After my first early burger dinner at Rotier's, it didn't take long for me to feel some hunger pangs again thanks to a little jet lag but mostly the fact that I practically hadn't eaten anything the day spent dealing with the bearing rituals of flight travel.
So by now I've too often have read that Nashville wasn't exactly known for their BBQ. According to 'Cue Experts, nearby Memphis and North Carolina seem to take any of the little halo the Music City may have, but this doesn't mean there isn't a thriving great micro culture of barbecue to be experienced for this food curious San Diego transplant from Japan (I much rather prefer this title than 'foodie').
We have our tacos in Southern California, hot dogs in many Midwestern states, pizza in others. Hot Chicken would actually be truly native to Nashville but there is no shortage of finding barbecue engrained in the city whether it be from a longtime established joint loved by locals or from the many great Meat and Three cafeterias in town as one of their hearty offerings.
Mary's Old Fashioned Bar-B-Que located on Jefferson was a name I remembered during my early researchings and was curious to try (which in this case had particularly fit the bill for the simple fact that they were known to be open late). One of my favorite BBQ Blogs, ulikafoodblog.com has a great introduction to a few good barbecue eats on the strip along with some informational history of the heart of Nashville's African American community and once thriving Jazz and R&B center that is Jefferson Street.
I was totally in the mood for a sampling of ribs but at the time was able to only make out the full slab on their menu. I ended up with the Pulled Pork Shoulder Sandwich with Slaw - Hot, and in a few minutes was out wrapped in paper.
As you can see this was one messy meal. The pulled pork was super moist, and the sandwich as a whole bordering on wet with the addition of coleslaw. Nice and porky, only subtly smoky with most flavors seemingly coming from the tangy hot sauce and sweetness of the slaw.
There were the traditional slices of dill pickles which I personally enjoy and the sauce true to its name was indeed quite spicy. Mostly a vinegar tabasco-ey direct heat with some additional tartness of yellow mustard flavor. This isn't the sweet sauced bbq as some may imagine when they think of BBQ in the popular sticky tomato/molasses based Kansas City sense.
Despite the heat, was easily able to finish (with the help of a plastic fork) and definitely interesting to have tried this regional style. Best probably would have been the version sandwiched between corncakes that I would later find out is the most popular way served. Better logistically in holding up the contents if not also some additional welcomed layer of flavor. I'd love to be back another late night for the rib sandwich or chicken.
Mary's Old Fashioned Bar-B-Que Pit, 1106 Jefferson St, Nashville, TN 37208