Thursday, January 26, 2017

Off the Map: When Too Much Pulled Pork is Actually Just Enough

Chopped BBQ Pork Sandwich -- Paynes BBQ, Memphis, TN
Paynes BBQ

It is reaching the inevitable point in the day when Vodka and her college roommates are growing crabby: Diet Coke because she's tired, Whiskey Sour because she's full, and Vodka because it's happy hour and no one has given her a drink.
It's Not Five O'Clock Somewhere, It's Five O'Clock RIGHT HERE
Paynes BBQ has the great misfortune of being next on our itinerary during this twilight hour, a visit we can't delay because, like nearly everything in Memphis, the place closes before the sun sets. 
By 6:00 PM, Everything in This Town Turns Into a Pumpkin
As we metaphorically crawl through their doors, Vodka approaches the counter to order one chopped BBQ pork sandwich, as recommended by Claire Robinson on the LAST SUPPER episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate.
"No Frills" Seems to Be Paynes's Motto
"Do you want regular or jumbo size?" she's asked.


"Do you want chips with that?"


Doesn't Memphis realize how much we still have to eat?!
Plus, Mint Julep Still Has a Couple of Stale Chips Floating Around in Her Handbag
Moments later, a giant sandwich is handed over, making us wonder exactly how large the jumbo variety is. 
Not the Poster Child for Portion Control
Paynes's version is not only stuffed full of pork, but also slathered with a grand helping of yellow cole slaw. 
Some Neon Yellow Relish Never Hurt Anyone
It may not be the prettiest sandwich, but as the next few seconds will prove, it is indeed the tastiest.
Okay, Third Pulled Pork Sandwich of the Day: Show Us What You've Got
One bite in, this sandwich packs a wallop of flavor. The pork itself, with its accompanying sauce, strikes the perfect balance of juicy and tender, spicy and sweet, while the relish completes the taste with the perfect burst of pickle tang. Unlike at Rendezvous, where we wanted to keep slopping more things onto the pork to enhance its flavor, this sandwich needs nothing extra (except maybe napkins, but even as messy as it is, we still love it).
We Promise It Tastes Better Than It Photographs
To give you an idea of just how good this sandwich is, we finish the entire thing. And it's our third one of the day.
Evidence of a Job Well Done
Apparently still not satisfied, Whiskey Sour pulls her napkin full of leftover chips from of her bag and begins chomping. Proving that, even when we think otherwise, we're just the type of jumbo eaters Memphis is looking for. 

Paynes BBQ's Chopped BBQ Pork Sandwich: 5 stars*

*Certifiable Best Thing We Ever Ate

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