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Ridgewood Barbecue

900 Elizabethtown Highway, Bluff City, TN - (423) 538-7543
Posted By Pat Southward on 7/1/2009 12:30:00 AM
We stumbled on Ridgewood Barbecue back in the 70s --- it was hard to find even then --- and for the past 30+ years we've driven 90-120 minutes several times a year just to eat there. We always take company there and we get a lot of company, since we live in the most scenic part of the Blue Ridge.

The beans are beyond description! The occasional chunk of fatback explains the taste (I know that sounds awful, but that's probably why that delicious flavor is unfamiliar these days). The pork sandwich is extraordinary, with the coolness of the slaw contrasting with the spiciness of the sauce. I don't know what more to say about the food!

The "ambience" is old-time Southern small-town working-class --- with walls covered with inscribed pictures of 50s-60s-70s celebrities and politicians. Actually the fun begins outside: the smoker is right there by the parking lot with the slightly turpentiney aroma to get your tastebuds set for what's inside...

7 out of 8 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

Mostly what you see are French fries -- delicious, hot-from-the-kettle fries -- but beneath them is a heap of smoky pork slices bathed in tongue-tingling sauce.
"Mostly what you see are French fries -- delicious, hot-from-the-kettle fries -- but beneath them is a heap of smoky pork slices bathed in tongue-tingling sauce. "
Michael Stern





Smoky, sweet, and laced with meat, Ridgewood's beans are a must-eat side dish.
"Smoky, sweet, and laced with meat, Ridgewood's beans are a must-eat side dish."
Michael Stern


Just north of the restaurant is this smoky building where hams are slow-smoked over hickory wood for hours.
"Just north of the restaurant is this smoky building where hams are slow-smoked over hickory wood for hours."
Michael Stern


The sandwiches are huge and definitely sharable. Order one plate of fries for every 2-3 people.
"The sandwiches are huge and definitely sharable. Order one plate of fries for every 2-3 people."
Rae Augenstein


This is the view from a booth near the kitchen:  a beef sandwich and a pork plate, just assembled by the cook and ready to be carried to a table -- OUR table, we pray!
"This is the view from a booth near the kitchen: a beef sandwich and a pork plate, just assembled by the cook and ready to be carried to a table -- OUR table, we pray!"
Michael Stern


Although it is far off the beaten path, the Ridgwood is almost always crowded.  Expect to wait at peak mealtimes.
"Although it is far off the beaten path, the Ridgwood is almost always crowded. Expect to wait at peak mealtimes."
Michael Stern



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