This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Squeal Street BBQ Team

Good Friends, Good Times

I want to give a shout out to my friends on the Squeal Street BBQ Team. They were gracious hosts to me during this year's Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (aka "BBQ Fest"). During the two nights that I visited (skipping Saturday), I had ribs and pulled pork along with unique side dishes like chipotle coleslaw. Everything was great, which isn't surprising because of Squeal Street's cooking expertise. If the team decides to start a restaurant, I'm confident that it will be very successful.

Forgive me for taking a bite out of the middle rib before taking this picture. I wasn't in "blogger mode" when I took it.
Repeating what said earlier, I liked Squeal Street's ribs. As shown in the picture above, the ribs are baby backs basted with a mustard-based barbecue sauce. Smoked to perfection, the ribs had a nicely charred exterior covering tender smoked pork. Although the barbecue didn't win any awards at the BBQ Fest (it came in 15th in the "Patio Porkers" category), I believe Squeal Street can hold its own with any barbecue team.
Squeal Street isn't just about barbecue. The team's culinary skills extend to things like hot wings, burgers and pasta. An example of this is the orzo risotto (prepared by Boo Gardo) that I had with my ribs. The pasta consisted of cherry tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and other vegetables. With the ribs, the risotto works well as an accompaniment. Given this and its other offerings, I'm surprised that Squeal Street didn't win any of the contest's non-barbecue awards.
Although Squeal Street's food is excellent, what I really like is the camaraderie of the team. Everyone on it collectively pitches in, doing whatever it takes to win. Unlike other teams I know, there are no slackers who only pay membership fees and do nothing else. Because of its focus on smoking award-winning barbecue (as opposed to partying and looking good), Squeal Street get things done and are always ready to compete. With the Patio Porker team capping its membership at twenty, opportunities to join are rare. If I had the financial means (membership fees are close to $300), I would have joined Squeal Street when I had the chance. Despite not being a member, I support the team in any way that I can.

I Know Where I Stand

I want to close by thanking Squeal Street for the hospitality shown to me during this year's BBQ Fest. Both the team and its guests welcomed me as one of their own despite my social status in Downtown Memphis. Speaking of that, I know that I've fallen from grace with at least one barbecue team. According to its "spokesman," I am "persona non grata" by its members. It seems that the insults and harassment that I've endured from this person over the years (often in the presence of "friends" who didn't tolerate my responses to them) represent the sentiments of at least some members of this barbecue team. Apparently, my relationships with many of them (some dating back several years) weren't as friendly as I thought. If they feel this way about me, I will respect it. I will also carry it a step further by keeping them at arm's length whenever I see them. Other than being cordial and polite, I won't have much to do with them. For me, I would rather be around people who will accept me as I am, a socially inept guy who just wants to get along. Like everyone else (including a retired government employee that I know), I have faults that turn off others. Fortunately, Bob Vichie (team president, aka "Bicycle Bobby") and the rest of Squeal Street can get past that, which is why I will always have their backs whenever they need it.

SIDE NOTE: Whenever I go to the BBQ Fest, I don't beg for invitations into team tents. Despite what a certain "spokesman" would have you believe, I'm not desperate enough to do it. Granted, I've asked a few friends if can visit them, but that's a far cry from begging. If this lard ass liar... errrrrrrr "spokesman" (who reminds me of a South Park character) can produce a video of me doing otherwise, I'll show one of him running on a treadmill (it might look like this). I'm more likely to see Bigfoot on a Main Street Trolley than, well, you know... (provided MATA overcomes its problems).

If you're lucky enough to get an invite from Squeal Street during BBQ Fest, cherish it. You will be around good people who will treat you right. By the way, Squeal Street also competes in the Smokin' Aces Festival and BBQ Championship that takes place every September at Harrah's Casino Tunica (MS). As you can see in the photo of trophies below, Squeal Street has been very successful there. I hope the team has continued success at Smokin' Aces and Memphis in May.


Website: squealstreetbbq.wordpress.com

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LabelsBarbecue, Commentary, Downtown, Pasta







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2 comments:

  1. Whoever this person is that you have such a vendetta for, you need to let it go in your post.
    We have no idea who you're talking about and it only diminishes your otherwise enjoyable blog.
    Your friend ,
    Thomas

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's pretty dang easy to figure out who he's talking about. How many downtowners write well-known (locally) blogs?

    ReplyDelete