Local Man Driven to Brink of Insanity Trying to Impress Out-of-Town Parents with Memphis BBQ.

Posted by Edward Valibus on Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Cozy? Cramped is more like it.
  • Cozy? Cramped is more like it.

Drowning his sorrows over a to-go order of BBQ Nachos, John Arlington, 32 of Downtown Memphis, sighed profusely as he described the problematic first-time visit to Memphis by his parents, Stan and Sharon Arlington of Flagstaff, Arizona.

“I had the agenda set in stone,” said John showing a Google map on his sauce-smeared iPad with pinpoints of BBQ destinations. “They were going to have a tour de force of the finest BBQ ever made. Cozy Corner, Payne’s, Central, I thought they’d love it. Boy, was I wrong.”

John’s culinary plans first hit a bump in the road during his parents initial arrival Friday afternoon. "They pulled up to the house and my dad gets out of the car holding a bag from Burger King" He explained. "Then dad goes on and on about how tasty the Memphis BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich was. I was like are you fucking serious?”

It only went downhill from there. After complaints of the appearance and “cultural surroundings” as Sharon Arlington put it, many BBQ restaurants were vetoed by John’s parents in lieu of suggestions like P.F. Chang's, Applebee’s, or “maybe a nice looking Shoney’s.”

Dinner the previous evening was eventually decided to be a Memphis BBQ Chicken Pizza delivered by Domino’s since Sharon had a coupon that was about to expire.

“John tried taking us to all these crazy places,” said Stan Arlington. “Randy’s Cue I think was the name of it, was in some spooky alleyway downtown, and Sharon almost got hit by a bicycler in front of the BBQ Shop place.”

“I liked the ones with the drive-thru like the Porky’s on Popular Street [sic],” noted Sharon Arlington. “It’s so much easier but the sandwiches are just way too big. I usually just eat half a McRib. You should do a story on that so people know when they are for sale again.”

“Never again,” expressed John as he tried to repair his damaged passenger door lock on his car from what he says was due to excessive use by his mother during the visit. His parents then asked if he wanted one of their Swanson Hungry Man Riblet Dinners they were preparing, causing John to dash off in a huff.

“Ever try this stuff? It’s pretty darn good,” claimed Stan.

Edward Valibus is a distinguished archduke of Lithuania currently residing in Memphis, TN. He spends his days frittering away his wealth making independent cinema with his production team Corduroy Wednesday. He holds the current world record for eating the most pudding cups in one hour and is a special contributor to Fly on the Wall

Comments (28)

Showing 1-25 of 28

Had potential ...

report 6 likes, 3 dislikes   
Posted by CEBorst on 10/01/2013 at 5:23 PM

People who can write articles on Memphis BBQ without a single mention of Leonard's are under-educated.

report 10 likes, 6 dislikes   
Posted by Brunetto Latini on 10/01/2013 at 7:02 PM

Sadly, this story could very well be true.

report 11 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Joe Spake on 10/01/2013 at 7:21 PM

If you can't pull your pork and pump your gas at the same location, then you're just posing.

report 7 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by CL Mullins on 10/01/2013 at 10:40 PM

And not a word about Interstate BBQ. Old man Neely smokes the best. It's just my opinion.

report 7 likes, 0 dislikes   
Posted by vietvet5 on 10/02/2013 at 3:38 AM

My buddy, also a Lithuanian archduke, says Ed is an impostor. Says something about his last name being neutered. Says it should be Valibuskas. I think that's what he said. He's probably had a few too many cordials.

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Posted by silverhawk on 10/02/2013 at 7:18 AM

I think I work with John's dad. His favorite restaurant in the whole world is Chili's. But when he's feeling adventurous, he goes for the fried rice at Panda Express.

