Sunday, January 28, 2007

Jack's Bar-B-Q Rib Shack

For me, the best blogs are frequently updated with short posts including lots of pictures. In this case, a long-winded, picture-free post cannot be avoided. Where do I begin? Unfortunately, not with the barbecue.

Thursday at lunch, DW and I discussed going to see the horror flick Black Christmas over the weekend. Planning to see a Christmas-themed B-movie a month after Christmas might sound strange, but we have a history of slasher film appreciation that includes seeing every installment of Friday the 13th together (the last 5 on opening weekend). I must point out that the current crop of torture and mutilation movies like Saw are not included in this appreciation. As my memaw would have said, "Those shows are just ugly!" No, we're more about the 70's/80's style pictures like Halloween. With Black Christmas you get a holiday slasher, a brother-father sister-daughter combo, cannibalism, sorority girls, plus death by candy cane, ornament, icicle and more. What's not to love?

With neither of us having anything to do, we met at the movie theater for a 5:30 show Friday night. It was still playing at only one place – Ajay Theatres' Palace Cinema. Of all the things the Palace might be, a palace is not on the list. Longtime Memphians know it better as the Fare Four. So many things here are called by their original names no matter how many times they might change ownership, be closed, reopened, burned down, rebuilt or even moved. Regardless, the venue was not a problem. Our choice of movie had little to do with quality. Why should the theater? In fact, from 5-6 PM they have a $3 daily special that includes popcorn and a Pepsi. Perfect.

We had touched on the possibility of grabbing dinner after the movie, and when I pulled up, I was reminded that Jack's Bar-B-Q Rib Shack is right there in the same parking lot. Damn! I knew we'd end up eating there, and I forgot my camera. DW was playing Ms. Pac-Man when I walked in, and sure enough, the first thing he said was that he wouldn't mind hitting that BBQ place "for the sake of the website."

We soon learned that three dollars might have been a bit too much to pay. I didn't remember the decor, but I've haven't been to the Palace in a couple of years. Perhaps it had changed. It's pretty run down, dimly lit and dotted with odd, colorful statues of various jungle animals. What the hell. It's only three bucks. We picked up our complimentary movie treats and headed into our theater. I wasn't prepared. The floor is pitched at about 70 degrees, and the temperature was about 10 degrees. There aren't any theater seats. Instead, there are these ridiculous booth contraptions handmade from particle board. They seat two small people or one large person on terribly uncomfortable cushions. There have no leg room and the back of the booth comes back over your head. Imagine the cab of a horse-drawn carriage with the roof pulled back. This is impossible to describe. Damn! I wish I'd had my camera. The sound system barely worked, and the screen was dim and off-center. The theater was hilarious, the movie was hilarious, and the one family that joined us was also hilarious. (Although, Black Christmas wasn't appropriate fare for the three children). We had fun.

After the movie, we decided to leave our cars where they were and walk across the parking lot to Jack's. I knew of Jack's, but had never eaten there. It's off the beaten path for me. In fact it's so tucked away, I don't know how it could be on anyone's beaten path. The decor is authentic rustic BBQ joint, and the staff is really friendly. DW ordered a beer and a BBQ plate, and I got the sandwich and some beans. We both ordered tamales which were pretty good. The beans had good flavor but were way to runny and way too pricey as a side. Likewise, the slaw looked too wet, but DW said it was alright. The sauce fell flat on it's own as it was too sweet and ketchupy. The pork itself, however, had fine flavor, and taken as a whole, my sandwich was good. They had some good hot sauce on the table too which we assumed was the house blend. DW put it on everything. I wouldn't make a special trip, but I would certainly eat there again. I finished the meal with some rightfully recommended homemade coconut cake.

We walked back to our cars joking about how for only $3 we might as well do the same thing again tomorrow. When I hopped in the truck, I noticed that the box of Kleenex sitting on the passenger's seat was crushed. Odd, I didn't remember that happening. I then noticed that my radio had been liberated from the dash. Crap! The thieves were very professional. They didn't break the window or disturb anything else. They just very neatly removed the radio and even left my spare change. That's good because our $3 movie adventure is going to wind up costing about $300 instead.


Shannon said...

those seats must be a 'new addition'. they had theater seats when i went there (often) as a young teenager. you could sneak into rated r movies easily.

sucks about the radio.

RJA said...

Sorry to hear about the Kleenex.

Elizabeth Alley said...

I never liked that radio.

Stacey Greenberg said...

you should have nabbed one of the kids after the movie and fed them so that i could cross post this on dining with monkeys!!