Memphis >Neely's Bar-B-Que Restaurant
Never Again!!!. First off the building had me wondering if we should even try this place. So besides the building looking bad, we decided to go ahead and eat there. We walked in and it is worst than the outside. Wanted to just get up and run out of there, but it was the neely's so why not try it so we went ahead and orderd food. We just knew the food was going to be good because of the neely's show their food look so good. So we wanted to try everything, while we was there. so the food finally came out and it did look good but the taste was a different story. The meat was so bland, no seasoning no nothing. The veggies taste like they just poured them right out the can. It was the worst thing I have ever had. So then we say lets try the dessert it has to be better. We orderd the peach cobbler with ice cream, It was tastless also how and the world can you mess that up. I drove all the way to this place so excited about the neely's saying i get to try their food and it was awful. Never again will I go there or even send somebody else their to eat. Very sad experience!!!
My family and I decided to take a road trip from Chicago to the Memphis area. Every day we were going to try a different rib joint. Our first stop was the Neely's restaurant on Moriah Road. I had high expectations because of Pat's passion for bbq on the show. Well........It was an early Sunday evening (4:30pm) and we were one of four patrons in the place (a little suprised). We were seated and noticed that the floors were very sticky, plastic utensils, cracked plates, etc. We ordered sweet tea and it was sooo sweet I couldn't drink it. I expected the dinner rolls to be warm and buttery, instead they came straight from a package, and were almost stale.
OK.....the food has to be better.....I ordered 1/2 slab of pork ribs, green beans, and bbq spaghetti. The spaghetti was ok, but the ribs and beans were very bland. My husband had a platter with pulled pork, turkey, ribs and beef. Food was lukewarm and NO TASTE whatsoever. I can't believe they won a bbq award. I was very SHOCKED and DISAPPOINTED. I really like to see the good in everything and everyone, but I could never recommend this restaurant to anyone nor will I make this one of my stops when I visit Memphis. The only positive thing was our very nice waiter.
Pat and Gina really need to visit their establishment and critique the food, atmosphere, bathrooms, etc.
An Embarrassment to Memphis + Where to Go.
I couldn't believe when I saw the Neely's had their own TV show on the Food Network because there is so much better BBQ in this town. The only restaurant chain owned by the Neely's that deserves honorable mention is Interstate BBQ -- most all locations are good, but the original on South 3rd Street has a little more authenticity. Ribs consistently rank 5 out 10 as compared to other Memphis establishments. The best thing Interstate has to offer is a generous pork sandwich and GREAT BBQ nachos and BBQ spaghetti. They hit it right on the nose with these latter two. One other negative is no legitimate hot sauce -- their version of hot sauce is essentially mild sauce heated up in the microwave. I've lived here 6 years and very rarely eat at a Neely establishment and only go to break it up, but I am always reminded of why I always go elsewhere.
Tops BBQ has the best tasting pulled shoulder -- ask for all "white meat", pulled with coleslaw (I grew up in western KY where this was NOT a tradition, but it should be as the coleslaw on the sandwich is a compliment to both the BBQ sauce and the meat -- you'll look like a rookie if you don't get the cole slaw. Top's pork shoulder is the smokiest meat in town and VERY good. Also their Hot sauce is VERY good is you can appreciate a vinegar based sauce. FYI -- Top's also has an awesome burger (one of the best old-style griddle fried burgers in town, but once you smell the hickory smoke off the pit you can't help yourself to get the Jumbo pork sandwich unless your constitution is made of steel.
The BBQ Shop has the best dry ribs in terms of unique flavor of rub and fall-off-the-bone meat. The only downside is that sometimes when you get a rack of ribs, you get a may get very meaty rack to die for, but other times it may be a little skimpy (often the variation is even at the same table, so certain days are not better than others). They still have the best rub, the best original vinegar-based coleslaw, and one hell of a great BBQ sauce -- like Tops, it is original and unique to that establishment.
