Wednesday, October 28, 2009

BBQ Quest: Ott's

Y'all probably think I've forgotten about the BBQ Quest. The quest has been kind of slow-going lately because I've gotten crazy-busy at work and I've almost knocked out all the restaurants in a 5-mile radius, which means it's hard to find enough time to visit some of the far-flung joints.

I am still working on it though, and some friends and I took a field trip out to Ott's Bar-B-Que in Farragut a while back. Ott's has what I gather is a newish place after relocating a couple of years ago. One thing about this place is it isn't your typical hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint. There was a fancy flat-screen TV on the wall over the counter which happened to be showing golf the day we were out there. As much as I like the hole-in-the-wall joints for their character, it's still nice to be able to kick back with a beer and some 'cue while taking in a sporting event. Yes, beer. They had your run of the mill variety of bottled beer, so there's that too.

Photos by The MG.

Now, about the barbecue. I've said before that the thing East Tennessee barbecuers seem to struggle with is smoking their pulled pork to perfection. Well, Ott's knows what it's doing. The pork was tender, juicy and smoky and in no way overdone. Very quality. When it comes to barbecue sauces, Ott's offers something like five or six different variety, so if you are one of those heathens who don't like the Memphis-style thick and sweet sauce or you're planning on dining with one of them, there's a chance they'll have a type of sauce you will like. Ok, I'm not being fair. I tried all the sauces and liked several of them. But to get my kind of sauce I had to mix two of their options together.

But as good as the pulled pork was, Ott's totally blew it on the sides. We tried potato salad that didn't look or taste like any kind of potato salad I've ever encountered. It was a sort of mayo/ranch combo that wasn't awful but was incredibly bland. The baked beans weren't memorable and the corn was a little too buttery.

One of my companions was impressed with the selection of ice cream novelties in a freezer right by the door. I don't recall there being any banana pudding to sample, but I can't remember for sure.

So while M&M may still be my favorite, I have no problem recommending Ott's for a good sandwich if you're way out Farragut way AND if you choose your sides wisely or if you just need a beer and some high-definition TV to go with your barbecue.

Editor's note: Before anyone says anything ... Yes, I do plan on trying Dead End BBQ very, very soon.

Ott's Bar-B-Que (Can't find a website)
12828 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934


B said...

ooo, i want to go with you!

redmoxie said...

I tried Ott's once and didn't notice any smokiness to the pulled pork at all. I seemed like simply a good roast pork, but not BBQ.

Maybe it's worth another try?

Anonymous said...

I love that picture of all those sauces. I love a many sauce option and find that I also usually have to mix two or more together to get my desired taste.

I would be up for a Dead End BBQ field trip.

The Modern Gal said...

Redmoxie: When did you try it? I noticed a discrepency in some online reviews of Ott's from a few years ago and recently. Maybe they improved when they changed locations?

Athomp said...

Check out Full Service BBQ in Maryville if you get a chance. It's my favorite spot, even though its at an old gas station and there's no indoor seating!

I like it so much we're about to start selling it at Sapphire on our new menu in the form of pork nachos.

The Modern Gal said...

Athomp: Duly noted. I think someone suggested it on the original list of bbq joints. BTW, I love bbq nachos. Good call.

redmoxie said...

I tried it at the 'new' location (I don't even know where the old location was) about 3 months ago or so.

Anonymous said...

Ott's has always been there I think. It was really big in the 70's and 80's then closed down in the mid-90's. It reopened a year or two ago with a new owner who had supposedly bribed a former employee for the recipes. I went a few weeks after it opened with someone who had been a fan back in the day. I just had a pulled pork sandwich and I found it to be dry and bland even with sauce (they only had one when I was there). My friend said that it wasn't nearly as good as she had remembered it.

Wax S. said...

You know banana pudding is bad for you, right?

The Modern Gal said...

Wax, I hear barbecue is bad for you too, but I choose not to believe it.

It sounds like Ott's may have overachieved when I visited (they mustave heard I was coming). I guess inconsistency is one of their traits too.

B said...

mg, your reputation precedes you. i'm sure whoever served you put a big VIP on your order so the kitchen knew you were there.

The Modern Gal said...

I guess I'm going to have to borrow a wig from the wigshop next time I go for bbq so no one recognizes me.

Anonymous said...

Any plans to check out B&D Ribshack on Rutledge Pike? I've heard their bbq sauce is really unique (in a good way).

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