Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just Another Chain Near Wolfchase - Jim 'N Nick's

On Sunday night we gathered at my parent’s house to celebrate my brother’s birthday. When we got there I was happy to here that my dad was out picking up a big order of pulled pork and ribs from Jack’s Bar-B-Q Rib Shack for everyone to eat. We were beginning to wonder what was taking him so long when he finally arrived with a large bag from Jim 'N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Apparently Jack’s was closed so he’d gone to the nearest place he could think to grab some barbecue.

I’d been intrigued by Jim ‘N Nick’s since they opened a store in the giant, big-box-retail-dominated area around the Wolfchase Galleria Mall several years ago, but I’d never tried any of their food. Bringing a national chain barbecue place to Memphis is pretty brazen, so on one hand it seemed like they were confidant in their food. On the other hand, the Wolfchase area’s food choices are dominated by bland chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Chili’s, TGI Fridays, etc., so maybe the Jim ‘N Nick’s chain was thinking that all they really had to do was compete in that sea of garbage.

After tasting the barbecue, I’d say that the good local places have nothing to fear. The sauce wasn’t bad, but there was nothing special about it. The same thing could be said about the pork shoulder, which was sliced not pulled. The tough, fatty ribs were the worst part of the meal. On great ribs the fat should pretty much dissolve into the meat, not sit on top of it in gooey lumps like it did on the Jim 'N Nick’s ribs. None of the meat had any noticeable smoke flavor. By the standards of a chain restaurant near the Wolfchase mall the food would be considered pretty good. By the standards of a Memphis barbecue place it doesn’t measure up.

UPDATE: The ribs I originally tried for this post were spare ribs. I ended up eating at the Wolfchase Jim N' Nick's with some of my family on August 18, 2012. I noticed on the menu that the sirloin ribs are brined before cooking while the baby backs receive a dry rub. I prefer a dry rub and since baby backs are naturally leaner than sirloin ribs they can be cooked in less time time without having the same issues with unrendered fat. They ended up being far better than the spare ribs. They weren't the best in town or anything, but they were perfectly serviceable.

My wife had the dark meat chicken with collard greens and mac and cheese was very pleased with every part of her meal. So there are some good items on the Jim 'N Nick's menu despite my initial experience with the chain's barbecue. 

Jim & Nick's BBQ-Germantown on Urbanspoon

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