Best Ribs & Best Barbecue: Calhoun’s

Calhoun's, voted Best Ribs as well as Best Barbecue in 2009

Photo by Sheena Patrick, Sheena Patrick

Calhoun's, voted Best Ribs as well as Best Barbecue in 2009

Calhoun's, voted Best Ribs as well as Best Barbecue in 2009

Photo by Sheena Patrick

Calhoun's, voted Best Ribs as well as Best Barbecue in 2009

Smells great when the neighbors are barbecuing, and Calhoun’s tantalizing aroma has been wafting over Kingston Pike for 26 years now (and Vol Landing at Calhoun’s on the River almost as long). The nice thing is, you don’t have to mill around hoping for a neighborly reprieve from your Lean Cuisine. Calhoun’s serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, starring can’t-stay-on-the bones tender, crackling hot baby back ribs in Fred Flintstone proportions, and moist, savory pulled-pork barbecue with the pink-tinted outer edges that mark hours spent smoking over Tennessee hickory. A not-too-sweet, not-too-spicy, but still lusty barbecue sauce rounds out either selection and you just better keep track of your (multiple) napkins. The sides and starters are worthy of the fabled cooks at the neighborly cookouts too, but are more—upscale country? Can a side dish be upscale country? Let’s just say East Tennessee, and move on to enjoying the creamy coleslaw, melting, rich Smoky Mountain baked beans, Tennessee Corn Puddin’, and fresh and tangy Key Lime Pie. Might just have to invite ourselves back.

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