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.
Within a wooden barn with bright-red shutters, Old Style Bar-B-Q ovens smoke up barbeque classics and southern-style specialties. Since Rick and Carla Dlugach first opened its doors in 1976, the restaurant has blossomed into a full-service dining area with a 100-seat private banquet hall and a takeout seating area. Bowls of homemade chili, slabs of ribs, and barbeque sandwiches partner with sides such as turnip greens and coleslaw. Regulars recommend sealing the meal with a fraction or whole number of southern pecan pie, an alternately crunchy and gooey dessert made from a classic recipe. Western décor adds a saloon vibe to the dining room, while a delivery window allows customers to enjoy meals without leaving the seat of their car, truck, or ferret-drawn bobsled.
The Pig on Beale calms distractingly loud stomachs with a menu that features Memphis-style, hickory-smoked meats while serving up servings of southern hospitality in an entertaining midcentury setting. Cozy up to a regular rack of ribs ($13.50) or a smoked-chicken leg-and-thigh plate ($10.50) before topping off the main course with a piece of peanut-butter pie or pecan pie ($5.25 each). Hunker down for a flavorful dining experience as The Pig’s friendly barbecue-buffs deliver a sampler plate of starters boasting barbecue-pork nachos, smoking-hot legs, and homemade onion-rings ($12.75). Three to five adventurous souls can stage a taste bud showdown at their mouths’ main street with the barbecue lover’s feast ($41.50), a hefty pile consisting of a full rack of ribs, three smoked thighs, barbecue pulled-pork, smoking-hot legs, and four side orders. Patrons can also snag a sheet of The Pig’s authentic recipes before attempting to smoke entire pigs in their office lunchrooms.
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.
Chef Reggi, the reigning pit master at Reggi’s BBQ & Wings, piles hickory-wood-smoked and sauce-slathered pork, chicken, and beef high on hearty dinner plates or inside hefty sandwiches. Sauce-friendly fingers can leaf through the menu before settling on the Monterey chicken sandwich, featuring a juicy poultry serenade with a sautéed-onion and bell-pepper accompaniment on a bed of jack cheese ($4.89). Regular ($5.89) or jumbo pork sandwiches ($6.89) mingle with french fries, laze alongside baked beans, or play horseshoes with onion rings, and platters of rib tips ($8.99), pulled pork ($7.89), and beef brisket ($8.99) convene with cool coleslaw, texas toast, potato salad, or french fries. Weighing in at either a half pound or a full pound, bulk packs of pork, beef, rib tips, or barbecue bologna expedite the journey from the lips to the stomach with an irresistible heft of meat and promises of a better tomorrow ($4.29–$8.59).
Fat Larry’s quaint checkered tablecloths, worn wood floors, and warm colors greet meat eaters seeking saucy, down-home Memphis barbecue and eats. Molars masticate a bevy of appetizer options, including fried dill pickles ($4.99) and barbecue nachos ($6.99). Tickle flavor whiskers with the catfish plate ($9.99), paired with a helping of well-trained hush puppies fetching a second side of slaw. Barbecue sample plate No. 1 ($13.99) brims over with ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, beans, and slaw. Keep belly foundations safe from hungerquakes by teaming four bone ribs with a 10-ounce steak ($19.99), then washing it down with a domestic beer ($2.75). Kids’ meals include mini corn dogs, hamburgers, two chicken strips, or grilled cheese ($4.99 each). Save space in abdomen storage facilities for coconut cake ($2.95) or a large banana pudding ($2.95), then walk out of Fat Larry's with a full house of goodies.