Good Eating: Tangy Soul and Rustic Ribs
You must start with good ingredients: Tenacity, Funk, and Smoke. The Sweet P’s Barbeque & Soul House just might have the right combo. As many may know, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, offers a glimpse into the mid-south culture of their University of Tennessee, pickup trucks, country tunes, white church steeples and kickback eating. I have eaten fine BBQ worldwide. I have even served on an award-winning barbeque team in Memphis, TN. My home cooking of this fare can be pretty tasty. Enough about me, this is about religious experiences: or, Pork, Brisket Beef and all the fixin’s. Put the formula under an umbrella of old school soul music and the high-end smoker ovens of Sweet P’s and all works well.
A rolling countryside of the Maryville suburb draws many to the drifting scent of burning hardwood, a low-key one story restaurant and kitchen with plenty of staffers. Trimmed St. Louis slabs of pork ribs from the smoker, rich with the crust of dry-rub seasoning and moistened from the well-balanced soul sauces will start a plate. Adding the combinations of side dishes create a vision that fills a full cafeteria tray. The steamed collard greens, unique with onions, carrots, beans and spice are smothered in flavors.
Lacquered picnic tables, sporting old school soul record album covers, set stage for James Brown songs pumping out of their speakers or weekly live artists on the weekends. The price to chow down is reasonable, so warm seasonal temperature spill the diners out to the patio and tents near the smokers. The chalkboard menu makes all easy, as the team give you your filled tray and you pay. The beer list is extensive. Energy is high and the turnover is brisk. Takeout and catering round out the mix. Perhaps a long ago Food Network showing of a Man vs. Food episode opened some eyes, but this place had it together. I suggest the half-rack, fixin’s, of mac-n-chesse, collards and a brew, like Sweetwater IPA. Wait, get some smoked chicken wings first! Drizzle the blend of soul and hot sauce on all. The folks of Sweet P’s can be found at 3725 Maryville Pike, Knoxville, TN 37920 and http://www.sweetpbbq.com. This place is smokin’.