Scott’s Barbecue

Review by: Whitney Harper

Halfway between Memphis and Nashville, Scott’s is a whole-hog barbecue parlor that serves superb slow-smoked pork along with baked beans and potato salad, with homemade fried pies for dessert.

What To Eat

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Homemade Fried Pie

Baked Beans

Slaw (Vinegar)

Slaw (Mayo)

Potato Salad


Scott’s Barbecue Recipes


What do you think of Scott’s Barbecue?

2 Responses to “Scott’s Barbecue”

Dennis Walls

June 8th, 2013

Scott’s will ruin you. I lived or worked in Lexington for most of the 1990s and ate here almost every Friday. Scott’s, owned and operated by Ricky Parker, offers the most succulent, perfectly cooked barbecue you will ever find.

There is no heavy, sweet, smokey, spicy, etc., tomato-based sauce. Ricky uses a wonderful spicy vinegar-based mixture that sits on the tables in plastic catsup bottles. It complements the BBQ perfectly. (Hint: if you want it a little spicier, tell that to whoever is pulling and chopping the pork behind the counter when you place your order.) Ask for a slice of onion, too. Everyone will know you’re a Yankee, but they don’t care. And make sure you ask for slaw on the sandwich.

The beans have little pieces of BBQ pork mixed in, so make sure you order a cupful. Smokey and perfect in every way, these aren’t canned supermarket beans. The dining room smells of the smokers that run six out of seven days a week. The decor isn’t anything to write home about, but you don’t come here to look at that anyway.

Anecdote: the pulled pork sandwiches are so good my company sent its private jet from HQ in St. Louis to Lexington’s little airport just so they could have Scott’s BBQ for lunch.

Why will it ruin you? You’ll look for something like it everywhere you go that advertises “Barbecue.” You won’t find it.

** I wanted to update this. Ricky passed away a month ago (~May 2013). Hopefully his family will keep it going. A sad day for all.


Whitney Harper

October 16th, 2009

We discovered this gem thanks to a casual conversation with a seat companion on the plane into Nashville. We told him that we were coming to Tennessee to eat, and he said that Scott’s BBQ was the best BBQ, full stop. This was a challenge we weren’t willing to let go untested, so we found ourselves in Lexington, TN about halfway between Nashville and Memphis.

When driving through Lexington, make sure to keep your eyes peeled as the restaurant is a bit difficult to spot. Also, they tend to sell out and then close shop for the day, so you may want to call first. We were nervous when we arrived and saw a “Closed” sign on the door, but we managed to get the last servings of the day.

The menu is simple: pork and a few sides. We ordered pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw (vinegar), potato salad, and beans. The owner’s son was nervous that we didn’t have enough to eat so he brought us out a side of pulled pork as well. This is the juiciest, most tender pork that I have ever eaten. The flavors are simple, perfectly seasoned pork with that good smoky flavor. Perhaps this pork is more about what it lacks than what it contains; there are no gamey, liquid smoke-y, artificial flavors. The pork is juicy with just the right amount of fat to tenderize the meat, without making it hard when it cools. The beans also have left over bits of the pork, which means they get a touch of that pure porkiness.

As we were the last customers of the day, we had the chance to meet Ricky Parker, the owner, and he graciously gave us a tour of his facilities, demonstrating why his pork really is unique. He is one of the few people still doing slow-cooked (typically 24 hours) pork. He has multiple pits; he puts the half carcasses on over low coals to slowly barbcarm (barbecue and caramelize). Definitely worth a major detour; words just don’t give it full justice.

Perfect bite: pulled pork sandwich with some coleslaw vinegar and a dab of baked beans.


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