The main Jack's Bar-B-Que is located smack center of "Nash-Vegas," the glitzy strip portion of downtown Broadway with year round traffic of visitors. A quick glance of the location's neon embellished exterior may give some a tourist trap vibe but I've read many online write ups that they are actually far from and worth a visit for those seeking a double dose fun of good BBQ and entertainment.
This was my third work related visit to the Music City but I still somehow couldn't quite make my way in through those doors. Maybe it's some sort of solo business traveler syndrome, or maybe it's just me. But one night I did decide to drive over to their second Trinity Lane location where I've heard the atmosphere was much more laid back and the food equaled. The two locations are only 10-mins apart by car.
Was a cold drizzly November night but the sight of firewood piles and chimney stacks with smoke bellowing strong (even despite the half-hour before closing time) was a comforting reassurance of the good dinner to come.
As you enter there's immediately a cafeteria style setup of steamer trays where I was sort of in a position to choose side dishes before having decided what main I wanted. So might be better to come prepared with your mind more or less made up. (Online menu here.)
The sign below next to one of the indoor cookers actually read "Real Cooks Pass Gas and use Hickory..." but it's funny either way.
Whatever your choice of BBQ may be, you are given a selection of sauces here, all Jack's own bottled brand which you can purchase on your way out. Looked to me that there were three, but I should've done a refresher read of ulikafoodblog.com because I didn't notice the additional two bottles set to the side, making them a total of five.
The pork ribs here are St. Louis Style, the rack trimmed square and sans tips. Along with the telltale pretty smoke ring and nice outer bark, I thought were actually not bad eaten as-is, at least the first couple. The amount of smoke flavor to me was just right (Slick Pig's I felt was on the strong side but still very enjoyable). These were also cooked perfectly, the meat still attached to the bone but would pull away clean as you took a bite and gave a light tug. By the end of the second rib I was ready to try some sauces though. There was the tangy Tennessee original, the sweet and spicy hot (West?) Texas, and the Kansas City which was the mildest in heat and also the sweetest. I had fun alternating between them but ended up using their Texas sauce the most.
I'm not sure if the pickle coins are in fact a Nashville thing but by now I'm used to seeing them with my order of Cue in the town. I liked how the baked beans weren't overly sweet. The Mac & Cheese was the creamier kind, pretty basic in flavor otherwise but good and comforting. Buttered Texas Toast sliced nice and thick. Hee haw!
Jack's Bar-B-Que, 334 West Trinity Ln, Nashville, TN 37207