Friday, April 17, 2009

BBQ Quest: Back Room BBQ

I was a little worried for Back Room BBQ because all I'd heard about the food there from my friends was 'Texas style, Texas style,' and here B and I -- the two Memphis natives who reside here at the Wigshop -- decided we were going to have dinner there. I figured that meant Back Room was screwed from the get go. I was wrong.

As it turns out, Back Room, despite having a menu full of beef briskety options, also offers a few pulled pork sandwiches, which is what B and I both ordered. Holy smokes, that pork was tasty and thick. Exactly what was missing last week at F.A.T.S. You have the option of ordering your meat on either Texas toast or a kaiser bun. I love Texas toast very much, but it seems to suit chicken fingers better than barbecue so I stuck with the bun. The bun came soaked in butter and toasted, which was a nice touch EXCEPT the butter totally overwhelmed the tomato-based sauce, which was pretty runny and flavorless, even though I dumped nearly half the bottle on my sandwich. Back Room also offers vinegar sauce, if you like that sort of thing.

They have most of the traditional sides, like beans and slaw. B and I both got the country style green beans, which had a sort of sweet kick to them but were really good. I got the traditional Patrick Sullivan's fried corn on the cob, and oh my goodness. It was fried bits of heaven, but it will stick with you for a while.

Like the good Old City establishment that it is, Back Room has a bar, pool table room, darts and a patio. And because it's a bar/pool table/darts/patio kind of establishment, Back Room is the place to go if you just want to chill with a super-cheap PBR and catch up with your friends. It is not the place to go if you want to be waited on hand-and-foot.

B and I grabbed a spot on the patio just as dusk was approaching and the Christmas lights were being plugged in. There were basically two people working -- one at the bar, one floating around everywhere else -- and we had to keep stalking them out. It wasn't too bothersome since we were just chatting the evening away and there was always someone at the bar, but just keep that in mind.

So recommended? Absolutely, though if you're a snob about your sauce, you may want to sneak some with you in your purse (or that of your lady friend's). There's a cuban-style barbecue pork sandwich that has piqued my interest, and CK is already trying to get me to try something forebodingly called 'The Fix.' I gather I'm going to have to fast for three days before I tackle that one.

Back Room BBQ
100 N. Central St., Knoxville
(865) 637-4255


Anonymous said...

The nachos at Back Room BBQ are incredible. Seriously.

And The nice thing is that most of the time, you can order off the Back Room menu while sitting on the Sullivan's side, though if it's summer you'll definitely want to sit outside.

Mickey said...

Knoxville regret number one (and counting, I'm sure): I never made it to Back Room, despite assurances that it was the best BBQ in K-Town.

Enjoy your quest in my absence.

B said...

It's a strange thing to go dine earlier in the evening at a place you typically treat as a late night bar, but I was very happy I finally did. I liked the food very much. My only complaints were that the lower bun was soggy and the service was non-existent until we sought it out. But because I've viewed backroom as just a bar for so long, it didn't bother me too much, it was just confusing. Our server, however, was really nice when he did come around. We didn't see him for a while after we finished so the modern gal went inside to find he had switched to bartender. I guess they work with what they have and I don't mind that now that I understand the system.

Definitely sit outside, and the sooner the better because it's so nice right now.

Next time I want to try the Havana sandwich (I think that's what it's called)- pulled pork, grilled ham, and cheese- it's got me intrigued. That with a side of fried corn and I'm sure I wouldn't even notice the service because I'd be in a food coma. mmmm.

will cote said...

no pictures?!?

B said...

we both forgot cameras. yeah, we need pictures...max?

ck said...

"The Fix" is amazing. A huge amount of beef brisket, pulled pork, Texas toast, cheese, coleslaw in a pile... TOGETHER AT LAST. I still have the one I ate last month lodged in my upper stomach. No regrets!

Lord Von Lord said...


I tried the Havana a few weeks ago. I hate to report I was not impressed. You may have better luck with it, but it seems like too much is going on with that sammich. My two cents only.

B said...

your 2 cents is greatly appreciated.

mod gal, can we do a "Knoxville's healthiest and tastiest salad quest" next

The Modern Gal said...

Yes, though we probably should do it at the same time that we're doing BBQ quest for our arteries' sake.

Unknown said...

I'm originally from Texas and have been looking for decent brisket up here. Is the brisket pulled beef or slices of beef?