Great news for barbecue lovers who live in Tennessee or who, like me, plan to go there. Ramey’s is back selling the best whole hog barbecue in Tennessee. Indeed, I’ll go further and say Ramey’s has the best whole hog barbecue outside of Eastern North Carolina.
As my most devoted readers will recall, Ramey’s doesn’t cook barbecue from November into March. The cold weather requires more wood coals, and that can tend to dry the meat out a little. If you want to maintain Ramey’s self-imposed high standards, you just don’t sell dry meat. And these days, when restaurants are dropping like flies, it’s great to see Ramey’s again cooking its great barbecue.
I should say that I haven’t eaten at every whole hog place in Tennessee. New ones may be popping up in odd places. Ramey’s is better than B.E. Scott’s, and better than the Martin’s branch I tried, and both B.E Scott’s and Martin’s are Top Places. But Ramey’s is a notch better. And it’s a great place in a town full of wonderful people, the sort of people who will rush over to rescue your rental car after you stupidly got it hung up in a ditch. And Ramey’s is a quintessential barbecue place. Places like Ramey’s, Grady’s, Archibald’s, and others really should be UNESCO World Heritage Sites as an example of a culinary tradition.
You need to go to Ramey’s. It’s well worth a 200-mile drive, or a flight to Memphis or Nashville — both worthwhile in themselves — and a drive to Parsons. You’ll thank me if you do.
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