Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Edley's Bar-B-Que (Nashville, TN)
I've been dying to try out Edley's since we moved back to Nashville a few months ago. I had some errands to run in town this morning, so I took the opportunity to add barbecue to my to-do list.
You'll find Edley's in the up-and-coming 12 South neighborhood of Nashville, which I think was mostly just residential when we lived here eight years ago. The atmosphere is a good combination of modern and rustic. It's a lively place with a full bar, so I might be back for happy hour sometime soon. The line to order had nearly doubled within a few minutes of my 11:30 arrival. Clearly this joint is a local favorite. I'm told that brisket runs out fast, so get there early if you want beef.
I don't normally do barbecue sandwiches, but Edley's Tuck Special sounded too good to resist: a brisket sandwich with house made spicy pimento cheese, an over-easy egg, red and white barbecue sauces, and pickles. It doesn't get much more Southern than that. Well, I suppose they could have added a fried something-or-other, but I digress. The Texan in me requires that my brisket be sliced instead of chopped (even in sammich form), so I made sure to double-check when ordering. Rather than pressing my luck by adding on another entree, I decided to make my Tuck a combo with potato salad and mac-n-cheese on the side.
The mayonnaise-based potato salad was very tasty. Skin-on potatoes were a good choice. There was much more potato than veggie in the mix, which worked well here. The macaroni was far from basic Easy Mac. I really enjoyed the crumbly topping and spices. It was gooey and creamy from the various cheeses they use, and was much better than the mac and cheese I usually find in my barbecue travels. Most of the time I end up leaving a portion of my side dishes behind, but today I finished every last bite.
It was hard to decide exactly how to tackle the towering Tuck Special, so I assembled a pile of napkins and dove right in. The runny egg yolk burst the instant I gripped the sandwich. After thoroughly making a mess of myself and the table, I gave in and opted for a knife and fork instead. Wow, this sandwich was deliciously complex! I managed to find a few bits of plain brisket, which had a great smoky flavor as well as a slight spiciness. The meat was very tender, due in part to the fattier slices I received. Edley's pimento cheese comes out almost like a patty and definitely has some heat to it as well. The addition of the mayo-based white barbecue sauce was really interesting, while the pickles added acidity, sweetness, and a much-needed crunch. I wasn't sure how the egg would play out, but it actually tied everything together beautifully. This sandwich was incredible all the way around!
I'll always be a sucker for the classics, but Edley's proves that barbecue doesn't necessarily have to be simple to be amazing. I will definitely be back to sample their more traditional barbecue items.
2706 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204