When Elvis Presley erupted into rock ‘n’ roll royalty, he hung on to his Southern charm and manners. With the first royalty check he received, he purchased a pink limousine for his mother—despite the fact that she couldn’t drive. That chariot inspired the fleet of Marlowe's Ribs and Restaurant, which today gives diners complimentary tastes of class as it ferries them to their front doors. Past the savory aromas pushing their way out, guests witness the same devotion to the King's legacy inside the restaurant, which owner Missy Gigliotti’s father founded down the street from Graceland in 1973. There, walls hold framed photographs and records, cardboard cutouts, and the password to Elvis's underground sequin mine.
In addition to its signature barbecued ribs, brisket, and other meats, which Guy Fieri profiled on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, the kitchen fills its menu with Missy’s grandmother's lasagna, fried-catfish sandwiches, burgers, and barbecued spaghetti. An onsite gift shop sells Elvis souvenirs until 2 a.m., and special events such as karaoke and Elvis tribute performances fill the evening hours.
The Bar-B-Q Shop's casual interior mimics the core of a barbecue pit, with bright red walls, a charcoal ceiling, and occasional pictures of grazing pigs. Patrons may even feel a rise in temperature––but that's more than likely from the trademark Dancing Pigs hot sauce, which won the Fiery Food Challenge national contest after competing against more than 800 entries.
Though it's easy to relish the eatery's ample offerings of smoked brisket, sausage, and tender rib slabs, the menu's success is surely in the sauce. Dancing Pigs sauces and seasonings stem from recipes that are more than 50 years old. Once delivered by hand out of the back of a Ford Bronco, the brand has grown so popular that it's now distributed by more than 100 Kroger stores in five states. After rallying napkins for a slab of sauce-slathered ribs, patrons at The Bar-B-Q Shop can cool taste buds with a frothy brew or swig from the restaurant's fire extinguishers.
Situated along the famed Beale Street, Flynn's Restaurant & Bar is a casual spot for drinks, food, and live music?but above all, it's a place for Elvis fans. That's because on every wall, visitors will find some form of homage to The King, whether it's old photographs, trophies, or even signed yearbooks from the '50s. Under the gaze of the brown-eyed crooner, chow on Flynn's signature burgers?better known as Memphis Loosies?in five styles, or slow-smoked ribs.
The Southern spread at Evans Country Buffet changes daily, but diners can count on it to contain hearty homestyle eats such as baked chicken; biscuits and corn muffins; and well-seasoned country veggies. The cooks whip up lemon squares, cobblers, and from-scratch banana pudding to appease sweet teeth, and cups can be kept full with tea, coffee, and other beverages.