MAK­ING BOLD STATE­MENT ON BAR­BE­CUE

SPOT­LIGHT: ONE & ONLY SERVES UP TASTY VER­SION OF MEM­PHIS STA­PLE

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Go Eat - By Jen­nifer Biggs

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-in­y­our-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 coowner Bill Dush­lek.

That means ba­con. Sour cream. Onions. It re­ally is an ex­cep­tional po­tato salad, but you can al­ways opt for the per­fectly de­cent may­omus­tard-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.

Pho­tos by Michael Don­ahue/The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

One & Only’s pulled pork is smoky, pink and ten­der, and pulled in nice big hunks; the beef brisket is deep in fla­vor and the smoked turkey shines.

One & Only’s chicken hot wings also stand out. Its twice-baked po­tato salad has “ev­ery­thing in there that you’d get in a twice-baked po­tato ex­cept the cheese,” said the co-owner.

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