Pull out big-gun words like "one and only" to describe your barbecue in this town, and face it, you're bold. But actually name your restaurant One & Only BBQ and More and, well, you better have some powerful stuff to back it up.
Believe me, I'm not about to debate who has the best barbecue in town -- I have friends and family I want to stay on speaking terms with -- but One & Only does indeed serve up a mighty good version of our hometown staple.
We ran over for lunch this week. It was a bit of a haul from Downtown to the edge of Germantown, but I will definitely be running in for dinner in the future. You will, too, after your first visit.
We tried the pork, the beef brisket and the smoked turkey plates. Beef brisket is not unheard of around here, of course, but it's not on every menu. At One & Only, they work magic with it.
The plate comes with a generous portion of thinly sliced brisket that has deep flavor and could easily be eaten without a sauce. The meat is tender enough to slice with the plastic knife that comes with it, and that's saying something. Brisket cooked low, slow and in a sauce in an oven is easy enough to turn out, but it takes skill to smoke a brisket and not end up with something between leather and jerky. Kudos to One & Only. I ate and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
The pulled pork was also excellent, smoky, pink and tender, and pulled in nice big hunks. It's also served without sauce, but a regular and a hotter version of sauce are both available at the table. We all preferred the hot sauce, which had a bit of a bite but was also sweet and tangy.
It was the smoked turkey that truly shone, though. For years I stayed away from smoked turkeys because the ones I'd tried were tough, too smoky and dry. But at a Christmas party one year someone brought a turkey they'd smoked with apples and wine, and I saw the light. Done right, smoked turkey is superb. When I tasted my friend's turkey at One & Only, I was transported back to that party. It was moist, delicately smoked, melt-in-your-mouth tender. Knowing that's just a few miles away could make eating healthier a whole lot easier. But then, of course, I'm going to have to stay away from the knock-out "twice-baked potato salad." And I probably won't be able to do that, because it is outrageously good.
"It's got everything in there that you'd get in a twice-baked potato except the cheese," explained co-owner Bill Dushlek.
That means bacon. Sour cream. Onions. It really is an exceptional potato salad, but you can always opt for the perfectly decent mayo-mustard-based one if this sounds too rich for you.
Also excellent were the fried green tomatoes and even more so, the chicken wings. I'm a recent -- and very tardy, I know -- fan of wings and am trying them when I dine out, in anticipation of the search for the perfect wing we plan to conduct this fall.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if One & Only makes the short list.
One & Only BBQ and More
Address: 1779 Kirby Parkway.
Telephone: (901) 751-3615
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: None
Don't miss: The smoked turkey, hot wings, beef brisket, twice-baked potato salad.
What's hot: Daily specials Monday-Friday are all under $7.