Sunday, June 12, 2011

Princeton Edition: A Taste of Memphis

After Chris and I perused "Princeton Fest," We worked up an appetite and headed to A Taste of Memphis to fill our tummies. Located on Stafford Drive, the main drag for restaurants and stores in Princeton, it is in the main plaza in town. I assume it gets a lot of business, and I know it's a favorite among locals. It boasts BBQ pork, ribs, etc. I've never dined at a "BBQ" restaurant, so when I discovered this place, I was impressed this little restaurant has made a name for itself.

As soon as you walk in, there's a giant display that lists specials and whatnot. I've seen a few restaurants in Princeton have this, and it continues to confuse me. You have to go around this obstacle, either to the left or right, to actually walk back to the counter. I don't understand why it doesn't instead guide you to the area to order and facilitate the consumer instead of blocking them. But that's beside the point.

The interior is decorated, well, tack-ily. With plastic red- and white-checkered tablecloths, piglets painted on the wall and chairs that are all a little off-balance, the interior isn't what sets this place apart. When you get to the counter, there's a menu behind the ordering area. It's always a little awkward to stand in front of the person taking your order while you try to decide what you want above their head. I had been here once before, so I had an idea of what I wanted. It's not a very expansive menu, so we both were able to choose fairly quickly. I put in my order for a large BBQ pulled pork sandwich, a small side of hushpuppies and a small side of mashed potatoes. Chris ordered a salad with pulled pork, as well as a loaded baked potato with all the fixings, including pulled pork. Somehow we totaled around $25 quite quickly.

We took our cups to the fountain drink dispenser and chose a table. At the table, there is a roll of paper towels (ahem, napkins), some BBQ sauce, and other typical condiments. We didn't have to wait long before our orders were out. Serve in plastic red mesh baskets, we had a little feast on our hands. When we here previously, our only complaint was that we didn't get enough food. That was our fault - we didn't order enough. The portions weren't huge, which was expected considering the prices. But we over-ordered this time.

My sandwich was a good, healthy portion. Both hands were required for this one. The pulled pork was a little on the dry side, but as long as there was enough of their signature sweet BBQ sauce, the combination was pretty tasty. I added a little more BBQ sauce on my plate so I could dip the sandwich in to make sure every bite had ample sauce. This is not my typical choice of food - in fact, I rarely like pork. But the BBQ pulled pork is enough to make me change my game plan. The hushpuppies, I think, are the stars here, though. Hushpuppies are a treat in Morgantown, as the only place I know that sells them is Long John Silver's, which I don't frequent often. A Taste of Memphis' hushpuppies are cooked golden brown, moist and seasoned on the inside and are served with a honey spread that adds a taste of sweetness. Delicious. The mashed potatoes are buttery and salty and filling. The meal was so filling in fact that I couldn't finish it. I had to take a few breaks to finis the sandwich alone. The hushpuppies were gone first, and I had some mashed potatoes to spare.

Chris's salad was served in a large tortilla shell, with lettuce tomato cheese and BBQ pork inside. He devoured this and was pleased. His loaded baked potato was a meal in itself with the butter, cheese, sour cream and meat piled on top. He made it a good way through, but he had leftovers as well.

For a meal out of the ordinary and to fill you up, check it out. It's not upscale dining by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a fun break from the norm.

Grade: B
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