June 13, 2012

Cozy Corner

Location: 745 N Parkway, Memphis
Cost: $10
Cozy Corner on Urbanspoon

It's our last night in Memphis, and we're still high off that incredible Game 5 win over the Clippers.  Granted, by now we all know what ended up happening in that series, but the home team winning by the biggest margin of any game in that series made for a ridiculously fun experience.  The multiple beers along the 3 block walk to FedEx Forum didn't hurt, either.  In any case, we're about to leave the South for good, and we've yet to have any BBQ!  Travesty, especially considering how much I've heard about Memphis dry rub. With that in mind, Yien and I hauled ass to one of the more well-known (read: sketchier looking) BBQ shops in the city, Cozy Corner.

Without all the signs proclaiming it as a restaurant, I'd just as easily have mistaken the place for a laundromat.  But there's tons of great food to be found in the holes-in-the-wall of the world, so we braved the location, decor, and racial/ethnic makeup and walked in for some Q.

Which one does not belong?

Not much here in the way of choices - you pick your meat from chicken, hen, beef, pork, or ribs, and they bring you out a plate or sandwich full of it.  The dry rub is mighty tasty on its own, but if you're more of a wet, saucy BBQ type, they have bottles full of their own homemade sauce that's got plenty of fight in it.

Don't look now, but I got ridiculous food poisoning from the coleslaw.

Maybe if I had more room in my belly or more time in the city, I'd have chosen something else, but given the lack of either luxury, I went straight for the big time: a full plate of 6 ribs accompanied by baked beans, coleslaw, and a slice of white bread.

You wish you could get this close.

Man, were these babies oh so tasty.  The meat was juicy, smoky, and had quite a bit of kick to it thanks to the dry rub.  The meat's not as fall-off-the-bone as I've had at other BBQ places, which I thought was kind of a bummer, but you might not be as into that as I am.  The sauce, though, was what really made these ribs sing.  It was an incredible combination of spicy, tangy, and just a little hint of sweet.  After 6 ribs, my mouth was on fire, and oh did I love the burn.  And the sides?  Passable for filler if the main course doesn't do you in, but I had nothing special to say about them....except for the fact that the coleslaw gave me food poisoning.  I shoulda known something was up when it tasted a little tangier than I'm used to...guess that one's on me.

Yien opted to ignore his new friends' (see above photo) advice about Memphis being known for its pork BBQ and ordered up a 1-pound plate of beef brisket.  I was giving him crap about his decision...until I had some of his food.  The brisket was so moist, juicy, and full of flavor.  We fought over the tiny bits of brisket, believe it or not, because they carried more of the essence of the dish (aka fat from the beef/kitchen).  Once again, the sauce was really what made this dish as awesome as it was.  Thick enough to stay on the beef when eaten with a fork, it really provided the spicy/sweet accent that rounded out the flavor profile of the brisket.  A pound of this stuff, though, will put anyone to sleep; we barely put the plate away, and I was out like a light immediately after.

For both providing great BBQ to end our stay in Memphis and convincing me to never eat mayonnaise from a sketchy restaurant again, Cozy Corner earns 3 Cherries.


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