I opened the refrigerator as quietly as I could, and slyly removed the styrofoam takeout container. Turning on the faucet to provide some white noise cover, I removed a rib and ate it while standing in the kitchen, staying out of David's line of sight. I returned to the futon and sat next to David, picking up my novel as nonchalantly as I could. Nothing to see here.
Then David started sniffing. “Why do I smell hickory smoke?” He asked. “Did you sneak some BBQ!?”Busted. I knew better than try to play innocent when the evidence was so obvious.
Turns out, after 20 hours in the smoker, the BBQ from Eli's (especially the ribs) maintain their smoky flavor and aroma even after a day in the refrigerator. David and I had been meaning to go to Eli's for a long time, and when we had the day off work, we decided to hit it up Eli's for a late lunch, particularly so we could try and highlight the pulled pork sandwich for Serious Eats.
But we didn't just get the BBQ sandwich. We got some ribs and cheddar jalapeno grits and baked beans and if we hadn't run out of cash (they don't take credit cards) I would have gotten a ton of other things.
If I had to choose one of my last meals on earth, it would probably BBQ. Being born in Tennessee, it's one of my biggest weaknesses. If I saw a pulled pork sandwich placed under a Laura-sized box held up with a stick tied to a string, I'd at least consider it. Especially if it came from Eli's.
Don't tell me you wouldn't consider it too
The last thing a pulled pork sandwich sees
The beans were tangy and a little spicy, not super sweet like some can be, and the grits also had some heat to them, with just the right amount of salt and cheese.
The atmosphere of Eli's is nice too, with a record player in the corner and local art on the walls.
The BYOB policy is nice too. I've heard they get crazy busy for lunch, so your best bet is to hit it right after the lunch rush is over, like we did.