Jack’s BBQ Nashville, TN
Immediately walking into Jack’s from busy Broadway Street the line was out the door. When this many folks gather themselves in a line and are surprisingly patient I knew this would be a special place. Before noticing the menu or the BBQ (sorry Robin…) I noticed beautiful Brittany at the cash register. She seemed so friendly speaking to customers as if she had known them forever. I secretly couldn’t wait to get to the end of the line and tell her I am in fact a member of the notorious BBQ Boys. Our eyes met for a second and I quickly looked away back at Captain and Bus Driver, my face felt like it was melting because I knew she saw my staring. Waiting in line I hoped she wouldn’t remember me when it came to be my turn ordering, Luckily we all excused ourselves from the line when Larry the newspaper reporter swooped in asking for some pictures of the group outside. Upon our return Larry had asked Brittany to take us on a tour of Jack’s. She took us up to the smoker where the meat was being cooked, her BBQ IQ made all of us googly eyed, but I knew we had our moment earlier so I wasn’t worried. She could tell just by touching the meat that the pork shoulders would need over eight more hours of cooking. Can you imagine having someone like this cooking dinner for you? If right then and there she had said she loves football and Kenny Chesney I would have said goodbye to my friends and applied for a job at Jack’s cleaning bathrooms to be close to her. Captain asked Brittany what she would she suggest, keep in mind I haven’t even spoken to my dream girl yet but I knew she felt something towards me the awkward, tall, lanky, goofy dude. She provided us with a feast of epic proportion, as we were able to sample all the meat and every trimming Jack offers. At Jack’s I didn’t even need to use sauce on the meat was so flavorful and tender. I tried to contain myself as Larry asked Captain questions about our journey, as Larry left the group had a real bonding moment. For once all of us shared equal contentment and happiness.
Here we were the journey was finally coming together and taking shape. None of us care about the publicity nor are we motivated by it, simply put we are four friends who have come closer together through this journey. My memories from Jack’s will involve not only great food, but the people and atmosphere that help make Jack’s a true representation of the hospitality the South represents.
Nashville has been our favorite city thus far, but I was able to see a part of Nashville many would never dare to go. What is this you may ask? Captain and I accompanied by our guide visited legendary country musician Johnny Cash’s grave. Just before midnight half of the BBQ Boys shared a moment with the man in black. With Ring of Fire playing in my head I stepped toward the grave, and told him how much we loved his city and that our Pilgrimage of Pork had to include a trip to his resting place. His influence over music has been widespread, and I expected a much larger grave or even a statue when we came upon he and his wife, June Carter Cash. His humble gravesite reinforced to Capt. and I that this trip will only be temporary, much like life, and at some point we like him will be six feet under next to the ones we love. So eat some pork, laugh often, and live well.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
- Psalm on the tombstone of Johnny Cash