When it was announced that Foodsoc had been very generously invited to the unveiling of the winter catering menu at Memphis Blues BBQ House on Broadway and Granville, there was a collective ripple of excitement that spread through the exec ranks but of course, that happened long after I had snagged one of the four coveted spots available. And so we found ourselves at 2pm on an overcast Thursday sitting in a booth flanked by walls that radiated a deep crimson in the gaps between vintage posters and paraphernalia hanging upon them, while a musician plucked from the Deep South strummed away on his parlour guitar as the original Memphis Blues venue was gradually populated with the crème de la crème of the Vancouver foodie community.
We soon found in our hands glass flutes of sparkling wine as the servers milled about offering items such as pulled pork sliders and beef brisket tacos cooked with their own brand of lamb rub. The apple pork gyozas served with apple onion relish that followed hit the spot while delicately toeing the line between sweet and savoury, but the star of the show was the whole suckling pig that lay resplendent on a bed of lettuce leaves, its glistening skin baked to a rich vermillion hue. The meat was portioned and served with the standard fare of coleslaw and potato salad, but not before we all got our share of the pig crackling, and for a brief moment a cacophony of crunching threatened to drown out the heated discussions on various topics of gastronomical interest that were taking place in the cosy space of the dining area. Dessert was manifested in potent packages of sumptuous and homely goodness that took on the earthly form of peach crumble tarts and walnut pies, concocted as to render one mute as they savour the richness of the filling, while deftly avoiding overwhelming one’s palate with too syrupy a sensation, which I imagine is not easy to achieve. We left Memphis Blues after nearly two hours of (there is no other word for it) feasting, packing a few more pounds and goodie bags that each contained their all-purpose BBQ seasoning and a bottle of house brand mustard. Needless to say, we paid the rain no heed with the glow from the essence of good ol’ Southern BBQ radiating from our midriffs for quite some time afterwards.