When I'm traveling and tell people I meet that I'm from Nashville, they often say they want to visit for music and the BBQ. I totally get the music statement, and encourage everyone to come and listen to all the great stuff this town is pumping out, but the yen for Nashville BBQ baffles me. You mean you want to go to Memphis, St. Louis, Kansas City, or Texas for BBQ right? Not Nashville; we have BBQ but we DO hot chicken. I have no idea how we have become a rumored BBQ mecca, but it happened. And until lately, I would have to shoot peoples dreams down, telling them that we have a few mediocre BBQ joints, but nothing remarkable. But after having visited Edley's BBQ in East Nashville a few times now, I can confidently tell people to come here.
The original Edley's is located in the 12th South neighborhood, and they opened up an east side location earlier this year. While I have been to both, I frequent the east side spot because of its proximity to my house.
The decor is wood-heavy with lots of bench seating and open windows. The bar is well stocked with a lot of local brews as well as a delicious version of the bushwhacker. You wait in line to order your food at the counter and then take a ticket back to your table and wait for your food to arrive. While it isn't fancy service, it works well for them. And let's face it, BBQ isn't really supposed to be fancy, just good.
I absolutely adore their outside patio space. It's spacious with room for plenty of guests. I'm quite a sucker for twinkle lights and I love the ambiance they provide. The only downside is that the wooden benches are really hard on your bum. The wood slats are just a tad too far apart, making them uncomfortable, such that they'll possibly put your rear to sleep. Just go for the regular old chairs or booths.
For dinner I ordered the rib plate which comes with a half rack of ribs, cornbread and a choice of two sides. I feel like BBQ should always come with cole slaw so I picked that and their mac and cheese, which is so delicious, creamy, and thick that I can't stay away from it. Their cole slaw is the non-mayo, vinegar type which is far and away my favorite. The slaw has the perfect tang to complement the sweetness of the slow cooked meat and BBQ sauce. Their cornbread is fresh, spongy and has a slight kick to it. I really enjoyed the ribs. the meat was fall-off-the-bone-tender and they had a nice spice rub on it. I wish it had a tad bit more smoke flavor, but despite that I still really enjoyed the meat. Their BBQ sauce tends to be on the sweeter side, which I enjoy. I'll be ordering this exact same thing again.
Steve ordered the pulled pork plate with green beans and potato salad. I think everyone at our table agreed that the potato salad was a downer. It was rather flavorless and tasted just like eating a baked potato. We're pretty sure we've both had the potato salad before and really enjoyed it, so we think the kitchen may have just had an off-night with their potatoes. Steve loves the green beans and gets them every time. As a man raised on southern-style green beans, these exceed his standard. The pulled pork is the star of this plate, being tender, fatty and well-seasoned. The meat has such good flavor and is so soft that you don't need to drown it in sauce to make it edible, like some BBQ. When it comes down to it, that's the fundamental test that a BBQ joint must pass- is their BBQ good enough on its own to not require loads of sauce? Edley's passes with flying colors!
Overall, I really like Edley's and I'm happy to recommend it to anyone who is looking for some BBQ in Nashville.