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SWEET, SPICY LOVE….

July 1, 2012 5 comments

Moments after we purchased our last trinket from Elvis-land, we were looking for Memphis’ Triple D joint #3….

Admitting to BBQ-Burnout (after Tom’s & Marlowe’s), I was looking for a change of pace…and Uncle Lou’s sounded like just the ticket….Guy had boasted that Uncle Lou made some of the best fried chicken he’d ever had….and even though Guy was only batting .500 so far in Memphis (Tom’s a sure home run and Marlowe’s a weak double), I was counting on his poultry prowess…..

It took us a bit to find Uncle Lou’s and after a little driving around we discovered it was only a few blocks from Graceland…my first impression of Uncle Lou’s was that Lou had the Food Network’s logo on more things than the Food Network must have on its own home facitlities….there was a van and trailer and both sported pictures of Uncle Lou and Guy….as did the front of the joint…..Guy’s visit must have been a crowing achievement for Lou…

As we entered we found the place kinda empty but it was late for lunch and early for dinner….however, we were greeted by a very large man with a smile to match his ginormaousness….we found out his name was Juan and Juan would be taking care of us while we were at Uncle Lou’s….

Juan showed us to the counter and asked what we wanted to eat…UL’s has a varied menu and there are large boards above the counter displaying the different things you can order….burgers, wings, sandwiches and of course….the fried chicken…

Lisa was behind the counter and with Juan’s help we made our way through the types of fried chicken offered at UL’s…there are a few choices….there is Homestyle and Sweet Spicy Love….and then there is mild and hot versions of each of those…. I went with a three piece combo mixed with one Homestyle (mild) and two Sweet Spicy Love (spicy)….The Wife went with the same combo but all mild….

The sides are as varied as is the chicken….I went with the corrupted carrots (more on Corruption later) and The Wife had some cole slaw…

We found seats and sat for what ended up being  a wait….the place filled up some and there were people coming in and out getting take out….while we waited Juan entertained us and conversated (The Wife tells me this isn’t a real word….however, we’ve heard it used in two movies….) with everyone that walked in….not sure what Juan makes at UL’s but he could sell ice to Eskimo’s…..

As we waited a young woman came in and Juan introduced us to Uncle Lou’s daughter who actually manages the joint….she asked us about our trip and told us she had been in Texas just a few weeks before….she was very nice and according to Juan she’s the best manager ever…

Our food finally arrived and it looked wonderful….golden and crispy….and from the first bite….I loved UL’s fried chicken….the Homestyle was moist and as good a chicken as I’ve ever eaten….(up until that moment I would have said that the fried chicken at the Barbecue Inn was the best I’d ever had….I’m not so sure about that any more….) and the Sweet Spicy Love was over the top good…..the mild just melted in your mouth while the spicy had a very nice kick….this is chicken worth making the trip to Memphis….

The carrots were unusual looking and the first one kinda caught me off guard….carrots don’t taste like that….what I was about to find out was that the spice on the carrots was available to be put on anything….btw….I fell in love with the carrots….

The spice is called Corruption….(salt, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, lemon pepper and other spices) and OHHHHHHHHHHHH MYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOODNESS.….this stuff is beyond delicious….we sprinkled some on our chicken and it took something that was already incredible into realms where only God’s hang out….as my eyes rolled back into their sockets I noticed The Wife’s eyes sorta spinning….you can order this stuff on their web-site…..(before you do anything else….log in….and get some of this stuff)…..we brought some home and have put it on everything……popcorn, eggs, pork chops, burgers…..I bet it would be good on ice cream……

I haven’t even mentioned the Honey Buttered Biscuits…..as good as UL’s chicken is…the biscuits are even better…..no need to put anything on this pieces of heavenly bread…the honey butter gives the biscuits a flavor that fills your mouth with smiles…..

Last but least we got some strawberry/naner puddin to go….and UL didn’t let us down….we made ourselves comfortable in front of our hotel tv and divided and dug in….the naner puddin would have been wonderful by itself…..but the strawberries really added to the experience…..

I would give UL’s a 6 outta 5 stars…..as good at Tom’s BBQ had been….UL’s was a little better…..

Great chicken, great sides, great Corruption, great strawberry/naner puddin and great people…..

http://unclelousfriedchicken.com/

MEMPHIS/NASHVILLE DAY 1

This trek begins early on a Saturday morning as we took flight out of Houston International Airport…we were flying into Little Rock, Ark. as the price to fly there was loads cheaper than flying into Memphis….we picked up a rental car and headed down I40 the couple hours to Memphis…..or so……we thought….

About 25 miles outside of Little Rock we found ourselves on our side of a four lane highway and because of construction our side had been reduced to one lane…..and right at that 25 mile mark we came to a stand still….this wasn’t slow-moving traffic….this was no-moving traffic…we sat and watched the wooded scenery not passing by….luckily we had rented a book on tape from a Cracker Barrell and listened to the beginnings of a mystery novel and waited for the 18 wheeler in front of us to inch forward….

After about an hour and a half we began moving again…the road soon opened back to two lanes and we zoomed towards Memphis…Arkansas turns to Tennessee right over the Mississippi River and as we crossed the huge bridge we began our search for Tom’s BBQ & Deli, the first stop in the Triple D Tour…with our trusty Tom-Tom  gps device and a mapquest we made our way into the heart of Memphis…

It wasn’t long before we found Tom’s and after a few outside pics we were strolling towards the counter to order…the building seems to have had the dining area added later…you walk through it down into the  kitchen/ordering area….there is a large menu board hanging on the wall above the counter….

