Philip and I knew that this weekend we were planning to eat at a restaurant that I recently blogged since we were given a gift certificate for my birthday, so Thursday night we decided to go somewhere that we hadn’t been. I knew that I needed to cook, but unfortunately I’ve been sick and work is still really wearing me out. Plus, I guess I’ve been starving my husband of protein with all of my meatless cooking (I really do try to include adequate protein in each meal but sometimes it’s pretty difficult. If any of you hardcore vegetarians/vegans out there have any pointers, I’ll be glad to take them) and he was craving a burger. So, instead of cooking the potato-leek soup I had planned for dinner, we headed to Choo-Choo Barbecue. Only we passed the restaurant to go to the gas station about a minute away first. By the time we got back five minutes later the place was packed out. Plan B in action…except that there was no plan B. So we started thinking.
We were headed back toward home. We’ve tried just about every place that there is to try in Soddy-Daisy…not much remains. Steve’s Landing….but I knew that at 6:30 we might be dealing with a bigger crowd than we were willing to face on a Thursday evening (or any evening, really). Then, Shuford’s popped into my head.
The original Shuford’s Smokehouse is located on Signal Mountain Road in the Red Bank area. I’ve never eaten there, but it’s been around for more than twenty years, so clearly there are some folks that think they are doing barbecue right. Shuford’s Barbecue is a roadside stand by Soddy Lake that for my entire childhood was a drive-in known as JJ’s (man, I loved JJ’s) then later as Jan’s. It’s been Shuford’s for (I believe) a couple of years now, but I just never think of it when I’m trying to think of somewhere to eat. We sat in the car and contemplated our order, then walked up and placed our order with a very friendly lady running the front end. Our total for the meal was about $15. Since it was a nice, not-too-hot evening we decided to eat our dinner at one of the picnic tables next to the building.
Normally I would go for the “BBQ tater”, but for some reason I was in the mood for a sandwich instead. I ordered a regular (i.e. small) pulled pork sandwich with slaw on it and a side of onion rings (and a water, of course). The order took about 10 minutes to come out (she was on the phone taking a call-in order when we walked up and another lady ordered while we were waiting) and she gave us a couple of paper trays (I guess that’s what you’d call them?) to put our food in since we were eating there. I am assuming that the onion rings were probably frozen, but they were still pretty good, nice and hot and crispy. The meat was good with a mild smoky flavor. I believe Shuford’s makes their own sauce. It’s a little sweeter than most (I believe it has molasses in it) and is very thick (by the way, they have hot or mild sauce. Since I am a pansy I chose mild). My only wish is that I had gotten the slaw on the side and added it myself…it quickly made the sandwich a little cold and a little soggy (but it tasted good, and I don’t usually like slaw).
It took Philip a few minutes to decide whether to order the burger that he was craving or whether he should get his usual BBQ restaurant order, the pulled pork plate. In the end he decided to go with his gut and get the bacon cheeseburger that was advertised on Shuford’s roadside sign, along with crinkle-cut fries and a water. The burger was gigantic, with a patty that looked hand-formed, a couple of strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a large amount of onion. If I ever order a burger there I will be ordering it without the onion, as the amount was so large I don’t think removing it at the table would do anything to rid the burger of the onion flavor-two entire slices (NOT two rings). Philip, however, was fine with this and happily ate the entire thing. He said it was a really great burger (I refrained from sampling it due to the onion, of course). The crinkle-cut fries were no doubt cooked from frozen, but I love crinkle-cut fries so much that I just can’t hate on them.
Shuford’s menu boasts some items that most other barbecue restaurants in the area do not serve, like ham, smoked turkey, Polish sausage, and chili dogs. They sell family packs of pulled pork or beef, chicken, or ribs that include two pint-sized sized and buns. The only dessert on the menu is banana pudding…but hey, this is the south. Banana pudding is an institution.
Restaurants don’t stick around for 20+ years for doing things the wrong way. Shuford’s is good eating and I hope the Soddy-Daisy location remains as well. Nice folks serving good food. We need places like that in these parts (as opposed to more fast food joints). Try it out!
Shuford’s Soddy-Daisy stand is located at 11320 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379. They are open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. You can call them at 423-451-7102. You can read more about them on their website, http://shufordsbbq.com. You can also “like” them on Facebook.