Saturday, December 15, 2012

End of the Road

For about a decade the Dead End Society met at the end of Summit Circle. A cul-de-sac in Knoxville, Tennessee. Three families would get together and hone their BBQ skills. Neighbours all, they started by hosting a pig roast for the other local residents. Over the years it would grow from dozens to hundreds and by early in the century, they'd take the knowledge gleaned, on the road. Hitting BBQ competitions from all corners of the state and beyond. Racking up a pretty impressive resume along the way.
020Architect, George Ewart, like so many in the BBQ game, has smoke and pig fat in his veins. By the age of 14 he was learing at his daddy's side. Coaxing an almost inedible piece of meat into a mouth watering delicacy. Those skills, handed down by his father were handed down by his grandmother.
At the ripe old age of 48, George figured it was time to let everyone in neighbourhood cook outs. He opened Dead End BBQ in Knoxville, near UT and has taken over the BBQ scene locally. Having won Best BBQ in Knoxville from Metro Pulse all three years he's been in business. Along with his many other accolades from his many years on the competition trail.
017Being an architect, George designed his snazzy new digs. Decked out in glass, stainless steel and neon it's a beautiful looking place. Unfortunately, both Mrs. Sippi and I agree, it does not scream BBQ. We both love the old shacks that have been around for decades. Some day, DEBBQ will be decades old and oozing that charm but for now, it's a shiny new building with little character.

029Inside it's very nice as well. A large, open dining room with a view of the smokers. There's a good sized patio and, of course, the trophy case. Displaying a collection of awards collected over the many years of competing.

While everything we ate was at least good only a couple things stood out. One thing that really hurt here is, much like the place itself, there was no discernible smoke flavour. So while we did like everything, we didn't love it.

027A caddy with S&P and 3 different sauces awaits you at your table. Mild, regular and spicy. The mild was just too innocuous.  The regular was right up my alley. Nice and sticky sweet with some tang from vinegar and cayenne. Good for the pork. The hot was nothing mind blowing but had enough kick to get your attention. It worked particularly well with the sausage. It, I suspect, would be fantastic on the smoked wings.
025The Jalapeno Cornbread was very good. Nice corn taste and complimented well with the jalapenos. The Southern Cornbread was pretty average. Nothing much wrong with it outside of sugar according to Mrs. Sippi. I personally don't mind the sweetness. As I've stated before our palates don't line up on cornbread.
023The Mayor's Beans were good tasting and pretty rich. We were told they had pineapple in them which didn't come across at all. They weren't overly sweet which was fine. I prefer a little less sweet than too much. At least when it comes to beans. All in all, like so much else, good.
022The Mac and Pimento Cheese posed a bit of a problem for me. Nicely creamy with a good cheese flavour so all in all a bit above average. However they lose a point for not tasting like Pimento Cheese. Save for a few bits of pimento and the menu you wouldn't have known they were in there. If you advertise it, it should taste like it. Shame too, I was really looking forward to it.
021I liked the ribs a little better than Mrs. Sippi. She couldn't get past sauce. Not that it was bad but she prefers dry ribs (Memphis style) and these are more my style. Slathered with sauce cooked in. The meat was fine and they were very tender but the lack of smoke really stood out here. They seemed to be missing something and that was it.
024The big hit for us was the Smoked Sausage. Juicy, porky with a hint of garlic. Made and smoked in house it was simply fantastic. We both feel the sausage alone is worth a repeat visit. As I pointed out above, the Hot (BBQ) Sauce worked really well. I'd really be interested in trying it on a bun with some slaw and sauce. It think it'd be awesome.

We also had some pulled pork but for some reason I didn’t get a picture. Anyway, it too was good.

So there you have it folks, some pretty good Q with a some outstanding items thrown in.
You can find Dead End BBQ at 3621 Sutherland Ave, Knoxville, Tn.
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You can also find them on the web, facebook and Twitter
Dead End BBQ on Urbanspoon
Dead End BBQ on Foodio54

Well that's all for now folks, we'll see ya next time in the food court. 


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