Friday, June 8, 2012

Humble Looks, Outstanding Value - Woodstock

I'm not sure how Garden and Gun Magazine found the places it featured in its recent profile piece on small, rural West Tennessee barbecue joints. My job frequently takes me within less than a mile of both Helen's in Brownsville, TN, and the Woodstock Store & Deli on the southern edge of Millington and I'd never heard of either before a friend told me about the article. Both of the humble-looking places were packed with regular customers when I visited them so word-of-mouth is all the promotion either place needs.

The Woodstock community is located around the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and Fite Road, where you turn to go to the Memphis International Raceway.  The Woodstock Store & Deli is a an old country store, similar to the Morris Grocery but with more items on the menu and more products on the shelves. It is right around the corner from the Old Millington Winery, so plan on visiting both if you find yourself in the neighborhood wanting to sample the local food and drink.

The Woodstock Store mostly does carryout business but there is a little stainless bar looking out the front window where customers can sit down to eat. Like at Helen's, everyone sits together and there is no target demographic for the customers. It's an even mix of men and women, young and old, black and white.

The barbecue plate ended up being one of the best values I've found. After tax I only paid $7.10. The sauce was automatically served on the side like I prefer, the baked beans tasted homemade with plenty off bell pepper and onion in them, and the roughly-chopped slaw had a great flavor and texture with just enough pickle and vinegar added to it. The meat was good enough to eat without sauce, and there ended up being more of it than I could finish. I still added about half my sauce to it, since the sauce had a nice subtle balance of sweet and spicy flavors that complimented the pork without dominating the taste. I almost never throw away good barbecue but the portion at Woodstock was massive. I gave it my best shot and ate the vast majority of it. But I had to get back to work and ultimately acknowledged that while I probably could have powered through the entire serving I would have been in pain for the next couple of hours*.

* Interestingly, since I largely avoid the refined sugars and starches that wreak havoc on blood sugar and insulin levels I don't run into problems with getting the itis despite all the pork I eat. It takes a mix of both high fat and high sugar/starch to induce the itis. 

Woodstock Store & Deli on Urbanspoon

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