Wednesday, September 3, 2008
A quick update from a coffee shop in downtown Memphis called Bluff City Coffee, on 505 Main St. Comfortable and clean it kind of feels like a starbucks but there’s only one of them, and it’s not nearly as forced. Trolleys pass just outside the windows at a slow speed, a reflection of the on and off drizzling and general gray feel of the day.
They say a wise man learns from others mistakes, a knowledgeable man learns from his own and the stupid learns from neither. With the David Gibson BBQ problem in fresh memory we went to a highly recommended rib place called Central BBQ. And boom goes the dynamite.
We started off with a full rack of ribs, half dry half wet and sides of cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans and macaroni and cheese. Had we stopped there I think I probably would have been in ok. Before I explain how much I didn’t stop there, let me say that these were the best ribs I’ve ever had. Moist and juicy, you would try to rip off a piece and you’d be left with the bone in your hands, the meat laying on the tray waiting to be covered in the tangy sweet bbq sauce. The ribs had a distinct smokey taste to them, slightly crisp on the outside, red and juicy on the inside. We ended up putting back two full racks of them when all was said and done.
The macaroni and cheese was surprisingly good as well, cheesy but not to liquidy. I was less impressed with the slaw and potato salad, perhaps it was the recent memory of David Gibson’s cole slaw, which was the best I have had in recent memory, but this dish was nothing special. Again, this is a tiny dent in an otherwise flawless experience.
Craig, partner and manager, was friendly and down to earth, he was giving all Louisiana residents half off on their orders in a show of solidarity for the evacuees, what a guy.
Plenty of bottled beers (including fat tire!) as well as a few great local brews on tap. Laid back dining with nearly instantaneous service, I think I waited about 15 seconds before my food was in my hands. Despite the stomach cramps and the impending thunder I will let loose on this unsuspecting coffee shop, I consider the entire experience worthy of high praise.
We checked out the STAX museum, an amazing place in honor and memory of an incredible record company that was responsible for some of the great soul music legends such as Otis Redding and Booker T. and the MG’s. The tour was a great summary if the labels short but impressive run from 1957 to 1972. Admission was free for Louisiana transplants, but even so, admission is fair and well worth it if you consider yourself even a casual fan of Memphis soul music.
On the way from STAX to Main St we took an abbreviated self-navigated driving tour of Memphis.