Greek mythology is rife with barbecue-based legends, where the gods held barbecues on Mount Olympus, cooked ribs with Zeus’s lighting bolts, and played water polo in Poseidon’s backyard pool. Partake of the nectar of the gods with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of barbecue and more at Papa Turney's, located in Hermitage.
With a mélange of meats slow-smoked on-site and pies that garnered Tennessee's small businesspersons of the year award in 2008, Papa Turney's serves succulent hickory-smoked creations—from beef brisket to catfish to whole chickens—in a convenient mobile barbecue unit. Sauce-infused selections range from bounteous bun-fillers, from pulled pork ($9 per pound) to the handheld heartiness of turkey legs, which can double as a scepter for neighborhood princesses ($5). Tender meat morsels greet salivating tastebuds with one bite of Papa Turney’s scrumptious barbecued ribs ($19 per slab), which can be served alongside an array of sides, such as barbecue-complement cole slaw or sassy baked beans.
The new Nashville Shores Marina location offers outdoor deck seating overlooking the J. Percy Priest Lake. They also provide live blues and jazz on Friday, Saturday and Sunday featuring performers including local artists like John Richards and Gil Gann.
The tale of Papa Turney's begins humbly, in a tiny trailer with a hickory smoker out back. Every Saturday, barbecue aficionados Mike Turney and his wife Mrs. Irene would open up the trailer for business, doling out plates of slow-smoked meats to an ever-growing following of devoted diners. When demand for Mike's tender brisket and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs grew too great for the little trailer to handle, Mike moved the family-owned and operated business into two full-service restaurant locations, complete with checkered-cloth tables and photograph-speckled walls.
Within the restaurants' kitchens, Mike and his chefs continue to whip up the barbecue specialties that made his trailer famous, piling pork, brisket, chicken, and catfish onto sandwiches and plates. The chefs douse the slow-smoked meats in house-made barbecue sauce before pairing them with classic sides of greens and baked beans. They also offer a selection of rotating daily specials, such as bacon-stuffed rib eye and smoked bologna lauded by reporters from Nashville Scene as, "thick-cut and delicious". For dessert, the chef dish out slices of signature pies made fresh 5 days a week, which can also be found on the shelves of local Kroger and Publix grocery stores and cooling on the windowsills of enchanted cottages.