Name: Peg Leg Porker
Address: 903 Gleaves St., Nashville, TN
Order: Peg Leg Hot wings, ½ rack ribs (dry), Brunswick stew, fries (link to menu)
Speedy: I recently took a trip to Nashville to see the greatest band of all-time, The Beach Boys, live at one of the greatest music venues ever, the Ryman. My bud Drew is well aware of my love of ‘cue, so wanted to take me to a new place that has become his favorite joint in town – Peg Leg Porker.
Monk: Beach Boys and barbecue? Talk about “good vibrations” am I right?
Speedy: *Face palm* We arrived on Friday night to a sizable crowd. Peg leg has a decent sized dining room and a large bar. There’s a counter for ordering, and you just sit wherever you can find a seat, which was more difficult than anticipated as there was a pretty big line ahead of us. I really liked the atmosphere – it’s not a typical old-timey joint by any means, but it doesn’t have any pretentiousness about it. I really dug it.
Monk: If there’s anything that Speedy won’t stand for, its pretentiousness. Looking at you, Panera.
Speedy: I had trouble deciding what to order, but ultimately went with the dry ribs (I always prefer dry, given the option) and the smoked wings, as I knew I would be able to snake some pulled pork from someone else in our party.
After getting the meal, I first tried a bit of pork. I was pretty pleased. It’s no secret that I prefer chopped to pulled, and I would like to have seen a little bit more bark in there, but the smoke flavor was evident. I think it could’ve used a little tang from a vinegar based dip, but that may just be my North Carolina roots talking.
Monk: So did the pork have a particular style in the cut of meat and/or sauce? Tennessee is definitely a pork state but I’m curious if it was whole hog or shoulders and if it was sauced any.
Speedy: You know, Monk, unfortunately, I didn’t get to interview the pitmaster, but it did seem like pulled shoulder meat to me. It came unsauced, but there was a spicy and regular red sauce available. I tried the spicy and it was decent.
The ribs were really good. They had the right amount of dry rub – accentuating but not eliminating the flavor of the meat. They were cooked perfectly – tender without falling of the bone. The ribs were certainly the star of the show.
Monk: So would you call this a good version of the Memphis-style rib?
Speedy: Yes, absolutely. I think it can be difficult to have dry ribs not taste like dry meat, but here, the meat was tender and juicy, even though it wasn’t saucy.
The wings were also really good. They were served as full wings, smoked and tossed in hot buffalo sauce. I was really happy with that, as I get annoyed when barbecue joints serve fried wings.
Peg Leg gets a small bonus in terms of sides for offering Brunswick stew, which was very good. But those points are subsequently lost due to the lack of hushpuppies. And of course, they had white slaw instead of red, which I didn’t touch.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Peg Leg Porker. It’s the best ‘cue I’ve had in Nashville, which, unfortunately doesn’t say much, despite Travel & Leisure’s ludicrous article. However, I expect that this is not my last trip to Peg Leg Porker.