Monday, May 4, 2015
Peg Leg Porker (Nashville, TN)
I wanted to squeeze in one last barbecue meal before heading off on my week-long Argentinian dove/duck hunt, just in case something unexpected happens and I don't make it back. If I'm going out, I'm going out full of 'que. Peg Leg Porker has been on my to-do list ever since returning to Nashville. It's only a short drive from my office, making it the perfect choice for lunch.
Peg Leg's building is a great setup for barbecue, complete with traditional counter-service ordering. The friendly ladies working the counter were lighthearted and very welcoming. They have tons of awards displayed very prominently in glass cases, as well they should. In the back is a well-stocked bar, which looked like a great option for happy hour. The lively music pumping through the sound system also made Peg Leg a pretty hopping lunch spot.
If you noticed the peg leg on their pig logo, you probably assumed that there was an interesting story to go along with it. You're correct. When he was only 17 years old, owner/pitmaster Carey Bringle was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer and lost his right leg during the treatment process. Rather than letting this tragedy get the better of him, Carey came away with a positive outlook and a renewed passion for food. And so, the "Peg Leg Porker" was born.
With no multi-meat combos on the menu (or beef for that matter), I was torn between ribs and pulled pork. In the end, I went with a Pulled Pork Platter and decided to save the ribs for another time when I wasn't wearing a shirt and tie. For my sides, I picked potato salad and smoked green beans.
The skins mixed into the potato salad added a good texture to the mayonnaise base. There was just the right amount of salt and pepper, giving the potato salad a nice mild flavor. The big flat green beans were also a great side dish. I could definitely taste the black pepper here, and bacon always makes things better.
I'm not usually a huge fan of pulled pork, but this looked amazing! There were beautiful pieces of black bark and red smoke-kissed bits scattered throughout. The pork had a delicious smokiness from the first bite all the way through to the last, and it was also incredibly tender. The forkfuls of bark were by far my favorite, especially the juicy, well-rendered fat. No sauce was needed here whatsoever. By the time I realized that I hadn't yet set down my fork, I'd already inhaled over half of my plate. If all pulled pork was like this, I'd definitely eat it more often.
This was certainly enough food to fill me up, but there was no way I could pass on a peach fried pie for dessert.
I wasn't expecting such a massive fried pie, although I sure as heck wasn't about to complain. The sugary glaze drizzled on top was quite enticing. To my delight, the pie was fresh and warmed. Their flaky crust and gooey peach filling were perfect together, and the cinnamon spice made things even better. This was a fantastic end to a fantastic lunch.
Toward the end of my meal, a manager (I think she was anyway) made her rounds and checked on each customer. I couldn't express to her enough how much I enjoyed the food. I can't wait to come back to Peg Leg Porker and try the ribs!
Peg Leg Porker
903 Gleaves St
Nashville, TN 37203