Ribs and Shoulder Platter with a Roll, Deviled Egg, Baked Beans, Coleslaw
Lemon Ice Box Pie
Chosen as the final Barbeque stop on the way out of Memphis, Germantown Commissary may not gather the praise of Cozy Corner, Vergo’s, or Central, but tucked into a building absolutely bursting with charm and décor on the west side of town a small line of patrons clearly believed the truth I’d been lead to believe – that the Commissary is perhaps the best spot for ribs and hickory smoked pig in town.
In reality an old store, the location now open to serve up smoked meats and other delicacies such as wings, tamales, desserts, and sides for over thirty years, Germantown Commissary is the sort of place where a wait of twenty minutes or more is expected during even non-peak times and set alongside an old train track the only thing more interesting than the food, space, and absolutely charming service is when a locomotive soars by without horn or whistle, the very foundation of the building beginning to shake and rumble in a scene reminiscent of days forgot, or at least long passed.
Deservingly proud of ribs that are butchered in house and served dry after just over 6 hours in a smoker you’d be well served to see if offered a tour, as I was, it was perhaps fifteen minutes after seating that our combo-plate was delivered and with baked beans featuring nearly as much meat as sauce plus slaw that finally had a bit of vinegar amidst the cream it was largely to meats that attention was turned, the 14+ hour shredded pork shoulder exceedingly tender and nicely enhanced with both hot and mild sauces provided at the table while the ribs were smoked literally to the bone, a light pinkness to the flesh and minimal fat despite being the juiciest of the trip – not a bit of sauce needed to be enjoyed by a purist, but further enhancement found with a pinch of dry rub that added an almost molasses-like note.
Clearly not passing on dessert, several whole cakes and pies plus banana pudding by the *gallon* offered for catering or those choosing to partake at home, it was in a trio of options that the experience would conclude and although the banana pudding was a fine rendition it simply could not hold a candle to either the buttery moist yellow cake beneath a lacquer of caramel frosting nor the meringue topped ice box pie that singlehandedly made me rethink my general blasé feelings about citrus desserts, an almost lemonade sort of sweetness folded into the rich custard while the topping stood tall, proud, and as light as a cloud.