Thursday, July 09, 2009

BBQ Quest: M&M Catering

I've had several people tell me both before and since my barbecue quest began that M&M Catering would satisfy my every need for pulled pork 'cue. Before I started the quest, I made plans several times to head out Middlebrook and see if they were correct, but my plans kept getting derailed. After I started the quest I decided to hold off on visiting M&M until I'd visited several other places first. If M&M really was as satisfying as they claimed it was then I didn't want the rest to be judged based on my experience there.

That plan got completely derailed when a wedding I attended a few weeks ago (in which the groom was also a barbecue snob from Memphis) served M&M as the reception fare. I knew then that M&M had to become a regular feature in my life.

But to be fair, I knew a trip to the M&M establishment was in order, so The Pol, B, CK and a few of our friends made an event out of it last Friday as a kick off to the holiday weekend. Here are two things I've learned about M&M lately: 1. It's not where it used to be -- they picked up and moved down Middlebrook a ways; 2. It's another take it and go place but without the benefit of picnic tables like at F.A.T.S. or Dixson's.


photos by The MG

I knew something was right when we pulled up and I counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ... 8!!! smokers!!! Granted, it was the day before the largest barbecue consumption day of the year, but I choose to believe they ALWAYS have eight smokers smoking like a good barbecue place should. It wasn't all for pork, they had some tasty, meaty lookin' chicken wings going too.

Y'all, believe me when I say: this is real pulled pork barbecue. It's chunky and tender and just the right kind of smoky and flavorful. It goes down so well, aided by your choice of sweet or spicy barbecue sauces. (I tried the sweet, and it was just what I wanted). It is what my life has been missing since moving back to this city.
two of the eight smokers

Between the five of us we had beans, slaw, mac and cheese, potato chips, lemonade and fruit tea. The beans were good in a very unassuming way. They weren't spicy or overly sweet. They didn't have chunks of things in them. They were your classic baked beans. The slaw I gather was standard. The mac and cheese was thick and gelatanous, but in a good way. I'm guessing there weren't any complaints about the standard-issue chips. The lemonade and fruit tea were basically sugar with a side of liquid. (On the flip side, M&M sells all kinds of bottled options INCLUDING COKE ZERO, which is awesome).

Also, CK finally sampled his first Knoxville pig burger. I'll let him do his own review of that, but my preview is this: it looked like meatloaf.

I was a little miffed that M&M didn't at least have a picnic table outside to sit at, though the search for a picnic table took us Wigshoppers on an amusing trek through the Cedar Bluff area. Still, I'm about 99.9 percent certain it's going to be the ultimate winner of BBQ Quest. I won't conclude the quest just yet as no barbecue in this town will go unsampled by The MG, but please accept my recommendation of M&M.

M&M Catering (follow that link for hours and menu)
1039 Summerwood Rd.
Knoxville, TN 37923
865-692-1003

19 comments:

Lord Von Lord said...

Sweet. Thanks for the comprehensive review.

Knox Animal said...

Best BBQ in Knoxville by far!

Anonymous said...

ummm... WEST SIIIIIIIIDE!

Anonymous said...

For otherwise intelligent people, you guys seem to spend an inordinate amount of time eating, or talking about, BBQ (and the sides)--possibly THE most unhealthy food you could possibly consume. Just because it is a tradition in the south doesn't make it right. Of course, what one eats is their business, but you gotta know that there is a big world of food out there that doesn't involve pigs or "gelatinous" cheese (your word). And youth is no excuse for being oblivious; the check eventually arrives.

Nelson said...

When I lived in Kentucky and could only visit my girlfriend (now wife) in Knoxville on the weekends... this was one place I had to eat almost every time I came here.

They catered our rehearsal dinner.

Absolutely fabulous 'que.

max. said...

either you are a cardiologist or anti-pork. either way. bbq is delicious. this is a "series" on bbq that we've been running for a while now.

i'm not sure i understand the pertinence of your comment.

max. said...

do you have a health food related series we could run? we're open to ideas. seriously.

The Modern Gal said...

Anon #1: West Siiiiide, indeed.

Anon #2: Um, we all gotta eat, right? I'm not sure what barbecue did to offend you, but I assure you it didn't mean it. I promise I'll write more about my weekly trips to the new Earth Fare and the triathlon I'm training for. Cause, you know, just because I'm 'young' I'm not oblivious to the side effects of eating barbecue, I'm just presuming our readers are intelligent enough to know they shouldn't eat barbecue three times a day because of what that could do to their bodies. Sheesh.

em said...

We did a sushi series, and sushi is almost always very healthy. I also frequently post about runs in Knoxville and other fitness related activities.

max. said...

i guess this means we should cancel our corndog series.

max. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nelson said...

Please don't...

If there's a great corndog in Knoxville, I'd love to know about it.

mizmargauxxx said...

max: I love corndogs! no! hahaha, not really.

but what's with the hate anon#2? I mean the modgirl said it right, we gotta eat. and its a short series. and if I am havin a honkerin' for bbq, I think this series is a great one to make sure I get good bang for my buck! I work out atleast 4 times a week thanks and love to eat, so what a lil' harm in some bbq? wigshop for your great series in foodz!

pps- gelatinous cheeze rulz!!!!!

stan said...

this is a horrible blog. how dare you eat or write about unhealthy food! why even mention the existence of any food that has over 10 grams of fat and 100 calories? surely this post if not the entire blog is a joke, right?

as penance for encouraging the otherwise stupid, incapable and unfortunate knoxville denizens who come across this blog to eat unhealthily, you should delete all past food entries and devote this blog to the food pyramid.

in pyramid we trust.

B said...

Anon, I scoff at the man that tries to take the joy out of eating good southern food from me or anyone else, for that matter. Stand between me and mac-and-cheese? Oh, you don't want to know what I will do.

MG, I will fill my belly full of BBQ with you any day of the week, and then I will mirthfully go on a walk with you and your cute little dog.

It's a well-rounded life we aim to live, anon. I am saddened that you don't permit yourself such pleasures.

The Modern Gal said...

Stan, you realize this is all YOUR fault.

B: Mirthfully we will a go go!

Discordia said...

I'm curious where the anti-sushi hate from anon was during sushi week. Don't you know that sushi causes mercury poisoning?!?!?!

Wax S. said...

Actually, Anon, THE most unhealthy food you could possibly consumer is a Baskin Robbins Large Chocolate Oreo Shake (it's true!). But I hear the Wigshoppers are planning on deep frying them, and on a Sunday, no less.

What ever happened to the CiggySearch series that was being floated? It's been a while since Parliament Menthols got any positive ink.

It would be very cool to see a series on local produce and farm products, though, seriously.

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