 on April 4 

El Toro Loco, 2617 Poplar Ave., Midtown Memphis, 91 on April 3 

Sonic Drive-In, 4009 Frayser-Raleigh Rd., Frayser, 91 on March 30 

Daylight Donuts, 5735 Raleigh Lagrange Rd., East Memphis, 90 on April 2 

Chili's, 8100 Giacosa Place, Wolfcreek/Wolfchase Area/E. Memphis, 90 on April 3 

Jason's Deli, 1199 Ridgeway Rd., East Memphis, 90 on April 2 

Chili's, 8526 Highway 51 N., Millington, TN, 90 on April 5 

Captain J.J. Fish & Chicken, 2447 Poplar Ave., Midtown Memphis, 87 on April 3 

Newk's Express Café, 2200 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 85 on April 3 

Piccadilly Cafeteria, 4996 Stage Rd., Raleigh, 76 on April 3

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