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Posted by Jeff on 10/02/2013 at 7:20 AM

Bruno, Leonards is not hip. There's too much Elvis at Leonards, too much unaware kitsch and not enough ironic kitsch. Leonards also lacks that essential element that causes The Great Foodie to Rise Out of the Food Truck Patch and fly through the air delivering pimento cheese sliders to all the foodie boys and foodie girls - authentic hipness. I bet the pitmaster at Leondards doesn't even have a beard. Plus, Leondards is on Fox Plaza Drive. Nothing exciting ever happens on Fox Plaza Drive. It's Fox Meadows, for God's sake! Where's the drama? Where's the romance in Fox Meadows?

report 6 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Jeff on 10/02/2013 at 8:53 AM

Every article about barbecue should mention everybody's favorite barbecue place, or it's obviously rubbish. And, just to keep the hipster-baiting in perspective, our last ribs survey. http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/the-qu…

If anybody can tell me what's inauthentic or ironic about Payne's or Cozy Corner, & the like, I am all interest and ears.

report 7 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by Chris Davis on 10/02/2013 at 10:38 AM

If Leonard's was still at Bellevue and McLemore, you'd have to scrape hipsters off the soles of your shoes to get at BBQ (old family recipe)

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Posted by CL Mullins on 10/02/2013 at 11:18 AM

this is why we can never break the chain - Lindsey

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Posted by Lindsey on 10/02/2013 at 12:30 PM

The parents of Hipsters : http://hipsterents.tumblr.com/page/2

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Posted by tomguleff on 10/02/2013 at 12:39 PM

It's not the place, it's the whole experience. How can a localvore like John Arlington feel authentic eating barbecue in Fox Meadows, especially at a place that's a huge Elvis shrine without a trace of irony, located on a deserted street in a dilapidated suburban landscape with absolutely no history beyond the bankrupt car dealerships that surround it? It would be like going to Memphis Pizza Cafe in Southaven or Germantown. I mean, what's the point?

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Posted by Jeff on 10/02/2013 at 1:09 PM

Or to put it another way, in response to Bruno's complaint, the reason Leonards is not mentioned in the article is because it is neither a dive or a faux hipster dive, nor is it a national chain serving a homogenized mass appeal version of a local speciality or a local chain serving a homogenized mass appeal version of a local speciality.

In fact, Leonards would have been the perfect compromise for authentic-food-adventurer John Arlington and his food-ignorant parents. However, as he lives downtown, he probably should have put on a disguise and taken them to Rendezvous.

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Posted by Jeff on 10/02/2013 at 3:52 PM

Berrettas at Park St. & Highland Rd.

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Posted by thecatsmeow on 10/02/2013 at 3:55 PM

I think some people overthink.

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Posted by Chris Davis on 10/02/2013 at 4:25 PM

Dyersburg Korean Barbeque or flash fried twinkies at Dyers. For god sakes, can't those Arlington's make up their damn minds?
By the way Dyers has never been the same since they left the tar paper shack over by Tech, so maybe they shouldn't bother. Aww screw it. I'll be passing thru Flagstaff in a couple of weeks, I'll tell them myself. Anyone know where I can get authentic southwestern cuisine in northern AZ?

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Posted by CL Mullins on 10/02/2013 at 4:45 PM

And Guleff,
Where did you find all those pictures of the hotties?

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Posted by CL Mullins on 10/02/2013 at 4:50 PM

The smoked sausage plate at that little bar on the outskirts of town, The Penal Colony.

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Posted by DaveC. on 10/02/2013 at 7:50 PM

Don't knock Memphis Pizza Cafe in Germantown!

If Leonard's would be hip if it were still at Bellevue and McLemore, is Coletta's on Parkway hip? You can get really good BBQ pizza there.

report 1 like, 1 dislike   
Posted by Brunetto Latini on 10/02/2013 at 8:57 PM

It's the English Major in me. We were taught to fill page after page with BS. The deeper your BS, the better your grade.

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Posted by Jeff on 10/03/2013 at 7:12 AM

Colletta's on South Parkway is so bad that it's hip. Colletta's in Bartlett is just bad.

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Posted by nobody on 10/03/2013 at 8:39 AM

Aren't Germantownians afraid of the crime pie?

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Posted by Chris Davis on 10/03/2013 at 12:57 PM

They're not afraid anymore, Chris. They got heaters.

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Posted by Jeff on 10/03/2013 at 1:05 PM

Chris, when traveling through northern Arizona make a stop at our favorite, Taco Bell.

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Posted by Jim Uren on 10/04/2013 at 4:49 AM
Showing 1-25 of 28

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