There is certainly nothing cold about the decor either, with bold red walls and photos of musical legends that create a lively aesthetic with the simple cherry-wood furniture and exposed brick.
From the laid-back atmosphere to the sizable meal portions, every element of the restaurant is a reflection of charming southern hospitality.
Speaking of the meal portions, I opted for a mixed greens with roasted tomatoes and panko-crusted goat cheese since I knew the baby back ribs coming out next would require some stomach-room. The goat cheese was a light and sophisticated take on fried mozzarella, which added texture to the salad and delighted the big kid in me.
The ribs were lightly basted with the epitome of a Memphis-style barbecue sauce–sweet, tangy and finger-licking good. Though they didn’t quite fall of the bone, the smoky tenderness distracted me from how many ribs I finished…which was a lot.
No real barbecue is complete without some down-home sides. Must-tries are the smooth mashed potatoes or the perfectly dressed coleslaw, freshly made with crisp cabbage. I also snagged bites of barbecue pork egg rolls and blackened prime rib, both very tasty and guaranteed to be popular menu items.
I about died when I ate a warm, gooey blondie brownie topped with crack that is Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. This is my ultimate dessert. It’s a good thing I don’t live in Crystal City. If I did, I would eat this everyday.
Like every new restaurant, Memphis BBQ has yet to find its footing, but has all the right ingredients to become a dining hot spot in Crystal City. Once they fine tune a few things, Jaleo (located across the street) had better watch out, because who doesn’t love the comfort of authentic barbecue? I sure do, which is why I’ll be renewing my gym membership next month.
320 23rd Street S.
Arlington, VA 22227