Best Bet: Brunswick Stew

The Brunswick Stew from Central BBQ.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

The Brunswick Stew from Central BBQ.

I was at the Central location of Central BBQ to order a jumbo barbecue sandwich when I noticed a sign that read "Brunswick Stew $2."

The "Brunswick Stew" stood out, but not as much as the "$2." I liked that price.

I went back a few days later and ordered an 8 oz. bowl. It was delicious, but what I got might not be what somebody else orders on another day.

The ingredients vary, said J. C. Youngblood, Central BBQ general manager. The restaurant uses scraps of smoked meat that has been cut up for other things. This can be turkey, brisket, chicken or pork. "Sometimes ribs go in there," he said. "Just a hodgepodge."

They mix the meat with their homemade chicken stock and add barbecue sauce and vegetables. The stew I had was made of chicken, lima beans, corn, okra, stewed and roasted tomatoes, barbecue sauce and topped with shredded cheese, Youngblood said. They made the stew about three days ago. "The longer it stays, the more flavor builds up."

They make five to 10 gallons of the soup at a time. It's usually gone in about four days, Youngblood said.

They began serving Brunswick Stew three years ago at Central BBQ. "I made it at home for years," Youngblood said. They also make a banana pudding that sells for $2, Youngblood said.

The Brunswick Stew, which comes with crackers, is available only between November and February, Youngblood said.

Central BBQ locations include 2249 Central; (901) 272-9377.

-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797;

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