<a href=""><img border="0" alt="" src=""></a><br><span><span>MEMPHIS: The Bar-B-Q Shop</span><br><span>1782 Madison Ave</span><br><span>Memphis, TN 38104</span><br><span>901-272-1277</span><br><span>Open M-Sat 11-9</span><br><a href=""><span></span></a></span><br><br>Slaw and sauce on a pork sandwich are not mentioned as options on menus in Memphis. It's just assumed that these items will be included. The pork may vary from chopped, pulled or sliced, but the sauce and slaw are omnipresent. Without those two important moistening agents, the pork sandwich at the Bar-B-Q Shop may have been too dry to swallow. A pinch of meat out of the middle of the sandwich was devoid of moisture and was utterly flavorless. Fresh Texas toast, crispy slaw and a generous layer of sauce provided the crutch needed by the pork to make this a decent sandwich, but it's a bad sign when the meat is the low man on the ingredient totem pole.<br><br><a href=""><img border="0" alt="" src=""></a><br><br>The Bar-B-Q shop also typified a few things about Memphis barbecue joints that cater to a white audience (while it's black owned, most all the clientele on my visit was white). Service is from a server at a table rather than at the counter, meats are smoked in a gas assisted commercial rotisserie smoker instead of over charcoal, and the smallest portion of ribs is expensive. Just to get a bite of ribs you'll have to order at least the $14 'regular rib order'. I requested mine with the house specialty glaze rather than simple wet or dry. The glaze was super sweet, and needed the counterpoint of the significant dusting of salty dry rub seasoning. With the flavor overload on the meat, it was hard to detect any flavor from the pork or any smoke at all. In Memphis smoke is certainly secondary to the sauce, but some joints (like this one) seem to purposefully omit smoke from the flavor profile altogether.<br><br><a href=""><img border="0" alt="" src=""></a><br><br>One major positive that I took note of in Memphis was the absence of 'fall off the bone' ribs. This cliche term is thrown around so often to describe ribs in this city that I expected the meat to simply slide off the bones and on to my plate. Here the ribs were certainly tender, but they clung to the bone just enough to let me take advantage of nature's pork handles.<br><br>For a $3 up charge, BBQ spaghetti was a side option with the ribs. The amount of pork layered into the dish was admirable, but the soupy pool of grease at the bottom of the plate was excessive. Excessive too was the salt content of the sauce. I am no health nut railing against fatty, greasy, salty foods, it's just that this plate of spaghetti took things to a whole new level. It's no wonder the sweet tea is so sweet here. The sugar is barely detectable when trying to wash down so much sodium.<br><br><a href=""><img border="0" alt="" src=""></a><br><br>Maybe it was early in the day, so I was super critical, or I might have just had high expectations given the almost religious following of this joint's fans, but I wasn't overly impressed. I was told by a friend in Memphis that he really prefers the dry rub ribs here, and maybe the dry pork on this pre-noon visit was just leftovers form the day before. I'd certainly give this joint another try to find out, but I wouldn't repeat this order.<br><br>Rating **<br><a href=""><img alt="Bar-B-Q Shop on Urbanspoon" src=""></a>

Real live women painted in chocolate! A life-sized chocolate stiletto heel!!! A chocolate necklace!!! A handbag made of chocolate cake . . . and more crazy chocolate stuff, all  for charity. This Friday and Saturday evenings at the Domain shopping mall in Austin, a silent auction of the items mentioned above will be held to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which promotes breast cancer research. Come on down! Bidding for the silent auction will be Friday, March 27, starting at noon (so it’s already going on) and will end round 8:30 on the evening of Saturday, Mach 28. The professional models, who will be handpainted by students from the Texas Culinary Academy, will be posing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and from 6:30 till the program ends on Saturday. The event is sponsored by Viva Chocolato!, the cute chocolate shop that’s down at the south end of the Domain just west of Macy’s. Participating stores are St. Thomas, bettysport, and Luxe Apothetique, where the models will be on display.