Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's Memphis

You know where you're at even before you exit the jetway. The smell wafts down the ramp like a muse. It wraps its tendrils around you like a yoke and pulls you toward it's smoky essence. That's right. You're in Memphis International Airport and it's time for some barbeque.

Memphis International Airport reminds me of "bicentennial" style of buildings built in the '60s and '70s. Brown brick faced walls, earth tones all over the place. The main terminal is a wide open space, but the gate concourses are narrow and packed with traffic. To their credit, the airport operators have focused a lot of energy into improving the traveler's experience with recent renovations to Concourse B. Especially when it comes to my favorite subject: food.

It's very difficult to find your national fast food in this airport (i.e. no McDonalds!). Instead, you'll find much of what Memphis is famous for: barbeque. Two of Memphis' best barbeque shops have outlets at the airport: Corky's and Jim Neely's Interstate. Corky's has three outlets at the airport while there are two Interstate locations.

From this reviewer's perspective, I've had mixed results. I had eaten at the original Corky's store in Memphis, and their product at the airport came up well short. I found the Interstate product at the airport to be noticeably better than Corky's, but I've never eaten at their store in town. Make no mistake, it's all good. But let me recommend the California Beef Links at Interstate. The sausage itself is a bold beef flavor, and the links swim in a tangy sauce. Be sure to include their excellent cole slaw and use it like you would a chutney. Fork your link, then spread a little slaw on it and enjoy. It's an unexpectedly pleasant combination of flavors.

If you find yourself having to make a connection in Memphis, make a point to partake in some of Memphis' finest barbeque, without having to leave the airport.

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3 astute observations :

  1. Anonymous said...

    Now I'm hungry, but it's not like I can just pop out to Memphis... damn.

  2. richmanwisco said...

    Does it help you to know that I ate at the same place on the way back through last night?

    Call me evil. Bwahh haha.

  3. Anonymous said...

    You are very, very naughty.