Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Place in Wolfchase - Ty's Bar-B-Que

Attempting to try every barbecue and soul food place around Memphis is a lot like a game of Whack-a-Mole. Existing places close and new places open at a steady pace. I posted about the Wolfchase location of A&R Bar-B-Q in January of last year. I was pretty critical of the ribs I had there, but on return visits I did enjoy some good pulled pork from the restaurant.

That location closed a few months ago, but I recently noticed the space being renovated for a new place called Ty's Bar-B-Q. 

While I was critical of the ribs I had at the Wolfchase A&R, don't let that discourage you from ordering ribs at the Elvis Presley location that cooks in an old-school smokehouse.

I stopped in Ty's during the renovation process back in May and talked with the owner, who told me he was shooting for an opening in mid-June. There was a heavy barbecue aroma in the building during my visit that assured me the new owner was getting himself acquainted with his new pit as well as worrying about cosmetic touches. June came and went before I finally saw an open sign in the window. I wasn't surprised, since renovation work always takes longer and costs more than expected.

The new pig-shaped benches out front were a nice addition.

When I finally spotted an open sign a couple weeks ago I immediately stopped in for lunch. The restaurant has a large collection of trophies from area barbecue competitions on display so I went straight for what I consider the ultimate test of Memphis barbecue -- dry rub ribs.

The rib plate at Ty's only comes with one side so I opted for slaw. It was a good choice. The roughly chopped, mustardy slaw included a nice dusting of dry rub mixed in with it and was delicious.

The ribs had a nice bark, well-rendered fat and good smoke penetration. I'd ordered them with sauce on the side but they ended up being good enough to enjoy sauceless. 

When I stopped in the following week I ordered the pulled pork plate. It comes with two sides so I got beans and slaw.

The baked beans ended up being great as well. They had plenty of meat in them and a nice, thick sauce. I don't eat the bread at the barbecue places I visit, since I try to keep my junk food to a minimum, but if I did Ty's would certainly get extra credit for using buttered Texas Toast like the beloved Bar-B-Q shop in Midtown. The meal was $8.99 and at first glance the pile of pulled pork seemed deceptively small since it was packed together so tightly.

Once I separated the meat with a fork I realized just how big of  a serving it actually was. Like the ribs it was good enough to be enjoyed without any sauce.  

Since the restaurant offered three varieties of sauce I wanted to try them all even though the meat didn't need it. Of the three I was somewhat surprised when I ended up preferring the smoky to the hot and original. I'm normally not a fan of liquid smoke since it seems like cheating. But the smoke flavor in this sauce wasn't overwhelming enough to seem fake, especially since the meat was good enough that even when I did add sauce I was using it sparingly. 

I was happy to find a good, locally-owned barbecue place so close to my parents' house. I usually meet up with my dad for lunch on Tuesdays in that part of town, which happens to be the day that Gridley's nearby is closed. Of the other barbecue options in the area, we were both underwhelmed by the newly-opened Baby Jack's and while Fat Larry's has great brisket the pork there has been unimpressive lately as well. My dad instilled a lot of my love for barbecue. He was traveling for work so he wasn't with me during my first two visits but I look forward to taking him to Ty's soon.  

Ty's Smokehouse BBQ on Urbanspoon


  1. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for keeping us posted on Memphis Que.
    I'll have to try Ty's soon.

  2. I've been hesitant to try other BBQ places. I always stick to my favorite, Central BBQ in Midtown. But after reading your blog, I'm gonna give Ty's a try. Starting today, they have a half-off special going on for the next two weeks. Get $10 worth of food for just $5. Here's the link -

    I've also heard that Elwood's Shack has great BBQ.

    1. Elwood's has a really good sandwich. Get it with the jalapeno slaw.

  3. Stopped in at Tys last Friday night. As a visiting yankee, I can't say I'm an expert on Memphis BBQ, but the pulled pork sandwich I had was spectacular.