I've had some bad timing with new restaurants on my barbecue and soul food quest this week. I first tried to visit Arnold's Bar-B-Q on Monday. The restaurant sits in a shopping center on East Shelby Drive, just east of where the heavily industrial section of the road transitions into the suburban Riverdale neighborhood that separates Germantown, TN, and Olive Branch, MS. I arrived to find out that Arnold's is closed on Mondays. Luckily I spotted the nearby La Fogata Centro America Restaurant in the same shopping center, where I enjoyed a plate of beef tongue and spicy pork tacos.
On Wednesday I attempted to try Blocker's Soul Food on Winchester only
to discover that they are only open for dinner on Wednesdays. That day I
just drove a bit further down the street for a return trip to Ken
Neely's Hickory Bar-B-Que where I knew I could get some good ribs based on prior experience. On Thursday I returned to Arnold's.
The restaurant recently moved into its current location from a store on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven that is now home to Pollard's Bar-B-Q. They were out of ribs so I got a pulled shoulder plate. The meat was good, solid
Memphis average barbecue while the beans and slaw were both fairly standard fare. The excellent house-made sauce was the star of the show. It had a mix of natural herb flavors similar to Jim Neely's Interstate Bar-B-Q but spicier. I ordered it on the side but ended up pouring most of it onto my pork.
Arnold's is only six miles south of the Germantown Commisary, and fans of that restaurant should definitely head down to try the new face in town. While the little restaurant can't match the atmosphere and vibe that the Commissary gets from its cool historic building, I think it does make a better sauce.