1465 West Broadway Ave
T: 604 738 6806
Brief Description: Vegetarians beware! Carnivores rule at this BBQ and Blues House. Slightly hidden on West Broadway at Granville, Memphis Blues is casual and well-priced with a menu that mainly consists of barbequed meat, meat and more meat. Oh, did I mention the meat?
When it comes to trying somewhere new to eat, I have myself a little rule: Unless the experience is truly terrible, I give it two tries before making a firm decision on whether I like it or not. Thankfully, this is what I did before I reviewed Memphis Blues Barbeque House.
My first experience with Memphis Blues was, well, just “meh”. *shoulder shrug* I had heard enthusiastic praise about it from a bunch of my guy friends. They had raved so highly about the tender, smokey barbequed meat – ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken – that the carnivore in me was drooling at the thought of a visit. Perhaps it was my high expectations again, or perhaps the kitchen was having a bad day, but either way after my first visit, I left Memphis Blues completely underwhelmed. The interior of the restaurant (and I use that word loosely) is very modest – a few wooden booths and some blues memorabilia hung on the walls is pretty much the extent of it. That wasn’t really a problem. The problem was more that the interior was grimy looking and dreary. The food? Well, the cornbread, which I had heard was fabulous, was flavour-less and dry. There was no hint of the slight sweetness that I’ve come to expect from cornbread. The brisket sandwich that I tried was drowning in the BBQ sauce and therefore, I couldn’t taste any of the flavour of the meat. Sigh. As I said, completely underwhelmed.
Thankfully, after my return visit today, I am singing another tune. Yes, the restaurant is still grimy looking. It really looks like it could do with either a good scrub or a make-over. That aside, the food was much better this time. B and I decided to order two different sandwiches so that we could try more of the menu. He ordered the special of the day, Pulled Pork and Brisket Sandwich with fries, and I ordered the Rib Ends Sandwich with a side of cornbread.
Wow – what a turn around! Both were incredible! My favourite out of the two was the Pulled Pork and Brisket Sandwich – the combination of the sweet pork and the flaky brisket could not be surpassed, even by the meatier Rib Ends. In both sandwiches, the generous helping of succulent meat was drizzled with a sweet BBQ sauce and served on a soft melt-in-your-mouth roll.
The cornbread had also made a dramatic transformation – gone was the dry, boring cornbread and in its place was a moist, slightly sweet replacement. Yummy!
Other offerings from the uncomplicated menu include 7 types of sandwiches, a few different salads (mostly meat served with greens), catfish, chili, wings and meals made from the different meat offerings and served with sides of beans, coleslaw, cornbread and either potato salad or fries. Prices are good too – sandwiches start at $7.50 and the heartier meals average about $15. Not bad at all. They are also licensed so you can grab a beer or a glass of wine to wash all that meat down.
Service is pretty hands-off – you order at the counter and they drop it off at your table or take-out is available.
Final Thoughts: I am really glad that I gave Memphis Blues another try. The food was much better on my return visit and I am definitely keen for another taste of that succulent, smokey meat. Yum! Obviously, this is not somewhere that you’d take a vegetarian but meat-lovers out there rejoice!