The BBQ Bologna Sandwich at Payne’s Bar-B-Que is my standard when it comes to barbecued bologna sandwiches.
I could probably eat two or three of them, but over the years I’ve only ordered one per visit. It consists of a thick slab of barbecued bologna slathered with Payne’s slaw and barbecue sauce between two pieces of white bread.
That sounds simple, but it’s not. Ron Payne, one of the owners, sat down and elaborated on the sandwich.
The bologna begins with a bologna stick that’s placed in the barbecue pit with the shoulders and ribs and “smoked a couple of hours,” Ron says. “Some like it deep fried even after it’s smoked,” he says.
The sweet slaw is made with a secret ingredient, which Payne says is “a sugar-based substance." Brown sugar is my guess, but I don’t know.
You can order with hot, mild, or medium sauce. Hot is "cayenne peppery," mild is "sweet, tangy," and medium is "hot and mild mixed," Payne says.
And the white bread. I couldn’t imagine the sandwich made with wheat or rye, but Payne says, “Some people like it on a bun.”
The BBQ Bologna Sandwich was on the original menu when Ron’s parents Flora and the late Horton Payne opened the restaurant in April, 1972 Ron says. The coleslaw and the BBQ sauce are “family recipes” from his grandmother, the late Emily Payne.
Their chopped pork sandwich is their best seller, but the bologna sandwich and the smoked sausage sandwich come next, Ron says.
The barbecued bologna sandwich was featured twice on TV shows: “Best Food Ever” on TLC Network and “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” on the Travel Channel.
The sandwich got “really popular” after it was featured on TV, Ron says. It’s the first thing tourists who’ve seen it on TV order, he says.
I’ve never wavered when I’ve ordered Payne’s BBQ Bologna Sandwich, but, I confess, I have to try it on a hamburger bun. That sounds mighty good.
Payne's Bar-B-Que is at 1762 Lamar; (901)-272-1523