north side, yo.

We had actually managed to avoid our perpetual “What Do You Want To Do For Dinner” discussion this afternoon; on the way to the annual plant sale thing at Phipps, we decided that we would be grilling burgers when we got home.

I’m not sure how it came up, but there was one brief diversion while we walked among the plants and crafts — Mrs. Crappy, who had been up since 4:30 a.m. and was STARVING, mentioned that she still was having barbeque cravings. It passed as we tried to figure out which chili peppers we were growing this summer.

I threw my own wrench in the works on the way home; as we sat on the 16th Street Bridge, I realized that I should have taken a growler with us, so I could pick up some Penndemonium — Penn’s luscious maibock — for the evening. I announced that while Mrs. Crappy went to the grocery to get dinner fixins, I would drive back to Penn to get some beer.

And then we drove by Smokin’ Memphis Style BBQ, a place that set up in the old Brightwood Diner on Brighton Road earlier this year, and I made a command decision — tonight, we would have the North Side Special: beer from Penn and barbeque from just down the road.

I grabbed the beer first (Hi, Corey!) and then strolled in SMSB to take a look at the menu. Picking what we wanted was easy: pulled pork for Mrs. Crappy, a half-slab of pork ribs for me, along with five-cheese mac and cheese, green beans and corn muffins on the side.

Oh my.

Mrs. Crappy's dinner. Note the browned crispy stuff in the mac and cheese.

Mrs. Crappy’s pulled pork sandwich was fabulous. The meat was tender and the sauce was sweet but also delivered a zing. And while my pork ribs weren’t quite Montgomery Inn good, they were very, very good — huge, juicy, with a good mix of tender and crispy smoky meat. I opted for the hot sauce on the ribs, which was more about the tang than the heat. Great stuff.

Oh, mannnn...

As excited as Mrs. Crappy was about the meat, she seemed even happier about the sides. Although there was no pork, in the beans, they were good and smoky. And holy crap the mac and cheese — Mrs. Crappy noted they must have been made in a shallow pan, because both of our servings had generous amounts of browned, extra-chewy cheese mixed in.

The topper? One of the women who worked there pointed me to what looked like a plate of brownies with a stripe of what looked like it could have been toll-house cookie dough in the middle; she said they were sweet-potato brownies, and and that was pretty much all I needed to hear. They were unexpected and excellent; the soft stripe of cinnamon-y sweet-potato filling in the center made it taste like we were having a pumpkin-pie brownie, Mrs. Crappy said; I was too busy eating to talk.

So, yeah. Our North Side dinner turned out very well. If y’all need a barbeque fix, the Crappys can recommend Smokin’ Memphis. In fact, I’ll be very when I get around to eating my leftovers at work Sunday night.

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