Reese’s Bar-B-Q, Memphis TN

For our full day in town, I picked a pair of new-to-us barbecue places to sample. After a very busy afternoon, I was really ready to dig into the first of them.

We spent the Friday morning in Memphis visiting with Marie’s sister and her brother, who’d driven up from Mississippi to spend the weekend with us. Eventually, Marie’s sister had to go to work, and so Marie and our son and I went out for an early lunch at our favorite barbecue place in the city – no, the state – the mighty Payne’s on Lamar Avenue. We had a delicious meal and thanked everybody behind the counter, then dropped Marie off with her brother so they could spend the day gaming. My son and I went back to the wonderful Children’s Museum of Memphis and spent a little more than two hours playing.

Our son didn’t wish to eat at Payne’s, but he was a little hungry by about 1.30, so we took a break. I told him that if he didn’t want anything on the menu at Reese’s Bar-B-Q, then we’d stop by a Tops for a cheeseburger. I confess a little selfishness here; I’ve read so much about their cheeseburgers that I’m curious, but I wanted to visit lots of other places on this trip. I was betting on my son ordering one so I could try a bite. But then we got to Reese’s and saw that they have fish sandwiches on the menu, and he was much more interested in that. Oh, well. Maybe in 2018 I’ll try one!

So I ordered a fish sandwich for him and a barbecue sandwich for me, dry and without slaw, with beans and frozen crinkle fries for us to share. I certainly enjoyed it, though I’d argue against this being the “South’s Finest,” as the sign claims. If this place were in east Tennessee, it would stand up to most of the competition. I’ve got a pretty good feel for what I think of as the “Memphis average,” which is a much higher average than most cities in the world, and I don’t think Reese’s quite meets that. The pork didn’t have as much smoke flavor as a Tops might, and the sauce was a little sweeter than I really like.

It’s just a matter of perspective. In Chattanooga, almost all the barbecue doesn’t have as much smoke flavor as I’d like, and the sauce is always a little sweeter than I prefer, and yet I go back to many places with similar flavor profiles to sample them again and try other things on the menu. It’s perfectly good, just not a standout. The beans were really good, and my son was happy with his sandwich, but I’m more likely to explore and try out several other places before circling back around to Reese’s on a future visit.

Reese’s Bar-B-Q
4606 Winchester Rd
Memphis, TN 38118

Other blog posts about Reese’s:

Memphis Que (Nov. 30 2011)
Best Memphis Burger (Mar. 29 2012)
Memphis BBQ Guide (May 22 2016)

You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!

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