Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Germantown Commissary

Dusty Lens mentioned in my comments section yesterday having a favorite food, which is "a pulled pork BBQ sandwich, with coleslaw on top, Memphis-style". That was music to my ears. We Memphians are kind of proud of our BBQ heritage...after all, BBQ is a food group unto itself, and in Memphis, BBQ means pork (not beef), and to those who know their stuff, that's pulled pork, not chopped. :)

There are some local restaurants which have made their name with the tourists, claiming to have the best pulled pork, best dry ribs (no sauce...a dry rub of spices only) or wet ribs (sauce-covered), etc. I won't dispute that they have some great offerings, which I will definitely share with you soon. But, to many of the locals (including our family), Germantown Commissary restaurant makes the best pulled pork BBQ in town. Before returning to college, my older son usually requests Commissary as his meal before he leaves for school. They also serve ribs, coleslaw (you can have that on your sandwich, or on the side), great baked beans, and homemade banana pudding and other sinfully yummy desserts. Their hot tamales topped with melted cheddar cheese (as an appetizer or a side item) are my personal favorites.

The Commissary building has been in this same spot, next to the railroad tracks and across from the old railroad station in the heart of Germantown (a suburb of Memphis) for over 90 years. It was originally a commissary...a kind of general store. When the present owners bought the commissary building to use as a restaurant in the early 80s, they decided that the name, Germantown Commissary, was perfect and should stay. As you can see from the photos above, they also retained the old small-town charm. The interior shot is only part of the restaurant; it is bigger than what is shown. I can't decide which I like more...the wonderful food, or the atmosphere, but both are can't-miss. You can read more about the Germantown Commissary here...including its history, menu, celebrities who've eaten there, and more photos.


design snitch said...

Ah... just drove by the Commissary yesterday... yum! This place always reminds me of my Mom- she never drove past it without bringing it home for everyone.

Thank you for declaring pulled pork as the REAL BBQ! I married a Texan and had to school him quickly that we don't "do" beef BBQ around here...that's just blasphemy. :)

Jim said...

I like pulled pork but not with cole slaw on it, thats just gross. BBQ Brisket is the real deal.

LOL, just kiddin. Everybody knows St. Louis has the best BBQ.

LOL, just kiddin again.

That is a neat little eatin place.

Dusty Lens said...

What could be better than a diner serving great BBQ and blues music? A diner, I quote, "next to the railroad tracks and across from the old railroad station" Fabulous!

Well, you would think that up here in the great white north that we wouldn't know our BBQ. We do! We enjoy a good mix of BBQ throughout the BBQ regions. dry rubs, Memphis style, St. Louis, Texas, styles, etc.

I like a good think sauce that is both spiceyand sweet, slathered on baby back ribs. Oh, man, this is making me hungry! There was an old BBQ joint near the office in Richfield called Levis'. He smoked his pork with oak, hickory, and cherry wood. he also had his own severt sauces and sweat potato pie! his shop was just a hole iin the wall take out place, but he had the BEST BBQ around.

Thanks! This is fun to talk food and BBQ. Now I have a hankering for Famous Dave's! (check out famousdaves(dot)com)

Clarice said...

What's the difference between pulled and chopped?

Lovely post...full of local flavour.

alice said...

"Memphis - Tennessee", these two words immediately bring to a French ear so many pictures...This welcoming restaurant fits very well with what I can imagine about your town!

oldmanlincoln said...

Memories of great food. The building doesn't really matter if the food is great and it sounds like this place has both - great building fits the food - both are wonderful and fill people with memories. Mine is a pork sandwich on a hot bun with onions. Not BBQ. It is just this little bar that my dad took me into about 70 years ago and got me a pork sandwich and everytime we are in this town we stop at the same little bar and get the same sandwich. It makes my mouth water just writing this.

Nice post with some really nice photographs.

Halcyon said...

I don't personally eat BBQ, but this restaurant looks really neat. The next time I'm in Memphis I may stop by. I suppose I could sample the baked beans at least!

Clarice: I belive that pulled means they pull the meat off the bone while with chopped meat it's cut off with a knife and then chopped into pieces. But someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not really a meat expert. :)

smilnsigh said...

I just had Blogger 'eat' a comment. Grrrr....

Anyway, what I wanted to say was ~ This place is wonnnnnnnderful! A local Treasure! Or should be. Outside is so great. Inside is totally fantastic.

Look at the old signs and etc., and the table cloths made of 'oil cloth,' maybe? [Shiny and easy to wipe clean and used to be used for table cloths 'back in the day.']

Oh I just love it!

'Miss Mari-Nanci'

Annie said...

Yep, this place is so much fun and the food is good enough that it makes me want to "slap my mama"! Know what I'm talking about?

Jana said...

Yum....everything you listed sounds yummy! We like to find out of the way places too, they serve the best food.

TKGentry said...

I grew up in Germantown and the Commissary was a staple of my childhood. I have NEVER tasted BBQ anywhere else that is as good as it is in at this monument to BBQ heaven. I live in Orlando FL now and anytime my friends happen to pass through Memphis I force them (sometimes physically) to eat there and they return with many a grateful thanks. I can't wait to return and have another Pulled Pork sandwich.