Peg Leg Porker
We drove from Knoxville to Nashville today to try a BBQ restaurant featured on a Cooking Channel food show some time back. The series episode list included three Nashville restaurants. This one was Peg Leg Porker.
The first thing you should know about Peg Leg Porker is that there is metered street parking so make sure to bring your quarters. Oh, and it’s limited to 2-hour parking. Unless you want to pay in a lot around the corner but that was $17.00 for 6 hours. We opted for street parking.
Okay, now that you’re prepared for a visit to Peg Leg Porker, let me tell you a little bit about the restaurant. It’s a small place, maybe 25 tables, from 2-tops to 4-tops but larger groups can push tables together if enough are available. There is also a patio area with a little seating. There was some renovating to the front and an expansion to the back going on. I can’t wait to see what the expansion and renovation looks like when it’s complete.
We arrived at 12:00 local time (Central Time Zone) which was an hour after opening time. We arrived just in time because, by the time we placed our order, the line was out the door.
You place your order and pay at the counter and, to the right, you get your drinks, utensils and sauce(s). When your order is ready they will call your name, with added commentary, over the loud speaker when your order is ready for pick-up.
The restaurant has a policy that customers do NOT save a table while waiting in line to place your order. This provides an opportunity, for those already in line (ahead of you) to enjoy their meal and not stand around wwaitinf for a table to open up. An employee will provide a friendly reminder over the loud speaker if they see someone in the dining room going against this policy.
So, the food! First of all, as you approach the restaurant, the smell is remarkable! I knew that, no matter how long the wait might be, I was not leaving until I had some Peg Leg Porker BBQ!
I ordered the Yardbird Half Chicken with two sides for $11.95 and a soda for $2.25 (self-serve and free refills). My husband ordered the same! I also grabbed a bottle of Peg Leg Porker White Sauce to go. I’ve always wanted to try a white sauce so I thought I would start with theirs.
As a side note, while standing in line, I noticed that they served only a Springer Mountain Farms chicken. I was happy to see this because I prefer this brand over any other brand for chicken and it’s what I serve at home. Their chicken is 100% all-natural with no antibiotics, growth stimulants or hormones and are fed an all vegetarian diet. The Springer Mountain Farms facility is also American Humane Certified.
It took about 30 minutes in line and, once we ordered and paid, the food took less than 5 minutes.
When my husband brought the tray of food over I was very pleasantly surprised at the quantity and appearance of food! Wow! The Yardbird Half Chicken (which name I find hilarious) was beautiful! As our sides, we both chose french fries and coleslaw. I couldn’t wait to dig in.
The French fries were your traditional crinkle fries but, when it came to the coleslaw, I have to say that, in this Food Critics opinion, it’s the best coleslaw in the South! It had the perfect balance of mayonnaise, celery seed and vinegar to the base ingredients. It was fabulous! The chicken, well, I’m normally a saucy BBQ person (no matter how good the BBQ is) but, this time I barely used any of the Mild sauce that my husband brought to the table. The appearance of the “Yardbird” was gorgeous with the dry rub and crispy texture on the skin.
I finally had to dig in! Keep in mind that I’ve never had a dry rub on chicken before. Well, with just one bite, I was convinced that this was a great new experience. The rub was tasty and had a little kick of heat but definitely not super spicy. The chicken itself was extremely juicy even though it was smoked. It had such great flavor! I ate every single bite I could get off of the bones. I’m proud to say that because, even though this was a chicken not pumped up with everything you wouldn’t want to eat, it was still a fairly large half chicken! I was almost too stuffed to eat the coleslaw. I did manage, however, to eat about a quarter of the coleslaw and only a few fries.
What I didn’t know was what this meal was served with. It was a little container of what appeared to be “Peg Leg Porker White Sauce.” I asked an employee who was clearing tables if that’s what it was and he confirmed. I tried his with my chicken and a few fries and I was glad that my instinct to buy a bottle was right on. Unfortunately I will now have to go to their website to shop for their Dry Rub! Which I will do as soon as I arrive home in Knoxville!
The bottom line: make a special trip and visit the Peg Leg Porker restaurant. You will leave happy and full! I can’t wait to come back!