Food Review: Martin’s BBQ Knows Meat

Before I even walked in Martin’s BBQ, I knew I was going to be in for a treat. The smoky smell of meat permeated the air as I walked through the parking lot to begin my quest for some of the best BBQ in Nashville.

Owner Pat Martin started Nolensville, TN (a location I am proud to say I have previously visited) in a small little brick and mortar with a smoker out front. I visited the location at Belmont Boulevard, one of four Martin’s locations in the Nashville area. There is also a Louisville location and one in Morgantown, West Virginia. 

The inside of the store is littered with relics of Southern culture, from a picture of WWF legend Ric Flair to photographs signed by Tennessee Titans legends. I had to wait in a long line of people, but boy, the wait was well worth it.

I ordered a medley of cured meats with baby back ribs, a pulled pork platter, and a brisket burger. The side dishes of baked beans, green beans, and cornbread were perfect complements to the meal. And, might I add, free Moon Pies were offered next to the drink machine. A definite plus.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of BBQ, I dug into the meal with great excitement and anticipation. The pulled pork was juicy and tender, two qualities instrument to the success of any pork. With the undercarriage of a corn cake that soaked up the juices of the pulled pork, I wasn’t truly finished once the pork was gone.

The baked beans went well with the baby back ribs, as the restaurant added little pieces of brisket meat to the beans. With the mixture of maple and brown sugar as well as cayenne pepper, the beans were a sweet and savory taste. When I came to the baby back ribs, the meat wasn’t quite fall of the bone tender, but there was just enough tenderness to keep the ribs from being super rubbery and unable to be eaten. The best part about the ribs was the dry rub that Martin’s put on the meat during cooking preparation. Dubbed the “Big Hoss Rub” by Martin’s, the dry rub was the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and salty to please my taste palette.

BEST IN TOWN: The brisket burger is a must have a Martin’s if you visit. PHOTO: The Tennessean

BEST IN TOWN: The brisket burger is a must have a Martin’s if you visit. PHOTO: The Tennessean

I saved the best part of my meal for last in the brisket burger. The sandwich consisted of a burger patty, brisket, melted cheese, and sauteed onions with the optional addition of BBQ sauce. Put simply, this construction is my favorite hamburger creation I’ve ever had. The combination of meats complemented by the hot onions and melty cheese come together to be the best creation on Martin’s entire menu.

With Nashville becoming a hotspot for BBQ restaurants, Martin’s should rank high on anyone’s list who wants a solid meal for BBQ.

Final verdict: Martin’s gets 5 hogs out of 5