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Entries in Peg Leg Porker (6)


My Visit to Peg Leg Porker - Nashville, TN

Rather than write a review of Carey Bringle's BBQ joint, Peg Leg Porker, this entry will simply be a description of my visit.  You see, I met Carey a few years ago when we both attended a seminar called "The Business of BBQ" hosted by Mike & Amy Mills at 17th Street Barbeque in Murphysboro, IL.  Subsequently, I hung out with Carey and his competition team at Priase the Lard a couple of times and helped him serve at the first annual Kentucky State BBQ Festival.  So to say that I'm predisposed to enjoy my trip to Peg Leg Porker would be an understatement. 

My daughter is in the process of selecting an institution of higher learning, so that drew us to Nashville for a college visit.  While the family enjoyed learning about some of the finer points of college dining halls, I discovered that Peg Leg Porker was only a short drive away.  I excused myself from the cafeteria line and hit the road.

I'd seen a numer of photos from Carey's social media sites, so I quickly recognized the place when I saw it.  Located in an area of Nashville called The Gulch, Peg Leg Porker is in a trendy area of Southwest Nashville and a popualr destination for locals and college students.

Out front, Peg Leg Porker has a whole hog pit that they use on occassion and plenty of patio seating.  Inside, the front wall is graced with a huge bar, TV's, beer, and spirits, including Peg Leg Porker bourbon.  But that's a topic for another time.  At the back of the place, a counter sits in front of the open kitchen.  Like any good BBQ joint, the menu is simple and displayed above the register.

Being familiar with Peg Leg Porker, there was no doubt that I was having the dry ribs.  So I ordered up a 1/2 a rack with a couple of sides, a glass of sweet tea, and settled down to enjoy me some Tennessee BBQ.  And, I was not disappointed.  The ribs were just the way I remembered them and my only regret is that I only ordered a 1/2 a rack.

When I finished, I bought a trucker hat with the Peg Leg Porker logo and headed back to meet up with the family.  Carey was out of town this particular weekend, so we didn't get a chance to reconnect.  I did get a chance to talk with one of his crew that I'd met before.  

I'm not sure how this college search will turn out, but I'm pulling for Belmont Unviversity.  That would keep me in Nashville and good BBQ for the next 4 years!



Picking and Grinning

Artifacts from the Kentucky State BBQ Festival are still popping up even 2 weeks after the event.  This video surfaced today.

If you look closely, you'll find yours truly picking the guitar along with my good friend Dave and some of the Peg Leg Porkers crew at the :20 second mark.




2011 "Praise the Lard" BBQ Competition


I had the opportunity to travel back to Murphysboro, IL this weekend and attend 17th Street BBQ's annual competition, Praise the Lard.  This is the second time I've attended the event, but the first time that I was able to stay for the awards ceremony on Saturday night.  

This event is a little unique in that it's a combined event with both a Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) & and a Memphis BBQ Network (MBN) contest occuring at the same time.  KCBS contests feature stricly blind judging in the categoreis of chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and brisket.  While MBN contests feature both blind judging and team presentations in the categories of whole hog, pork shoulder, and ribs.  Some teams competing this weekend entered both contests, while other (and probably the majority of the) teams entered only one or the other.


The more involved in the BBQ culture I become, the more friends and acquitances I acquire.  Carey Bringle & his team at Peg Leg Porker welcomed me and allowed me to hang out with them on Saturday.  I watched Carey's presentations for shoulder & ribs and gained a new appreciation for the MBN teams.  I was pulling for Carey and his guys to bring home some hardware from the event.  While they fell a little short in the 3 MBN categories, I thought it was fitting that they did win the Ambassador's Award for hospitatliy and showmanship.  They were gracious hosts and I enjoyed hanging out with them.

Peg Leg Porker Competition Team

I connected with Jeff at BBQ ProShop who particiapted as a judge for the KCBS competition.  I'm a customer of Jeff's and it was good to put a face with the name.  Jeff's a great guy and I encourage you to look him up if you're in need of rubs, sauces, and accessories for your own BBQ adventures.

I also got a chance to connect with my Backwoods Smokers dealer, Brian Luke.  I met Brian at Praise the Lard a couple of years ago and bought a Backwoods Fatboy from him.  Brian also let me hang out with him in Steeleville, IL last spring.  Another great BBQ guy.

There are lots of others, but I can't name them all.  It's a really neat community of folks who enjoy competing and sharing their love for BBQ.  I look forward to doing it again real soon.

Whole Hog Presentation

Oh yeah, there was a competition going on too.  Tower Rock BBQ pulled off  a clean sweep in all 3 MBN categories and walked away with Grand Champion honors.  On the KCBS side,  Gilly's Barnstormin' BBQ took Grand Champion.

