Visiting Top’s Bar-B-Q in Memphis

Top's Bar-B-Q - Memphis, Tennessee

Top’s Bar-B-Q – Memphis, Tennessee

As I indicated in the previous post, several people recommended Central BBQ as the place to go, especially for pulled pork. I know Memphis is famous for ribs and I had some the night before. For a late lunch, I was hankering for some pulled pork, something that isn’t typically found in Texas barbecue.

Unfortunately, Central BBQ was closed for a one day staff event. A quick internet search for top BBQ places yielded several other candidates close by, in the mid-town area of Memphis. However, for some reason, July 5th must have been an unofficial BBQ holiday because a visit to few other places yielded closed doors.

We decided on Top’s Bar-B-Q. Apparently a chain restaurant but still on a top 10 list. Plus we were hungry and figured a chain restaurant won’t be closed.

Top's Bar-B-Q - Memphis, Tennessee

The modest, aging establishment was located in a “transitional” neighborhood. Not the kind of place I’ll bring my wife but perfectly fine for my son and I, who are decidedly less picky about appearances.

I actually like the oddly shaped building with its simple red letters. I would imagine, it would be a lovely red neon, at night, and considerably more photogenic. The night shot would have to wait for some future visit to Memphis, however. We were grabbing a quick meal before our trip back to Arkansas.

Top's Bar-B-Q - Memphis, Tennessee
Top's Bar-B-Q - Memphis, Tennessee

The plain-spoken interior and food perfectly matched. Nothing fancy but functional, I guess. The pulled pork sandwich was tasty but a bit small. Perhaps I’m used to “Texas Sized” food.

My son actually preferred Top’s to the considerably fancier and touristy pulled pork sandwich he had the night before on Beale Street. And of course, a whole heck of a lot less expensive too.

Not being familiar with Memphis barbecue, I have no idea how this place stacks up. That said, I prefer beef brisket to pork, but that’s after years of being surrounded by Texas barbecue. I’m sure other’s, in different parts of the country, will disagree. I realize barbecue can be quite the contentious subject and can border on religion.

If there are any Memphis folks visiting the blog, I’m sure they can recommend better places. Keep in mind, however, that Top’s was not our first choice and the few other places we visited were all closed.

All photographs shot with the Panasonic ZS50 travel point and shoot.

Top's Bar-B-Q - Memphis, Tennessee

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