Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jack's BBQ - Nashville, Tennessee

The day after the atrocity of Rippy's BBQ, we planned on filling up at on Jack's for an early lunch.  We must have hit right at the magical hour, where there were only about 5 people in line in front of us, because they sure as hell piled in behind us.  The biggest difference between Jack's an Rippy's besides the food is the atmosphere.  Jack's is a bit beat up, wood as far as the eye can see, cafeteria style.  In my opinion, the way BBQ should be served if at all possible.  You wait in line, tell the guy with the cleaver what kind of meat you want (but don't dilly dally, he doesn't have time for your shit) - and if you're not a dick, you can probably get wishes granted like middle piece, end piece, charred or lots of bark. Then you tell the next employee on the line which sides you want, then another gal rings you up.  The cashier also does not have time for your shit - but not because she has a newly developed line of 15+ people to feed, but she's busy taking a personal call. 
You'll also need a keen Spidey sense to get a table.  If you have someone with you and know what you want, one of you can order and the other can grab a table if one is open. There are only about a dozen or fewer tables in the main room, and more upstairs on the roof.   

I got the brisket plate and Mr. FvF got the smoked sausage plate.  I got hooked up with the brisket, because dude took a new slab out of the cabinet instead of giving me what was left of the one he'd been working off of.  To boot, he asked if I wanted middle or end since I was getting first pick.  Pile on the bark, please!!
When I sat down with my plate, another couple actually admired my brisket (I get that a lot), mentioning that it looked much better than what they'd been sliced off just a few minutes earlier.  I picked cucumber salad and baked apples for my sides; the Mister got corn and mac & cheese, and we both had cornbread.  

I failed to get awesome pictures of the food, but you get the idea. I do wish I could have gotten better light on the brisket, because you could see the smoke ring a mile away. It was so beautiful I almost wept, and it tasted just as good.  The perfect amount of seasoning, smoke and moisture.  A lot of other places couldn't get away with serving their brisket with nothing but styrofoam plates and flimsy plastic forks (Hickory River, I'm looking in your direction), but Jack's manages to achieve even plastic-fork-tenderness.  I think they had 3 sauces - mustard-based, traditional and hot.  I think I tried some of the gold sauce and liked it, but for the most part, sauce wasn't required.  

I wasn't nuts about the cucumber salad, but I can't remember why (yet another reason to not get two months behind on entries).  The apples were super tasty, but it was pretty damn hot out, so it felt a bit too heavy to finish them.  But, the brisket portion was more than enough to fill my belly, and I still ended up giving some to the Mister.  

Mr. FvF was probably happier with this smoked sausage than anyplace he's ordered it outside of Texas.  We traded bites and it was *super* tasty.  It wasn't greasy at all, and the skin had that crispiness to it that snapped when you bit into it, which is what sells me on it.  The inside was perfectly tender and well-cooked and it had a nice, strong smoke flavor without being too salty or overpowering.  He said the corn was really sweet and memorable, the mac & cheese not so much.  Cornbread was so-so - a bit mealy for my taste, but not really dry or lacking in flavor.  

For about $9 each, this was a lot of food for a fair price.  I'm not sure either of us fully finished ours.  the couple that commented on my plate was proof positive that an ill-timed visit to Jack's may not yield as perfect results, but we certainly lucked out.  They were just prepping for their lunch rush, and nothing had been sitting around for that long.  As always, I base my reviews on MY experience, not what someone else has seeded in my head about the place.  Service is a bit inapplicable, but if you're looking for bubbly and jovial, you're in the wrong place.  Know what you want when you get to the counter.  Other than that, be prepared for a short wait in line, getting creative to find seating and some kick ass BBQ.  

5 out of 5 sporks! 


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