Better Barbecue in the ‘Burbs? Try Germantown Commissary

Germantown Commissary BBQ Nachos - Memphis

Yummy! Get some BBQ Nachos from The Germantown Commissary. Photo by Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Germantown Commissary Banana Pudding

Homemade banana pudding at the Germantown Commissary. Photo by Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Germantown Commissary Spread

Germantown Commissary Barbecue has great hickory smoked ribs. Photo by Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Yes, you know, Memphis is famous for its barbecue. And undoubtedly you’ve heard of Central BBQ, Neely’s, Corky’s and Rendezvous (etcetera, etcetera) - all featured in numerous TV shows and magazine spreads. We could wallpaper the city with all the positive food praise Memphis has received. 

If you're willing to venture eastward, you'll find that not all of the best barbecue is located Downtown or in Midtown. Piquant pork can even be found in the 'burbs at the Germantown Commissary (just a 20 minute drive from Downtown Memphis).

Before we throw open the flavor gauntlet, here’s the background story. Back in the day, commissaries were some of the original convenience stores. Sprinkled throughout the South, these country stores sold just about everything under the sun - from blue jeans to bologna. The original Commissary was a quaint shop for over 90 years, until Walker Taylor bought it back in 1981 and turned it into one of Memphis’ best kept barbecue secrets.

If you’ve come to Memphis for barbecue, then you’ve got to go all in. Get started at the Germantown Commissary with the BBQ Nachos. Pulled pork barbecue and smooth cheese are miraculously supported by a nest of thin corn tortilla chips and saddled with a side of jalapenos. Even the appetizer portion is big enough to share, and many even enjoy them as their main course. 

As an alternative, the Cheese Plate and Pig Chips (homemade BBQ chips) are also A-OK.

So good y'ull slap yo' mama
The Commissary gets high marks for their ribs - pork ribs, smoked to perfection over hickory requiring just enough, but not too much pull to get the meat off the bone. Commissary ribs are served with sauce on the side so you can make them as messy as you want.

Germantown Commissary - Memphis BBQ

The pulled pork sandwich is also a favorite. Get busy on smoked pork shoulder piled high with a drizzle of the Commissary's famous sauce. Choose the "regular" size if you have a petite appetite, or go for the "jumbo" if you're feeling peckish.

Plates come with the traditional beans and slaw, but adventurous eaters substitute in homemade potato salad. It’s a perfect compliment to a half slab of ribs on a hot Memphis summer day.

The menu at Germantown Commissary is wide and vast. If you’re not up for pork, the Commissary also serves up barbecue chicken, burgers, BBQ shrimp and even hot tamales. 

Insiders Tip: Monday at Germantown Commissary is all-you-can-eat ribs for $23.

Make sure to save room for dessert as this joints' offerings are second to none. Many Memphians think that the Commissary has the best banana pudding in town. It even made the I Love Memphis blog's list of the top 100 things to eat in Memphis. If you like your dessert to have layers, then go for the caramel cake. Sweet and decadent, this cake is the perfect ending to any barbecue bonanza.