Here's a link to a larger set of photos from the event.




You Can't Get BBQ in a Restaurant

Recently, I was having lunch with Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker at Pat Martin's BBQ Joint in Nolensville, TN.  Peg Leg Porker will be at Memphis in May as they usually are, and we began to talk about the difference between MBN competitions and KCBS competitions.  Our conversation got me thinking a little bit.  You see, Carey's position is that the presentation that is part of MBN competitions is really the essence of BBQ, more so than the nondescript Styrofoam box that's judged blindly in KCBS competitions.

The more I ponder it, I think he's right.  I walk into BBQ joints every chance I get and I eat BBQ.  No offense to great BBQ joints like Pat's or 17th Street, but I often walk away thinking that I can cook just as good.  In fairness, I'm not cooking for the masses (usually).  But is BBQ really just about the food?  Or is the enjoyment of my own BBQ a result of the experience, the tradition, the stories told around the BBQ pit, or maybe just the satisfaction of doing it myself?

I can enjoy good food in a restaurant.  But if you believe that BBQ is the sum of all those things I mentioned previously, you can't get BBQ in a restaurant.



Review: Martin's BBQ Joint

A couple of years ago, I stumbled on the blog of a guy in Tennessee who was chronicling his journey in starting a BBQ joint.  Now I don't think there's a restaurant in my future...ever.  But I thoroughly enjoyed following the story of Martin's BBQ Joint and pitmaster Pat Martin.  I mentally put his joint on my list of places to visit if the opportunity ever arose.

Martin's BBQ Joint - Nolensville, TNWell recently I had the opportunity to travel through Nashville on a BBQ related trip of my own.  I'd also had the good fortune to meet Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker at the Business of BBQ class in January.  When Carey found out I was coming through town, we agreed to meet up for lunch.  Carey told me on the phone that "Pat's is the best place in town".  It took me a minute to realize that he was talking about Pat Martin.  That sealed the deal, we were headed to Martin's BBQ to meet Carey for lunch.

The Hog CoffinI'd read about the original joint and frankly forgotten that Pat had moved into a new building.  But when we rolled through Nolensville, TN, there was no mistaking that we were at Martin's when we spotted the "Hog Coffin" parked out front.  Now that's a serious BBQ rig.  It'll cook 6 hogs at once and has a big Ole Hickory pit mounted on it as well.  We took a few minutes to admire the rig while we waited for Carey.

Once inside, do you know how I could tell we were in a BBQ joint?  There's a freakin' pit in the middle of the dining area.  I'm talking about a hog cookin' pit.  Whole hog is Pat's specialty and they cook them in full view of the diners.  Now I wasn't there on a day when they were cooking whole hog, so that means I have to get back there another time when they are.

We ordered up a couple of sampler platters and Carey had the brisket tacos.  We had baby back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, bbq beans, green beans, and cornbread on the platters.  I'll just cut to the chase, I loved it all.  The brisket was probably my favorite meat, and the bbq beans were my favorite side dish.  But it was all good!

As we were finishing our lunch Pat came by and we spent some time talking about their pending trip to Memphis in May, the merits of the Backwoods Smoker that I was there to pick up, the Big Apple Block Party, and a variety of other bbq topics.  It was great to have lunch with Carey & Pat, a couple of guys who are definitely living out their bbq dreams.

If you find yourself anywhere near Nashville, TN, then I'd recommend diverting to Nolensville (just southeast of Nashville) and eating at Martin's BBQ.

Here's a video of the Food Network's Guy Fieri and his visit to Martin's with Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.




Review: Peg Leg Porker Dry Rub

I recently attended the Business of BBQ with Mike & Amy Mills in Murphysboro, IL.  I met lots of great folks, including Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker.  I've read about Carey, his competition team, his team mates, and his line of signature BBQ products.

Carey is a seasoned competition cook and I'm really glad that I got to know him.  As the 2-day class wrapped up, Carey tossed me some of his rub to try out and reveiw.  So I brought it home and finally got around to firing up the Big Green Egg and giving it a try.

This is a classic Memphis style dry rub.  It's not sweet.  In fact, I'm not sure there's any sugar in it at all.  But that's okay.  It has a very rich, earthy flavor with a slight hint of chili powder or something similar.  Don't get me's not spicey, but it has a nice flavor.  If you've ever eaten ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis, this rub is similar to the dry rub they serve.

I like to taste test rubs on chicken.  I think you get a better idea of the flavor profile with the lighter flavor of chicken.  I hit some chicken with Peg Leg's rub and smoked it for a couple hours.  I thought the rub had a great taste and went great with chicken.  I'm sure it'll go great on pork too, and I'll be trying that soon.

Peg Leg has a couple of other products available at their website, as well as information on the competition team.  You can also catch up with them at Memphis in May.

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