Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
West Tennessee’s legendary whole-hog BBQ tradition is the cornerstone of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. The restaurants have been featured on the Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, and The Today Show and in publications such as Bon Appetit, Esquire, Conde Nast Traveler, and Men’s Journal.
In case you simply can’t decide between a burger and a BBQ sandwich, Martin’s brisket burger marries both American traditions, resulting in one meal that packs a ridiculous amount of flavor. The brisket burger starts out like a traditional burger: beef patty topped with grilled onion and American cheese that’s then topped with slow-smoked beef brisket and a delicious BBQ sauce.
Pat Martin’s downtown outpost of his growing barbecue empire is definitely the jewel of the crown. The massive building boasts a full-service restaurant on the ground floor and a huge beer garden upstairs with picnic tables, a stage for live music, two bars, games and private dining space for up to 150 guests. Four whole hog pits contribute a hickory smoked incense that draws tourists and locals alike into the pitmaster playground for an evening of fun. Order any of Martin’s meats on a corncake known as a Redneck Taco for a unique experience.
Cavendish says: “Come for the whole hog, but don't forget the bologna.”
Martin’s has nine locations around the region, but the two-story smoked meat emporium just south of Broadway is the jewel in the crown. Thanks to Nashville’s weird topography, the upstairs level is actually where the outdoor space is, featuring a huge adult playground of a beer garden with multiple bars, long picnic tables, darts, and other games, a small stage for local music acts and four massive smokers where whole hogs lie in smoky repose overnight to be ready for the next day’s sandwiches. The aroma of smoldering hickory will stick with you long after you leave, and that’s a good thing.
As you give thanks on Turkey Day, you can also do good if you order your carryout meal from Martin’s. They’re donating $5 from every “Small Gathering” package they sell this year. Sized to feed four to six guests, that catering deal includes your choice of smoked ham or turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad, sweet potato casserole, and green beans as sides, and either sweet potato, fudge or pecan pie for dessert.