Finally Corky's on Germantown Rd and the original on Poplar Ave have figured out how to be ultra-consistent and have extremely good dry ribs and pulled sandwiches -- never get any sandwich chopped as it takes too much of the smokey flavor our of the meat and inserts too much sauce. You will NEVER get a bad meal at Corky's unless you go to one of the establishments not run by the originating family on Poplar and G-Town Ave.). Coorky's has become a chain, and EVERY other version -- even 15-50 minutes away in Collierville is horrendous; this sentiment has been expressed to me from Lexington, KY to Jackson, MS.
The Rendezvous -- in short is has an excellent rub that you can buy at grocery stores around the region and is great on most all meats. The Rendezvous is a place you take first time visitors to Memphis because of the atmosphere In terms of ribs, they have a good product but 50% of the time the ribs are mostly all bones and/or are dry. Anytime I take people there from New York City or other far-flung places, I am constantly worried they will receive the bad 50%. If you only had 1 night to eat BBQ in Memphis and you wanted to sample the best Memphis has to offer, go to the places identified above -- reserve the Rendezvous if you can for night #2.
There are other famous and great BBQ joints in Memphis, but if you can't spend a week here, you won't be disappointed with the choices above if you get away from Beale Street during your stay.
My friend and I were traveling across country and heading to Memphis for Graceland. I love the Neely's on tv and wanted to try the restuarant while there. Wish I had read the reviews but then would have wanted to try anyway. The reviews were quite accurate. We called the restuarant at 8:40 and was told they closed at 9:30. That they had an hour and fifteen minute wait. We were 10 minutes away so decided to go anyway. Figured if we were in line they would not turn us away. What a surprise. We were there in 10 minutes. Only one couple in front of us in line. About 4 tables with people. The other couple had been told the same. It took a few minutes to be acknowledge before we were seated. All the other tables were filled with dirty dishes and the floors were food laden.
We did order and were so disappointed. I love that TV show a lot but would never recommend the food. We had ribs and beef. The beef looked more like pork and the ribs were dry. And as someone else said the BBQ sauce drowned the flavor. The beans were doused with sauce and were hard. The cole Slaw and potato salad were just okay. Nothing to write home about. The experience was not delightful at all. The plates were like I used to eat on in elementary school and they were cracked and ugly. Service was just okay. I asked to see the cookbook as I wanted to buy one for my mom. Glad I waited til I ate to decide. No sale here. If you are ever traveling in Durham NC. I suggest you try BackYard BBQ. That is real food. No frills on the establishment but at least your food is fantastic. I will not go back to Neely's. Now plan to try Paula Deens in October. I hope that isn't a bust too.
Nothing good at all!. We arriver during lucnh. There were many open tables, but had to wait in line for service. We were finally seated and right on the table was a dead roach. Gross! We deceided to stay, but asked for another table. Instead the server said "oh" picked up the roach with a napkin and walked away. We had to ask another server for a clean table. We were moved to a booth which was filty! I didn't want to put my coat on the seat nor my purse. As for the rest of the decor, it was dirty, the ceiling tiles had water damage, looking like it was going to fall down. The restroom was like a gas station bathroom. NASTY! I refused to use it. I ordered the pulled pork salad, was just ok. The BBQ sauce was a version of open pit. The serving dish, was like a garage sale item. The bowl was cracked and broken leaving sharp edges around the rim. My companion ordered the Texas sausage. It was nothing great. The beans and slaw were below average. For desert we had the peach cobbler. The cobbler we made at boyscout camp was much better.I would not recommend this restaurant. For a family that has a t v show and promote it on national tv they should clean it up......I question the quality and taste of the dishes they prepare. The restaurnat was a real turn-off. I don't think I will be watching the show anymore. The only reason I gave it a star is because It was required.
