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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Friday, May 23, 2014

Southern USA Road Trip - Sweet P's Barbeque & Soul House

Back to our trip!  

I'm a planner.  Honestly I don't think there's anything I like better than planning a trip.  I've read research that says planning a vacation can make you happier even than taking one!  

When I plan a trip I start with an excel spreadsheet and Google Maps.  I try not to get too crazy with the spreadsheet, but I do like to plan a rough itinerary for each day, including any travel and pre-booked hotels, shows and activities. 

I use Google Maps to plot out locations we may want to visit and any travel routes.  Bars, restaurants, attractions, shopping, hotels.  This way I can see distances and which places are close to each other.  

This helped us make a few discoveries and plan our trip.  Initially we were going to drive straight to Nashville, but I happened to find Benton's Bacon in Tennessee, close to the Tail of the Dragon - a great mountain driving road I knew Matt would love and that was not far from Asheville North Carolina, one of the best beer cities in North America.  It was not hard to convince Matt to add a few days on to our trip to visit these things - they're right up his alley.  

But first, after our great night in Lexington, Kentucky we were spending a night near the airport in Knoxville to be close to our next day's route.  I hadn't planned anything for the area, so I used Yelp to find the best barbecue in Knoxville and luckily there was a place right near our destination.  

Sweet P's Barbeque & Soul House is located south of Knoxville on a country road near a marina.  There are a bunch of smokers outside.   You order at the counter.  The service was so friendly!

We decided to share the sampler platter of 1/4 rack of ribs, brisket, a pulled pork sandwich and three sides.  We chose mac & cheese, green beans and banana pudding.  On the table were three sauces, a thick East Tennessee tomato-based barbecue sauce, a thin North Carolina vinegar-based sauce and a hot thin sauce with chipotle.  I loved the thin sauce.

The meat was outstanding.  This was a late lunch/early dinner for us and it was so fantastic, we decided to get some take-out to have later on back at the hotel.  

We ordered 1/2 a rack of ribs and a dozen wings but somehow we ended up with a full rack of ribs!  

The wings were delicious and the ribs were perfect but it was way, way too much meat!

This was a very lucky discovery and we were so happy to try all these Southern specialties at such a nice, friendly place.   

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