Tops Bar-B-Q – Memphis, TN
I was back in barbeque heaven a week ago and looking for a local place to eat. I wound up at Tops, which has multiple locations, fast service (they have a drive through), and a long history. (Opened in 1952) I was excited as I figured any restaurant that had stayed open for this long in Memphis had to be good. I was very disappointed.
To be fair, Tops should not be judged alongside traditional sit down barbeque places. It is basically fast food, kind of like the Moe’s of barbeque restaurants. Even with that in mind, I just wasn’t that impressed.
I ordered the barbeque sandwich, and for five dollars, you get a nice amount of food. Sizeable drink, slaw, beans, and sandwich. Not bad. But the taste just wasn’t there, and not for Memphis standards, for anyone’s standards. The beans had a very strong smoky taste. I was trying to talk myself into liking it but it didn’t happen. Remember the time you made your own sauce by mixing other sauces and you thought you did something great? Then you ate it and as much as you wanted to like it, it was a failure? That was the feeling with the baked beans. The cole slaw was swimming in mayonnaise, and the sandwich was just average. Served on a plain hamburger bun, just regular, nothing special barbeque.
Oh well, it was five dollars, you can’t complain too much. Then I took a drink and saw this.
Really?!?! I realize that statements like this are made all the time, but please, “Memphis Best Bar-B-Q”? That’s like saying the south’s best sweet tea, or Ben Affleck’s worst movie. It is not a statement to throw around in my opinion. For that, and for the taste of my meal, I would say go elsewhere when you visit Memphis.
What are your thoughts on Tops?