When I talk about American barbeque / bbq places, I always talk about the star of the show: the low and slow, smoked meats that you can tear with your fingers, that melts like butter in your mouth. Rightfully so, because it wouldn’t be called a barbecue place without it.
But with Central BBQ in Memphis, TN, I will not talk about their bbq. Their brisket is average. Their sausage meh. It looked more like an overcooked, shrivelled hotdog than sausage to me. Their pork ribs were good – moist, savory and sweet. Just the way I like my ribs.
Though tasty, I do not remember those ribs as much as I do their bbq beans. Good Lord. Those bbq beans were the best that I’ve ever had.
The beans you get as sides at barbecue joints are the usual gloopy, unappealing, sometimes mushy beans in a hearty sweet sauce. At best, the sauce carries a meaty flavor, but no meat.
Central BBQ in Memphis, TN brings barbecue meat into their beans. Not the token microscopic meat nubbins, but generous pieces of pulled pork strands. It wasn’t beans with pork, but pork with a bit of beans. Ha! Their smoky pulled pork blended so well with the buttery sweet beans. To be honest, this wasn’t just a side…kanin na lang at ulam na!
And they don’t stop there. Okay, maybe this is a twist The Husband and I added. Another side Central BBQ has is pork rinds. Filipino speak: CHICHARON. Freshly cooked puffed up, crispy pork skin. Crumble some of that and top it on top of those barbecue beans.
I know, I know. You’re welcome. Very, very welcome.
2249 Central Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
Open Monday to Sunday, 11AM to 9PM
See menu here