Leonard's Pit Barbecue has been serving slow-cooked pork in Memphis since 1922. Our most famous resident, Elvis Presley, was a regular who liked to treat his friend’s to after-hours parties there. That was at a different location than the current sprawling, retro cool-looking building located on Fox Plaza, but the restaurant has still certainly earned a place in local barbecue history. And after trying the pulled pork on a recent visit I was determined to return for some traditional Memphis-style ribs.
The dry ribs are everything excellent dry ribs are supposed to be. They have a charred, deliciously seasoned, outer surface covering rich, smokey meat so good that you have to be careful not to grunt like a caveman while you eat. And there is a tremendous amount of meat on these ribs. A half-slab was one of the most filling lunches I've had on my quest. The sides of beans and slaw were just as bold-tasting as they were on my previous visit. The food, history and atmosphere at Leonard’s combine to make it one of the best barbecue-eating experiences in the city, and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to see what traditional Memphis barbecue is all about.
UPDATE: While talking to people about barbecue and mentioning how much I've enjoyed eating at Leonard's I've had several people mention being unimpressed by the barbecue served on the all-you-can-eat buffet. So I want to stress that I have always ordered off the menu on my visits.