The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
by Lori Allen
Memphis Jax BBQ
Shoppes of St Johns
10870 US1, Ponte Vedra FL 32081
Prime Rib dinner at a BBQ place…Say What?? Yup it’s true and I got to try it out for myself and it was Delicious! I personally like all my red meat rare as rare can be. I know I know a lot of people are like “How can you even eat that??” So I thought how are they going to make my prime rib rare in a smoker? It was not rare but was served medium rare (which still shocked me because I thought all meat was well done when smoked.. Who knew? ) But the flavor was just smoky enough that made you feel like you are at a BBQ place but not so smoky that it overpowered the juicy, fatty Prime Rib beef flavor. I was not the least bit disappointed that it wasn’t rare. I think it had something to do with the way it was smoked that made medium rare work out perfectly. The beef also came with a side of Au Jus for dipping along with some really rich and creamy (a little bit hot from the horseradish) sauce…it really was the Perfect Bite!
So besides the smoky delicious prime rib I tried their creamed peas (kind of reminded me of a place on beach blvd if you know what I mean) which were sweet and creamy just like you want them. I also had to try their deviled Eggs...that’s right deviled eggs…I have not seen deviled eggs on many menus before (at Easter dinner, yes, at a restaurant not so much)so I thought it was a pretty cool side dish to try out. They had the mixture down pat! It had just the right amount of mayo, mustard and pickle to balance out the creamy egg yolk. I plopped it in my mouth for a creamy tangy eggy bite. So good.
We decided to try one of their appetizers because it intrigued me. It was a Memphis sausage and cheese plate. I thought that it was interesting that they have a Charcuterie Tray at a barbecue joint. So this tray came with some smokes sausage with just the right amount of spice to give it a little heat, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, and some nice sour dill pickles all of which went perfect with a nice cold beer! What a great way to start a meal.
So knowing me you know I had brought some friends along to give it a try as well along with my never ending wondering fork so that I can taste too! The combo plate was ordered and boy was it a combo! You can choose from ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork sausage, turkey or even fried catfish! My friend opted for the ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. The ribs have this great rub on them, kinda sweet, salty and peppery that gives the ribs a lot of flavor in every bite. My son even had them for the kid’s meal and even though there were plenty of them he ate every finger licking rib! But based on our opinion we think that that the beef brisket was the star. It was served up differently than most barbeque places, sliced instead of chopped up. This made you feel like you were having some sort of steak but once you cut into the tender smoked meat you knew it was darn good beef brisket. Serving it this way to us seemed to dry out the meat less which was a win win situation. Being the friendly sort that we are one of us went and complimented the chef. Well the owner Kyle came out and gave us a bit of history of the place and even shared that he worked on this brisket for weeks to get it to perfection. Well it was well worth it! So tender meaty and full of flavor!
Last but certainly not the least was the pulled pork. We laughed about how to describe this because it was so juicy and light and there were other descriptive words I won’t mention said but it was just hard to find the perfect words to describe it. Light seemed like a funny adjective to give to pork, but that’s exactly what it was. Thinly sliced, smoky juiciness and so when you douse it in some of their Memphis Barbecue sauce, stuffed it in your mouth… you are like where did it go? You got the nice pork flavor with a little bit of fattiness to it along with the tang of vinegar based barbecue sauce. Yum!
Here is a little fun fact about Memphis barbecue vs traditional or what commonly referred to as Kansas City style barbecue…
Memphis barbecue is distinguishably different from Kansas City style barbecue. When preparing or eating Memphis style barbecue the first thing you will notice is that the sauce isn’t as sweet as Kansas City style sauce and actually may have a bit more “spiciness” to it. The other thing you’ll notice is that your ribs don’t have any sauce on them at all and the sauce is on the side. That’s because Memphis style barbecue focuses on barbecuing the meat dry – only with a spice rub that is done before cooking the meat. A Memphis style barbecue rub usually has far less sugar than a Kansas City style sauce or rub. The sauce, which is usually served on the side for dipping or pouring onto meat, is generally thinner than a Kansas City style sauce and typically is tangier and spicier than a Kansas City style sauce. But the sauce is more than a just a condiment and provides a good compliment to all of the meats!
So go see Kyle and Katy and check out their Memphis barbecue. I am sure you will enjoy every bite!
St. Johns Mag
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)