Of its barbecue, Peg Leg Porker’s boasts, “It doesn’t get any better than this, except maybe your Grandmama’s house.”
Dry-rub ribs are the star, and for good reason. They’re tender and flavorful, with a rich crust and pink, smoky meat. The 16-ingredient rub tastes of chili and paprika, with no sugar and not a lot of salt; it’s rubbed on after the pork emerges from the smoker, and is a dry version of Carey’s excellent barbecue sauce, which we immediately bought upon tasting. It’s smoky and slightly spicy, a middle-of-the-road consistency that doesn’t drown the meat but rather accentuates its flavors. You don’t need it, but will want it anyway. Ribs and sauce are a win-win.
The pulled pork sandwich is also a treat, served with coleslaw and sauce, smushed between a huge brioche bun. I often find that the pork overwhelms such a sandwich, or there’s simply not enough, but the ratio here is spot-on, and the combo of sweet, salty, soft, crunchy, and tender make for a delicious sandwich.
Nachos are piled high with pulled pork and spicy pickled jalapeños, then drizzled with a creamy nacho cheese. We also got the crunchy-but-not-too-salty pork rinds and the smoked yardbird platter. The latter is huge, with a similar rub as the ribs, and served with a side of Casey’s award-winning mayo-based white Alabama sauce.
Far from an afterthought, sides are excellent sidekicks to all the barbecue. They include vinegar green beans, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese shells, sweet-and-savory baked beans, and a fairly simple potato salad.
There’s a nice outdoor area should you want to eat under twinkle lights, and an expansive indoor cafeteria with views of BBQ competition awards, family photos, and plaques. There’s even a display case with one of pitmaster Carey Bringle’s eponymous prostheses. (Carey lost his leg to cancer at age 17; hence the restaurant’s name.)
Carey recently debuted a limited-release Tennessee straight bourbon whiskey that flew off the shelves. What better to sip with Peg Leg barbecue than Peg Leg bourbon?