Good Barbecue is hard to come by in the north, (unless you come to my house, that is) so when I venture south, I’m always on the prowl for some well sweated swine. I’ve heard many a good thing about Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint when researching places to eat during our recent visit to Nashville, it was actually one of the places that I promised myself not to miss!
Martin’s BAR-B-QUE Joint
7238 Nolensville, Rd.
Nolensville, TN 37135
(615)776-1856 • fax (615)776-5770
We visited Martin’s on our second day in Nashville. It’s about 30 minutes outside of the city in Nolensville, TN, in a corner of a strip mall parking lot and nestled behind a Sonic, you know that place, the one that fills you with self loathing after you eat it, and ask yourself the simple question “Why did I just eat that??” Maybe it’s just me.
I lumbered past the Sonic, haunted by the ghosts of bad, late night meals past, and pulled into Martin’s, the smell of smoke and rendering pork fat immediately warmed my spirits and filled me with excitement for the meal to come.
The interior of Martin’s is fun with a lot of chotchkies, signs with goofy sayings, albums, concert posters, and on the day we visited…a dead pig.
Martin’s cooks a whole hog every Friday for Saturday service, the whole hog pit is right in the dining room! We visited on a Friday so I had the pleasure of photographing the gentleman prepping the hog for the following days Pig Roast.
We went up to the window and placed our orders, the service staff is young, smiling and extremely friendly.
At the ordering window is a small fridge filled with beer, my eyes lit up when I spied a bottle of Dixie Beer, which is sadly no longer brewed in New Orleans, another casualty of Hurricane Katrina. Dixie is now brewed in Wisconsin, but I’m still a sentimental fool for an ice cold Dixie when I see one, although I drink it with a tear in my eye.
We sat down and waited for our orders to arrive, listening to the sound of the gentleman in my photos go to work on the hog with a hatchet and hammer. My wife wasn’t a big fan of being so close to the macabre business of butterflying a whole hog before and during eating lunch, but I sure enjoyed it!
Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!
Our food arrived, I could hardly wait to dig in!
I couldn’t resist ordering the house specialty, the Redneck Taco. Pulled Pork, slaw, sauce served on a hoecake, which is basically a cornbread batter cooked like a pancake on a hot griddle. Martin’s hoecake has great flavor, with a lot of black pepper.
My wife went for the straight up pulled pork sandwich which is offered on a bun or open faced on Texas Toast. Martin’s boasts of smoking their pulled pork for 22 hours, the time pays off, as their pulled pork is succulent, delicious.
I also ordered a brisket sandwich for us to share, also juicy and delicious!
Ordering a few different choices allowed us to try a variety of sides. I ordered the brisket with Cornbread which is the hoecake as described above:
The pit beans, were very good, with shreds of pulled pork throughout.
My favorite sides that I tasted though were the Pinto Beans, served in a flavorful chicken broth slightly spicy with green chilis:
…and the potato salad, which was down home goodness. Large chunks of Redskin Potatoes, bound with a mustard and mayonnaise based sauce. Nothing ground breaking, just a well made potato salad, a perfect accompaniment to some well made Barbecue!
After lunch I had to do my outdoor inspection of the barbecue joint. It’s kind of an obsession of mine, photographing woodpiles, trying to get a glimpse of the pit through the back door. Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint is using an Old Hickory Pit, a great piece of equipment! This trailer unit is proudly on display in front of the restaurant. Old hickory for sure on the front end.
The old hickory on the outdoor unit, love the skull and crossbones!
The other side of the unit, I’m assuming for competitions where the old hickory unit can’t be used except to ignite the fire. Or maybe just for volume:
Martin’s also has a drive thru!
I truly enjoyed my visit to Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, a family run joint with good food and a good vibe! Check out their list of:
Things we know for certainty!
I will end this post the way I will end posts about all Barbecue Joints, smokehouses and the like! With photos of their woodpile(s).
Loveless Cafe – Nashville, Tennessee
Be sure and check out my ever growing Recipe Page, a work in progress! Also check out my other website dedicated to Creole & Cajun cooking called Nola Cuisine!