Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Nick's is pretty slick
Back when I was an undergraduate student, I worked several summers at a trucking company that was located on Foster Avenue. My favorite lunch spot during those years was Nick's BBQ. Nick's was just a quarter-mile down the road on Foster, and on Wednesday's you could get a pulled pork sammich there for a buck. (If you find yourself on or near Foster Avenue, don't go looking for Nick's. It's long gone. And South Nashville being South Nashville, the building in which Nick's was located is now a taco stand.)
The pulled pork served at Nick's certainly wasn't the best in Nashville. However, it had a decent smokiness about it and the price was certainly right. What I always really liked about Nick's were the hot and mild sauces served there. I've never been a big fan of sweet barbeque sauces, and Nick's sauce, with nary a hint of sweetness in either its hot or mild sauce, was right up my alley.
Once upon a time there were a half-dozen different Nick's Barbeque restaurants in Nashville. To the best of my knowledge only one remains, and it's all the way out on the Clarksville Highway. Thus, I hadn't eaten Nick's barbeque in years ... until tonight.
I had to undergo an outpatient procedure today that took a whole hell of a lot longer than I anticipated. It was nearly 5:30 when I left the hospital this evening, so I stopped at a local Kroger to pick up something for dinner. As I was strolling past the cold cuts and hot dogs and such, I passed a small cooler containing small tubs of frozen Nick's barbeque. Atop the cooler were bottles of hot and mild Nick's barbeque sauce. I simply couldn't pass it up. I got me a tub o' 'que and a bottle of hot sauce.
When I got home I thawed a good-sized portion of Nick's 'que and then finished cooking it in the oven over low heat. I made me a sammich with pickles on it - just like the sammiches I used to buy at Nick's years ago - and I gave it a good, and I mean good, dousing of sauce. Here's the verdict:
Nick's sauce is every bit as good as I remember it being. It's a pretty simple sauce, the main ingredients being tomato sauce and vinegar, and it ain't sweet at all. I feel pretty confident in saying that Nick's sauce will remain a staple in my kitchen so long as remains on the shelf in local Kroger stores.
As for the barbeque itself, it was better than I was expecting from frozen meat. It was juicy without being terribly greasy, and it had a wonderful hickory flavor. I'm not so sure that putting it on a bun is the best way to eat it. Next time I cook it I'm just going to serve it alongside some beans and slaw, and maybe some fried cornbread. Hell, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it ...!