Germantown Commissary (Germantown, TN)
Nothing says Memphis cuisine like some good BBQ! But since neither of us had ever visited Memphis before, we decided a little insider help would be beneficial to weed out the mediocre from the incredible. One of Edie’s former co-workers had lived in Memphis for a number of years, so she sent him an email on our drive down and he was quick to respond with a number of dining suggestions (thanks, Charles!!). The Germantown Commissary was close to the route to the hotel, so we decided to give that a try for our first dinner in the Memphis area.
The Germantown Commissary is a single-location BBQ spot that has been operating for 25 years. Their menu boasts the standard Memphis-style BBQ fare of ribs and pork shoulder, plus shrimp, burgers and even tamales. We, however, were most definitely there for BBQ!
The Boss Hog Special
Menu decisions can be so stressful sometimes…so when a restaurant offers up a combination platter that is big enough to share with a sample of everything, we’re sold! That is how we selected the Boss Hog Special – a 4 meat meal with sides of beans, slaw and a deviled egg (more on the sides below). Germantown Commissary gives you the option of doing any 4 meat combination from their menu, so we opted to try some of each – pulled pork shoulder, smoked chicken, ribs, and a smoked sausage link.
Wow – it was all incredible! The smoked flavor was out-of-this-world and everything was moist on its own – no sauce was really needed (though small amounts topped the chicken and pork shoulder). The ribs were served dry and no sauce was necessary. The rub was perfect and they were smoked to the point of “fall-off-the-bone” tender, while still having texture, a thin line to walk. The chicken meat was soaked through to the bone with smoky flavor, also no easy feat, as anyone that’s tried smoking a bird with the skin still intact knows.
Basically, Germantown Commissary knows what to do with pork, chicken, and sausage.
Pig Sticks (aka Sweet Potato Fries)
Since we were splitting the entree and weren’t sure if the Boss Hog would live up to the size of its name, we decided to start our meal with an appetizer. We love sweet potato fries, so we decided to give the Germantown Commissary’s version a try.
Friends, these are no ordinary sweet potato fries! These are giant battered sweet potato fries as long as a pencil but much thicker! The batter was thick and slightly sweet. The sweet potatoes inside were soft and hot. Definitely not what we expected, but very good. They were served with a large portion of honey mustard for dipping, but they were plenty good solo.
We are both fans of deviled eggs, so when we heard that the Boss Hog only came with one, we decided to add on another for $0.30 and avoid the need to share (we are together 24/7, people – sometimes it’s nice to have your very own deviled egg). Unfortunately, these eggs were quite underwhelming. The first word that jumped to mind for both of us was bland.
BBQ Baked Beans
Although neither of us consider ourselves big fans of baked beans, we have noticed that we tend to like the ones served at BBQ spots. The beans here were no exception. Flavorful and not too sweet, we gobbled them up.
Scott is not a big fan of cole slaw; Edie loves cole slaw. Unfortunately, the slaw at Germantown Commissary was pretty bland and swimming in mayonnaise, so neither of us were very impressed.
Although the service was prompt and efficient, our server wasn’t especially friendly. Perhaps we were expecting over-the-top Southern hospitality when it wasn’t warranted though.
All of the appetizers on the menu, including our large portion of sweet potato fries, are $4.75. Entrees vary, but the two priciest items are only $23.95, including the Boss Hog Special and a slab of ribs for two, and are plenty big to share. Including tip, our total was $37.68, and we left full.
The Doggy Bag, By Knox
On the drive down to Memphis, Scott and Mommy kept talking about all of the great BBQ you could get in the city. I know what BBQ means – it means tasty meat! And dogs like meat! Unfortunately for me though, Scott and Mommy decided to be forgetful and leave the doggy bag on the table. Boo!! But at least I got to experience the other hallmark of Memphis culture – the blues!