Leonard's Pit Barbecue: Memphis, TN185
with Matt Osier
Savory Spice Team
Our first stop on this jam packed day of Chasing BBQ was the legendary Leonard's Pit Barbecue in Memphis. This joint is packed with history and lit up like a Christmas tree with neon. We got there right at opening and we weren't the first to arrive. More and more customers came piling in the longer we stayed. That must say something about what the locals think about Leonard's.
While there is a menu, the deal here is the the buffets...yes, that is buffets with an "s"! There are two sides stations, one large meat station and two refrigerators housing an array of desserts. We grabbed our plates and piled it on!
We tried barbecue spaghetti, greens, mustard slaw, hush puppies, fried catfish, barbecued chicken, meatloaf, ribs dry and wet...and that was just my plate! Janet grabbed pulled pork, sausage, green beans, corn, and of course her starches...cornbread and mashed potatoes with gravy. If that wasn't enough, we also had to give two desserts a go....strawberry cake and lemon icebox pie. All for the low, low price of $14 per person. Wow!
We met Loretta Hopper, who has worked there for an incredible 45 years. She filled us in on lots of the history of Leonard's including the fact that Elvis used to patronize the original location. The only person who could have given us more info would have been the owner, Dan Brown, who started working there when he was 14 years old. Now 68, he purchased Leonard's in 1991. Unfortunately he wasn't in because he was tending to his wife who recently had a heart attack. She's recovering, but our prayers go out for her full recovery.
If you're in Memphis and want to experience a historic barbecue place you should definitely stop by! #chasingbbq