When people around here talk about BBQ, everybody has their opinion about what’s the best. Same as burgers, pizza, hot chicken, or Mexican food.
The secret ingredient is…there is no secret ingredient.
BBQ, like a lot of foods, has certain regional elements that set the variations apart in terms of taste, appearance, and sass. No group of people is ever likely to be unanimous in deciding what BBQ is “best”.
Slick Pig located at 1920 East Main St. in Murfreesboro, TN is one of the most popular BBQ places in town, and one of the older ones. The building it is in at one time hosted the legendary East Main Market, which in the 80’s was one of the most prolific purveyors of “import beer” back then, and famous for its sales of plastic gallon jugs of draft beer, including the now defunct Gerst House beer from Nashville.
The Missus and I stopped in a couple of weeks ago, and decided to have a sit down meal from here. I have eaten BBQ from Slick Pig for many years, but for no real reason, I always got it to go. It was near closing time, but we were made to feel just as welcome as if the doors had just opened.
If you have lived in Murfreesboro any length of time and don’t know where Slick Pig is, shame on you. Even if you don’t however, A quick trip down historic Main St. and the brightly lit sign will steer you in. This is an old building, many decades old. The owners have recently renovated a big portion of it and even added additional seating outside and an ice cream parlor onto the front. Walking in the door, it instantly feels like the kind of place your grandparents would take you, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see Andy Griffith sitting in a booth. It’s that kind of genuine hometown feel.
Wooden tables and booths, a good old-fashioned community board, and lots of cute “pig themed” décor abound. The rustic setting is honestly encountered, not contrived and artificial like Cracker Barrel. Lots of smiles and friendly conversation flowed from person to person. It’s refreshing to walk into a place where the clientele is so relaxed and happy that it instantly puts you at ease. These people are probably regulars, and their satisfaction is infectious.
Food is ordered from the counter, and they give you a number from a paper ticket. We got our drinks from the fountain area and took a seat near the window. I felt bad, as we had walked in very close to closing, and the pre-closing had begun. Let me tell you though, that didn’t detract from the service one bit. Our food came out promptly and every effort was made to make sure we had everything we needed. Honestly just some of the friendliest service you could ask for.
I’ve eaten food here for many, many years. I already knew how much I was going to enjoy it. Proteins and veggies in the form of a BBQ platter made sure I was going to be happy testing my blood sugar later. I got an order of smoked wings to split with The Missus who had never tried them, and didn’t care for wings in general. I assured her that the world would never be the same after trying these and she agreed. She loved them.
Adventure was in the air apparently, because my lovely wife decided upon something I had never even seen on the menu before. “Redneck Tacos”. Pork, baked beans, and slaw piled high on top of cornbread fritters. Unique and a whole picnic on your plate at once.
Since it was close to quitting time, cleaning was already in full force. I was watching, and it’s obvious the staff has their heart in it. Even the squeeze bottles on the table were clean. Given the age of the building, its good to see that you can walk in and feel comfortable with the care it is being given.
Is it the best BBQ in town? That’s really up to the individual I think. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the whole “best in town” arguments I see. Certain foods, like BBQ, invoke more passion in those discussions than other foods. I know that I enjoy it, and have for many years. For me, it ranks pretty high and there are days when I just want that home town feel for a meal. I used to buy Gerst House beer in this building in the 80’s. That carries a lot of nostalgia over. Maybe I’m not just eating BBQ. Maybe I’m eating memories too. I have to say…they’re delicious.
4 out of 5 peace signs. Dig it!
Speaking of memories, I need you guys to remember to do something for me.
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