Side note….

What almost seems a miracle about this little journey is that the Friday night before we left the Food Network ran Guy’s Memphis BBQ Tour episode…it was if the BBQ Gods were ordaining our trip….so, just a few hours before we stood in Tom’s BBQ….there was Guy standing in the very same spot….showing us what to order….I almost fell to my knees and offered praise to those who sit in the BBQ Heavens….

I found the Rib Tips, Guy had raved about, and added them to some Ribs to make my two meat combo meal….for sides….well…..this is a very curious thing…..they offer spaghetti….. (a lot of Memphis places do)…..weird, huh?….I added some seasoned fries to complete my BBQ and Italian….

As The Wife was trying to decide, I began to talk to the lady behind the counter…..I told her we had just traveled from Houston to eat at Tom’s….that seemed to impress her and as we made our way to pay the woman taking our money asked about our trip…..as we were settling up with her she said she would bring us something special while we ate….

The Wife had gone with sausage and rib tips….adding potato salad  and spaghetti….

We got our trays and found a table….and sat with an incredible amount of food…..we were both hungry but even after our long morning travel, neither of us thought we were going to clean our trays….no way.,.,…no how….

I picked up a Rib Tip and began to devour it….OH MY GOODNESS.,….this was beyond fantastic….I couldn’t put it down….with every bite I discovered a depth of flavor that was rich and smokey…..I looked at the wife as she was starting her’s and we both seemed to say….without speaking….this had been worth every mile….

As we were working on our first pieces of BBQ the lady from behind the counter shows up with another plate full of meats….she seemed thrilled to have us all the way from Texas and as she sat the plate down she said she wanted us to try a little of everything….we looked down at the overflowing plate and shook our heads….we were going to eat enough to last the whole trip at the very first place….

We worked on what we could and found it most of it to be wonderful….now there were things that were heads and shoulders above the others but everything we tasted was well worth our trip…

The rib tips and ribs were excelent….the sausage, pulled pork, bologna and spaghetti were good….

If every place was this good…..this was gonna be a trip for the ages…

We left….stuffed and looking forward to a nap…

The nap stretched into the early evening and after the meat overload at Tom’s we were glad that joint #2 was open late….we were gonna need extra time to recover…

As night fell on the Memphis skyline we waddled back out to the car and began the drive to Marlowe’s….neither of us sure if we could eat again…..but…..we were here to eat….and by goodness we were gonna eat!!!

After a few minutes we were driving down Elvis Presley Blvd……and low and behold there was Graceland…..and since we were heading there the next day, finding it was a nice little bonus….

We found Marlowe’s and it was all Elvised-out…..this was a place The King would have loved….

Walking into Marlowe’s is like walking into an Elvis shrine….every inch of this place is dedicated to EP….it’s pretty dang cool….I mean you can think whatever you think about Elvis….but you have to admit…..he changed our music, culture and left his thumbprint on  generations to come….

The waitress showed us to a booth and handed us menus…..Guy had raved about Marlowe’s ribs….but….and I hate to admit this…..I was on BBQ overdose…..Tom’s had been sooooo good and there had been so much of it….. I wasn’t sure if I could shove another piece of smoked meat into my pie hole….

Looking over the menu I wrestled with wanting to complete my mission (trying what Guy had) vs. the unforseen BBQ-Burnout…..

The Wife gravitated to a burger…and after what seemed forever I picked the pulled pork samich….it wasn’t the ribs, but it was BBQ and I would at least get a taste of what Marlowe’s could do….

There was a gift shop near our table so while we waited we made our way inside to see what they had….I found a t-shirt,  to add to my extensive wardrobe…..my suveniour of choice…

It didn’t take long for our food to show  up and both my samich and The Wife’s burger looked great….

My samich came with sauce on the side and slaw…..a lot of Memphis pulled pork has the slaw piled on the samich….and after tasting the pork with and without the sauce I dumped the slaw on the top….

Now, I will kinda give Marlowe’s the benefit of the doubt…..I had od’d on BBBQ earlier and this wasn’t exactly what Guy had recommend…..but I was less than impressed with this samich….the pork was ok……the sauce was nothing special and the slaw was not what a good Texas joint might serve…. I’ll admit that with each bite I had to remind myself that I prolly wasn’t being fair….Marlowe’s wasn’t getting FatJoe at his BBQ-Best….

The Wife did say the burger was great….and the corn nuggets (deep fried cream corn) were out of this world good….

But for a place that was featured on Triple D…..I was disappointed to say the least….

We did order some Nanner-Puddin’ and I hoped for the best….

This saved the day….this was some good puddin’……as stuffed asa we were we were determined to finish this stuff off….I’m sure somewhere Elvis was smilin’ down on us as we cleaned the bowl….

Well, after two of the joints we had come to conquer, we loved one and I, at least, was lukewarm on the other …..

Tom’s had been everything Guy had said it would be and Marlowe’s wasn’t…..

Day two would begin at Graceland and end in a blues joint on Beale Street…..

The adventure was just beginning….

http://www.tomsbarbq.com/

http://www.marlowesmemphis.com/

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