Wednesday, June 28, 2006

There's a crazy little ship beyond the hill

With apologies to Jimmy Gilmer and The Fireballs,

There's a crazy little ship beyond the hill
And ev'rybody calls it the mothership
Well, it's just a bar-b-que shack and it's cooked out back
Bar-B-Que tastes mighty good
That's not the reason why I've got to get back
To that mother ship, whoa baby
To that mother ship.

Located in Berry Hill, The MotherShip BBQ is the newest (and sexy) eatery located just off of I-65 and Thompson Lane at 2806 Columbine Place. Dr. Funkenswine, aka Jim "Knucklehead" Reams, is the proprietor of Mothership BBQ who "lovingly hand-rubs every rack and butt that lands on my smoker, baby!"

With this boastful claim, my belly was telling me that there had to be a passion that surely meant a hearty and tasty pork sandwich. I've been a big advocate for Memphis BBQ and back in the eighties, have been known to regularly eaten three full racks of ribs from Griddley's - a rack for lunch, dinner and in the van on the way home. I was careful to toss out the rib bones out the window while no cars were in proximity.

Since Griddley's is no more, the Rendevous and Corky's are the top spots in Memphis, if you can stand the 1 hour wait in line. In fact, one can order a bbq topped pizza as a staple item or via FedEx from Corky's to far away places. I'm not a big fan of vinegar based BBQ or worse, boiled meat dosed with vinegar and thrown on the grill for effect, normally found here in Nashville. Corky's in Brentwood has been my favorite BBQ, for catered events and especially the dry rubbed meaty ribs and the pig salad (pork on a tossed salad.)

Over the last few years, I had to curb my appetite for good BBQ under the watchful eye of my doctor, wife, life insurance company and the lack of an record company expense account. There's always an exception when something new and wonderful lands in town. Having read the buzz among the Nashville Blogosphere who pulled away from the computer screen long enough to venture out in public to dine at the Mothership, I decided to do the same.

On my first visit, one is immediately taken back by the decor - mismatched chairs and tables - and excuse me, but what's up with the funky albums covers on the walls? Affixed with drywall screws, I suppose to keep people from stealing them, they represent a funky exhibit of seventies sexiness with the big hair and all.

Besides, what is more sexy that a savory plate of pulled pork bbq? On my first visit, I had the combo plate; a pulled pork sandwich, 2 sides and 2 short ribs for $7.50. Intending to do a blog review, I forgot my camera, so I promised Jim that I would be back!

Today, I showed up early at 10:30 and was able to see Milo and Jim in action while taking some photos.

Jim was gracious enough to invite me to go backstage as he lovingly placed eight massive pork shoulders on a monster of a mothership smoker.

While waiting on my order, Jim was excited to point out the 96 score from the Nashville Health Department (minus 4 points from a perfect score because of the decor).

Here's my order - the sandwich was first class, with some crispy burnt ends mixed in (perfect!), creamy and chunky coleslaw and chilled mayo based red potato salad. The hot sauce added a nice flavor without being overpowering or obnoxious in heat. After finishing off my plate, I had a Homer Simpson moment and ordered up another sandwich with slaw on top which is a good buy at $4.00.

You should stop by when you're in the mood for a good swine feast! The Mothership BBQ is the perfect topper for anyone needing to do a Home Depot, Staples or a CompUSA errand run near the 100 Oaks area. I'd like to see the Mothership conjur up a dinner family pack where I could dash in and picked up some pork on the run. Perhaps my old work buddies at Pomise Keepers in Denver would order down some Mothership BBQ via FedEx one day ala Corky's. It could happen! The price is right, the staff is friendly and the BBQ is done right.

Review from the Tennessean's ALL The RAGE

Mothership BBQ
2806 Columbine Place
Hours: 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday - Friday; 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday

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