Dead End BBQwww.deadendbbq.com 3621 Sutherland Ave, Knoxville Dined 4/14/2013 Reviewed by Clay
I recently had the chance to have lunch from Dead End BBQ while passing through Knoxville. Unfortunately, due to having a puppy with me I had to get takeout and eat in the car. I ate in the parking lot for maximum freshness, but didn’t get quite the same experience as eating in the restaurant (which is quite nice looking and has an appealing open air patio). Barbecue (and by that I mean pulled pork, not beef, and not a way of cooking) is one of my favorite foods. Having grown up in NC and lived in Alabama before moving to Tennessee, I’ve had the fortune to enjoy many different varieties of barbecue. I’m won’t go as far as to call myself a BBQ expert, just a huge BBQ fan.
Dead End BBQ is a fairly big restaurant, and looks really nice and new, especially for a BBQ restaurant. This isn’t an old building out in the country, it resembles more of chain type restaurant, an upscale-casual BBQ joint. While I wasn’t able to enjoy these “upscale” ammenities, they certainly looked inviting from the bar where I waited for my take-out. They had several beers on tap, including some local ones, TVs behind the bar, and table service in the dining room. The kitchen is somewhat open in the back of the restaurant.
But what about the food? My wife and I both had the pulled pork plate (what every BBQ joint should be judged on, IMO) with various sides. I got the fried okra and Red, White, and Bleu Slaw. She got macaroni and pimento cheese and corn on the cob. The sides were good, especially the slaw which had just the right amount of bleu cheese to make it unique, crunchy, creamy, and blue cheesy. The mac and pimento was also a fun and tasty take on a traditional side. The corn and okra were typical, nothing special but solid.
Dead End’s pulled pork was very good, long pulled pieces (not chopped) were cooked just right- tender, but not mushy or chewy. There wasn’t any gristle, chewy spots, or hunks of fat. The meat itself was lightly seasoned- I could have stood for just a tad more flavor on the pork, but was cooked perfectly and was waiting for the addition of one of Dead End’s 3 sauces. We both got their regular sauce which has just a touch of spice, but they also offer a mild and hot version. Overall I was really pleased with the quality and flavor of the pulled pork and its sauces (these were your tomato based sauces, not the Eastern NC vinegar based variety).
Dead End BBQ was packed on a Sunday afternoon, and for good reason! They offer high quality pulled pork (and many other smoked meats), unique takes on traditional sides, and a friendly and fun atmosphere. I can’t wait for the chance to go back and sample their smoked wings, ribs, and maybe even the beef brisket (Texas ‘que). If you’re looking for good barbecue in a fun setting, definitely check out Dead End BBQ in Knoxville. Or, call ahead and they will have your take-out waiting for you.