Primal Eats Vancouver: Memphis Blues Barbeque House

July 17, 2012


I’ve been to the Memphis Blues on Broadway several times and enjoyed their BBQ platters, so I was excited to try their brand new downtown location. Sure enough, the new spot is as good as the old, if not better (the brisket seems even better than at Broadway location). I’m sure they’re being welcomed with open arms by the BBQ-less condo-living downtown crowd.

Memphis Blues is a chain BBQ restaurant with locations in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They serve authentic Southern BBQ:

Southern Barbeque: meat is smoked for several hours at low temperatures over hardwood, resulting in a succulent and tender product. Ribs should be tender enough to pull apart yet still firm, with a nice pink smoke ring. The meat is never mushy, or falling off the bone. (This is a sign that they have been braised or boiled – taboo in the South.) Pulled pork is Pork Butt, slow cooked until you can pull it apart with a fork. Beef Brisket is the trickiest to cook, it must be tender and juicy, yet have all the fat rendered out. This is messy food, folks – dive in, and eat with your hands.

I’ve always liked their platters, but I end up just eating the beef and chicken, and loving the brisket most of all, so I decided to zero in on the good stuff: beef brisket with greens. My friend opted for the sandwich version with sides of coleslaw and beans.

Tender melt-in-your mouth brisket plus greens – how can you go wrong? I liked that the BBQ sauce and dressing were served on the side. Both are tasty and made in house. It was a good hearty portion size that would satisfy during both lunch and dinner. For some reason I was anticipating a salad, but when they say greens, they’re quite literal.
It worked well though. I was quite happy with the meal. My friend liked the sandwich and declared it the best brisket to date. The only comment was that the side portions were quite small.


When writing up this review, I was impressed to find that they list all their ingredients on their website. Sadly, their BBQ sauce contains soy, but other than that, their ingredients look pretty clean and natural (definitely no MSG). You can certainly still enjoy the BBQ, even if you skip the sauce.

Service gets an A+ – attentive, efficient and friendly. The new location is a little squeaky clean for a BBQ joint, but might just need some time to break into the newness. No, I’m not complaining about sanitary eating conditions, I just mean that the other location
has been open long enough to develop some character.

Either Memphis Blues location is a fine place to satisfy that BBQ craving.


Memphis Blues Barbeque House on UrbanspoonMemphis Blues Barbeque House on Urbanspoon

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