While traveling through Tennessee on our road-trip vacation this summer, we found the need to pause for the night between distillery visits. Huh, go figure. Tullahoma looked like a nice place.
So on the recommendation of our new friend at Advanced Auto Parts (who had just sold us the replacement battery for our RV), we decided to check out Piggy’s Place Bar-B-Que at 112 N Anderson St (Tullahoma, TN 37388 for those of you planning your own road trip through the area). I trusted his advice since this place came up on a Yelp search of the area, but it’s always good to get a local’s opinion. And I’ll be honest, he looked like he enjoyed eating.
I thought we might have gotten lost or followed bad google directions when it looked like we were going into a residential neighborhood, but then, right before my eyes I spotted a happy cow statue next to a sign that looked like it could have been there since 1967. Piggy’s Place was small. A simple brown building with big windows trimmed in white and plenty of parking.
My husband stayed at the RV to feed the dog while I went in to check on their ability to feed me. How much risk was I taking by eating here? Was I going to sit and watch my husband lick his plate clean while I left hungry? The first thing I saw when I walked in the door was a counter filled with beautifully frosted homemade cakes. This wasn’t looking so good for me. After complimenting the woman behind the counter on her beautiful cakes, I proceeded to ask about gluten. She confirmed ‘is that where you can’t eat flour?’ Yup. I’m worried. She called to the back “Kim!”
Kim replied “I heard you, everything but the cake and the buns is ok.”
Wait. Does she really know what I’m asking? I continued “Anything with beer, flour, soy sauce…”
Kim responded with a smile “We have a family with allergies that likes to come here a lot. The mom walked through the kitchen with me. The only item in question is this one sauce…”
After she ran through some of the recipes in her head, she once again confirmed everything was ok. She went to the back to confirm ‘that one sauce’ was not ok.
We both ordered the combo plates which included a chicken quarter, 2 ribs, and pulled pork, and our choice of two sides. I had the mashed potatoes that she confirmed were OK, and coleslaw that was made on site.
When our food was brought to our table (on styrofoam plates and a tray, this is a BBQ joint), instantly all I could smell was the smoke that the meats had been bathed in for who knows how long. It smelled great. I couldn’t help myself but to dig in. The pulled pork was not the best I have ever had. It tasted as though it may have had water added to it to keep it moist. The ribs were exactly how my husband likes his- dry rub with a thick pink smoke line, not sloppy-fall-off-the-bone, but gave a slight resistance as you bit into them. Enough fat to still have flavor but not so much to leave you a greasy mess. The chicken WAS some of the best we’ve ever had. We eat a lot of dark meat chicken at home because of the flavor properties it has. The skin, dark with the rub and smoke flavor, was still attached to each serving of thigh and leg, helping to keep the chicken naturally moist in the smoking process. Both the ribs and chicken were visibly what you should be looking for in a smoked meat for color, flavor, and texture. I’m not sure what happened to the pulled pork.
I did feel a little disappointed that not all of the sides were homemade and fresh. The mashed potatoes felt very out-of-a-package, and since she had to read the ingredients for me, I think that is confirmed. The cole slaw was homemade and simply dressed. Everyone has a different preference for cole slaw. This did not match the New England creamy style I grew up on, but it still tasted good. You don’t go to the South to get New England dinners. The baked beans my husband ordered seemed home made to him. He appreciated the burnt ends in his serving.
And about those cakes…yeah, my husband could not refuse a slice the German Chocolate cake. I trust him when he says it was as moist as the chicken. The cake was not on my gluten free menu for the evening.
Additional notes: This is a family run business. They want to go home to theirs at night, so they close at 7:00, and they’re not open on Sundays. There is no liquor license. No wine, no beer, but they do have sweet tea. If you eat a little too much and need to sit and rest a while, there is a coffee shop right next door. We didn’t visit them so I can’t speak to their hours or quality of product.
Their website says its still under construction, but it does have the hours and menu posted http://piggysplacebbq.com/2001.html
Or you can check out their specials on their facebook page