Before the Wedding a Test: 3000 Miles of Barbecue

Across town is the Bar-B-Q Shop. A bar and grill tucked into a mostly residential block on Madison Avenue, it was quiet for lunch but would attract a crowd for dinner. The waiters knew to push their claim to fame: barbecue spaghetti, basically a sweet and meaty pasta Bolognese. Even after a week of solid barbecue, it was still a pleasure to eat, if a guilty one. Like Lexington’s chopped pork, Bar-B-Q Shop’s ribs were another high-wire act of flavors and textures. Sauce might have been the main draw in the Carolinas, but the Bar-B-Q Shop produces such a perfect rack of meat, sauce is rather unnecessary, almost unwelcome.


It was the end of our trip, but I wanted to keep driving west. To have a grand barbecue road trip that didn’t even enter Missouri or Texas … what would people say? It had begun to rain aggressively after we left the Bar-B-Q Shop, but I drove us out to the Memphis Riverfront. Parked in front of the Mississippi, I began to lay out Barbecue Road Trip Part 2 and the idea that maybe we should hit a few spots in Alabama? I mean, the state border is right there.


Mary Beth just smiled at me. I think she knew that after a week of barbecue, I was all talk, and once our last plate of ribs kicked in, I couldn’t manage much talking either. We were tired and we were full and all we really wanted to do was go home and get married. So we did.


See the full article at The New York Times.