Don't believe what you've seen on television...it's not here!. After seeing numerous television reviews and the popular Food Network television show we were so looking forward to the opportunity to "Eat at Neely's". Hosted dinner -30 people at Jefferson Street location while at a church convention. The experience did not at all match the warm and friendly media image. At a high level, the experience was nothing short of disappointing. We visited on a Thursday afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. We were a scheduled and expected group (booked with corporate office.) Because of group size, it was their preference for us to eat from their ?groups? menu - flat rate of $18 includes a choice of meat, choice of two sides, bread, sauce, unlimited drink refills, and dessert (sock it to me cake).-includes the tax and gratuity. Upon arrival no one greeted the party or appeared to be expecting us - no server identified. With a ratio of 1:30, the server was expected to get and fill drink orders, get and deliver the meal and to cut and serve the dessert. Staff failed to prepare for our arrival by having adequate silverware available. I, the paying customer, personally passed out silverware, but ?bused? tables and refilled guest beverages. Food was disappointing. The plates are institutional like?.like a prison or a high school and our food was slopped on to the plates accordingly. The rolls are nothing special and were cool, out of the package with hunks of butter smeared on top?might have been better warmed. Portions very small and cold. A ?no frills? atmosphere - padded booths and chairs, dark wood paneling, and historical memorabilia decorating the walls with overhead speakers belting out the blues. Sock it to me cake was good. Pecan pie not a fav (out of the box cut and serve?I watched them do it.) The management and the staff are very task oriented - focused on getting a plate out to you?but not on making your experience memorable and special. Trust me when I say?it?s not a good choice.
Not PAR for the Course!.
Let me say first, PLEASE JUST WATCH THE SHOW, don't make the trip! Unless that is you live in Memphis and you want some killer barbecue baked beans! I'm sorry.....did I say BAKED BEANS and not Ribs.....this is a barbecue joint, not a side dish buffet, right. Anyhow, let me say I was intrigued by the show and was taking a trip to do a Rib crawl of 5-6 spots in 28hrs, we were successful and might I say Neely's was not last but a close to it. The sampler platter was good but if your menu reads enough for two, but you only give three rib bones, that's a farce. The pulled pork, and beef were tender but the sauces ruined it for me. I'd rather tasted the meat without the sauce to see really what they were working with.
The service was decent, the sweet tea was weak on the TEA but strong on the SWEET.
I'm from St. Louis and I have my own rub, and do lot of Queing for many people, so I know barbecue and if you can walk up to a building without being first greeted by the smell of what's going on on the inside.....start asking yourself really what's being sold. Neely's wasn't a total wash, but I don't know how they got rated so high.........so I'll continue to watch the GREAT SHOW on the FOOD NETWORK, but I probably won't be back.
below average ribs. was there on4/6/08 about 6:00PM. Slow service. Cheese and sausage plate was great, Mild wings were great also. Then came our ribs.........what a disappointment. I ordered mine dry. I lived in Memphis for a few years during the 90's so I do know a good rib from a decent rib, from a excellent rib. Was excited to eat there, left disappointed. Sides were ok. My friends wife had the bbq nachos that came with either velveeta or cheese whiz. I put my money on it being cheese whiz. I would not go back.
good ribs.. I did not like their sauce as much (as I do the Corky's sauce). Lots of meat on the bones. I visited during early lunch, and it was quiet. I can easily see this place getting packed for dinner.
There's nothing fancy about it, but for bona fide Memphis barbecue served in a soulful setting, this is the place..
Learn all there is to know about the Neely family and its barbecue ties from the history captured in the photos and articles on the restaurant's walls. The large dining room is perfect for big families and groups of friends wanting to take their time with a plate of ribs.
Whether you're getting beef, pork, bologna or turkey smothered in the signature smoky-sweet sauce, barbecue sandwiches are topped with crunchy coleslaw. The homemade slaw's tossed with a combination of mustard and mayo for a delicious result. Ribs come wet (slathered in sauces ranging from hot to mild) or dry (coated in a special dry rub recipe). Barbecued spaghetti puts a twist on the traditional dish, substituting barbecue sauce and pieces of pork mixed with pasta.
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