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Memphis in May

How does this sound for a weekend, fly down to Tennessee for Memphis in May, the Olympics of barbeque?  A weekend spent walking up and down the mighty Mississippi, binging on the best pulled pork and ribs, swigging cheap beer. 

Or so I thought.  As soon as we got to the festival, I noticed something was missing:  food.  I could smell pig, but I couldn’t spot any.  There were rows and rows of booths set up, each one cooking up something good.  Some were quite elaborate (like this throwback to M*A*S*H*).  They all had signs that read “Private Party” or “Invited Guests Only”.  it was like everyone in Memphis decided to throw a backyard  BBQ right next to each other, and not mingle at all.

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It took at least half an hour and a trip to the information booth (good ole Southern hospitality) before I could locate any food at all.  We could either get 5 (diminutive) samples of competition pulled pork for $4 or grab some funnel cake and a corn dog from a stand.  On our second day at the festival we finally spotted a tent that we liked.  A guy was standing at the front miming eating a sandwich and asking “Manjia?”  They had buckets of pork shoulder, baked beans with burnt ends, and bbq sauce and were sharing.  As they explained it to us, each team is scored by three judges and each judge gets their very own shoulder.  Since the judge only eats a little of the food, they had all this extra food and just gave it away.  Since they had food, they figured they should have drink too, so they had two taps, and coolers of “Hurricanes” and “Ice Picks”.  This was the self proclaimed “Hospitality Tent”. 

While wandering around Memphis we bumped into several other people that had come to the competition with the same expectations we had and were disappointed.  If you didn’t know any one then there wasn’t much of anything to do.  If you really like pork puns or you are already in Memphis, then head to the festival.  Otherwise grab a rack of ribs from Outback Steakhouse and save yourself the frustration.

Author: Josh Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
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