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Reviewed May 10, 2015
· Reviewed October 25, 2017
· Reviewed October 8, 2017
What You'll Get
Choose Between Two Options
- $12 for admission to Smokin’ Barbecue Festival for two ($20 value)
- $22 for admission to Smokin’ Barbecue Festival for four ($40 value)
Held from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 18th, the festival features pit masters, craft breweries, local artisans, and live music. Admission includes free beer tastings, though full glasses cost $5.
Memphis-Style Barbecue: Where Pork Rules
Barbecue the Memphis way involves tender pork, spices, and slow smoking. See what else Groupon discovered that distinguishes the barbecue style from all others.
Other barbecue-loving cities may specialize in beef ribs or brisket, but for Memphis, it’s all about the pig. That, and the dry rub, a blend of seasonings reportedly invented by Charlie Vergos of Memphis restaurant, Rendezvous. Although every proud Memphis chef has his or her own secret dry-rub recipe, many base their recipes on some combination of oregano, garlic, salt, chili powder, and paprika. (Legend has it that the last was added when a meat salesman tasting Vergos’s original blend complained that, while the flavor was great, barbecue should really be red.) Worked into the surface of the meat and smoked over wood coals, a dry rub becomes a burnished crust that keeps juices from leaking out. Underneath this crust, baby back ribs, spare ribs, and pork shoulder become so soft they don’t require a knife or a servant who chews your food for you.
Although crusty is probably the most popular look for Memphis pork, there’s still room in town for those who prefer their meat “wet.” A sweeter tomato-based sauce balanced with a vinegary tang is one popular finishing touch. Another step is known as the mop. A mop is essentially dry rub plus water with or without vinegar, applied as a basting sauce while cooking to add deep flavor and moisture. This is what makes up a Memphis-style pulled-pork sandwich—along with, of course, pork shoulder, coleslaw, and a soft white bun capable of soaking up juices from the meat and Southern hospitality drifting through the air.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Apr 18, 2015. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Valid only for option purchased. 2 and 4 person option not valid for the purchase of admission for children ages 12 & under. Must be 21 years or older to participate in tastings. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.