Rock & Soul and Central BBQ

Posted by on April 8, 2018

We’re still in the learning process with our new positions with PTB…sometimes we feel like we work all the time…morning…noon and night.  We have to learn a balance.  We want to make sure that we enjoy our travels while still get our work accomplished.

With that in mind we probably won’t be doing as much site-seeing as we once did but will concentrate on experiencing the ‘top’ sites in the areas we visit.

We’ve been to Memphis before and have visited a lot of different places (click HERE to go to one such visit) so this visit we just have one spot on our agenda.  We also spent our honeymoon here in Memphis…seeing Graceland and the zoo.

Preparing to tour the Rock & Soul Museum

Today we visited the ‘Rock and Soul Museum‘ in downtown Memphis.  An affiliate of the Smithsonian, this museum, tells the story of a music genre whose history dates back to the 1930s sharecroppers and eventually broke the barriers between white and black music and brought whites and blacks together to create some of the best music around.

An audio tour at our own pace…we like!

The $12 tour is an audio tour that has over 300 minutes of information that you can choose to listen to all of, some of or none of.  Along the way there are several juke boxes from different eras that list different songs you can choose to listen to on your headset.


One of several juke boxes that provided great music to listen to

We listened to the music of many of the greats…Elvis, Isaac Hayes, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc…be-bopping to the music as we viewed the exhibits.  The exhibits are numbered and you can type the number into your audio device to listen to the narrative about that particular display.  Unfortunately, many of the numbers were more like play ‘hide and seek’….which was pretty frustrating.  You could listen to them in numerical order or skip around as much as you like.  I guess we’re kinda anal as we preferred to take them in numerical order.

The original lyrics to Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel

There were displays of musical instruments, clothing, recording equipment, etc…most of which were pretty interesting.  The very last room was entirely dedicated to the movie career of Elvis but there wasn’t a narrative on our headsets about it at all…which was a bit disappointing.

We spent just about an hour at the museum which was much less time than we normally spend at such a place…not sure why…the museum was interesting but in my opinion not really noteworthy…nothing really ‘grabbed’ me other than the ability to pick and choose songs to listen to.

Central BBQ – downtown location

After our museum visit it was time for some good old Memphis BBQ.  We chose Central BBQ as it’s one of Memphis’ legendary BBQ joints and it’s Yelp review (4 stars with 1099 reviews) didn’t hurt either.  There are three locations and we went to the one on Butler, which happens to be smack-dab behind the National Civil Rights Museum (formerly Motel Lorraine, where MLK was killed).


There was a line at the door but it moved fairly quickly and we were able to put our order in about 15 minutes after getting into line.  After placing our order we found a seat and sat down to wait for our order.  We each ordered a rib plus two other meats platter.  We intentionally ordered that way so that we could sample a bit of all the different meats (pulled pork, chicken, sausage, brisket & ribs)…we just split everything.  The only meats we didn’t sample were the turkey and fried bologna – which neither of us were interested in any way.

Ribs, chicken & sausage

Orders come with cole slaw and baked beans or for 50 cents more you can choose from other sides (potato salad, macaroni & cheese, greens, etc).  We went with the traditional cole slaw and baked beans and also tried their home-made pork rinds…oh my…talk about yummy!  Good stuff…try ’em!

Ribs, pulled pork & brisket

We waited about 20 minutes or so for our meals to be delivered but it was well worth the wait.  Everything was very good…although we enjoyed some things more than others…we both really liked the ribs and chicken.  Decided the pork was not quite tender enough and that the sausage had really good flavor but was a bit on the dry side.  I enjoyed the brisket while Michael liked it but felt he’d had better.

They offer four different types of sauce – mild, hot, mustard and vinegar.  We both created a combination of the mild and hot (Michael used more hot than I did) and really liked the sauce.

The servings were quite large so we ended up with quite a bit of food to take home.  We decided the next time we go (which will happen!) we’ll do pretty much the same thing but we’ll get a couple of to go containers right away and box of half of our meals right away to avoid stuffing ourselves.

So much fun to watch these guys glide across the water!

Back home we took a spin around the park just to check things out and were treated to couple of barges heading down river…they come and go constantly…some of them small…some large…you just never really know.

We only had a high of about 50 today so still a bit too chilly to sit outside on one of the benches and enjoy the views…hopefully the weather will warm up enough before we leave so that we can do just that!

These boats remind me of a children’s book I had as a kid, Scuffy the Tugboat…I don’t remember anything about the book other than he was a little bitty tug boat that tugged BIG old boats!  LOL

So why are they called tug boats when they actually push the barges??  Shouldn’t they be called ‘push boats’???


2 Responses to Rock & Soul and Central BBQ

  1. Jim Beletti

    Fun blog post. We like to do the same as your idea on large portion restaurant meals. Pack it up as soon as the plates are delivered. Saves on overeating at the table 🙂

    From what I could gather, tug boats can pull or push where the hull design of a push boat allows it to push-only. So there you go 🙂

    • Kelly

      Thank you for the tug boat info! Zack, too, provided me with an explanation. Had fun watching one today that couldn’t quite muster enough power to head up river. Little itty bitty tug boat to the rescue! The little boat came from up river, turned around and aided the BIG boat up the river. It was pretty awesome!

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