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After the disappointing experience we had at Migz, The Boyfriend and I were definitely excited to return to Memphis Blues for REAL barbecue on the 4th of July holiday. On our previous trip we had sampled their BBQ poutine (so WRONG yet so RIGHT) as well as their brisket and ribs.

As a cartoon by Canadian Kate Beaton has it, being an American is all about fighting for freedom, eating some barbecues, and bayoneting British men. One out of three isn't bad, I guess? But, only one out of three of us were American, because my roommate joined us. I attribute the failure to wreak revolution and murder Englishmen to them.

Memphis Blues has room to sit down, but you order at the front. We ordered a pitcher of beer ($12.95) and the Memphis Feast ($39.95) for all three of us. The Memphis Feast contains portions of every kind of meat plus all the "fixins": ribs, rib ends, half a chicken, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, baked beans, coleslaw, fries, and potato salad.

Meat meat meat. Meat? Meat. Meat meat, meat meat meat meat. MEAT.


I'll rank the meats in order of how much I liked them, with the understanding that the "least" was still miles ahead of Migz. I'll DQ the sausage because I liked it but it's not my favorite kind of sausage so I don't really know how to judge it--it was kind of like summer sausage style, a little sweet. Least was the ribs. They were basically BBQ sauce delivery mechanisms. Which is fine, because their BBQ sauce is awesome, but still. The chicken next, okay on its own, and very tender, but still primarily a BBQ sauce delivery system. When we get to the pulled pork, we're talking heaven. As good as anything I ever had in the states. The best of all is the brisket. Practically melt in your mouth tender, and with a light seasoning that suited it so well I actually ate it without the sauce.

As far as the other sides go, I'm very picky about my potato salad, and I don't like coleslaw, so I skipped those, but the other two gave them a thumbs up, and I liked the beans very much.

We also decided to get some collard greens because I hadn't had them for a while and while, yes, MEAT MEAT MEAT is happy times, some greens are nice too; plus, my roommate and The Boyfriend had never tried them. I give the greens a "meh". I felt they were kind of small for what we paid ($3.95) and spiced much too heavily. Collard greens are not a prissy kind of plant, they have a very assertive flavor, and the answer is not to smother them with pepper. In other words, they didn't make them like my mommy does. ;) She's from Maryland, not Tennessee, so maybe they're following a different style of collard recipe, but to me it just felt wrong. The Boyfriend actually ate most of it.

Here's what the table looked like about the time we all decided we were full:

Yep. Even with three of us, there were still leftovers. If you want to bring a larger group, Memphis Blues also has an Elvis Platter and a Priscilla Platter with even more meat. We were planning on packing this up and heading out, until I idly commented that I wondered if their pecan pie was any good, and The Boyfriend said he'd never had it. This had to change, natch.

Pecan pie is my mother's favorite pie, and I have high standards for it, and this slice fit it perfectly. Even with how full we were, we finished it. The caramel bourbon sauce was a great match, and tasted like it would be amazing poured warm over ice cream.

And when we were done, we shed a tear for liberty.

Name: Memphis Blues
Location: has several locations; we were at the one at 1465 West Broadway Ave Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1H6 (604) 738.6806
Prices: Prices are not cheap (considering it's really more a take-out place with seats than a sit-down restaurant) but worth it. $7-$10 for appetizers, ~$8 for sandwiches, $11-20 for individual meals. Bring a huge gang and attack one of their larger platters, or order their picnic pack to take out--these will all average about $13/person or so.
Service: Order at the front, and if you are dining in they will bring it to the table.
Food: Mouth-watering slow-cooked Southern BBQ and sides.
Recommended?: I absolutely adored it. If you are not a vegetarian, try this place.

Memphis Blues Barbeque House (Broadway) on Urbanspoon
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We were having one of those nights where we couldn't decide where to eat. I had something of a burger craving, that was about the only strong feeling anyone had. We were walking along W. Broadway just wavering about things, considering and rejecting a Mongolian Barbecue place and several Greek restaurants. Finally we decided to try a place called Migz BBQ, at Broadway and MacDonald.

We walked in about 7pm on a Sunday and the place was dead. Literally there was no one there, and no host at the front, and no sign saying whether to seat oneself or not. There were three people at the bar, the bartender and two staff, none of whom even looked at us.

Uncertain, I asked the boyfriend what he wanted to do. He wanted to sit down, so we did. We sat for a few minutes, and I had a bad feeling and kind of wanted to leave, but I didn't voice it because we had been trying to pick a place for 45 minutes and I was just hungry. The place had a sports bar feel, with three or four televisions, two of which were showing NASCAR, which surprised me. A waitress finally came out, gave us menus, and took our drink orders (water for him, a Pepsi for me).

For an appetizer we ordered the potato skins with pulled pork ($8.95).

To be honest I wasn't a huge fan. To me, stuffed potato skins ought to be just that--potato skins, with just a little bit of potato so that the skins get really crunchy, and lots of toppings. This was more like half a baked potato with toppings. Gordon, however, liked this way better, so YMMV.

The only burger they had that was, y'know, a burger, and not chicken or veggie, came with cheddar and bacon. So, I ordered that, even though I'm not a huge bacon-on-burger person. I chose to pair it with a house salad with dressing on the side instead of fries. Gotta cut calories somewhere. ($11.95)

The salad was really good. Very fresh and a nice blend, no one veggie overpowering the others. The burger, however, was just average. It's not easy to make a tasty, juicy burger cooked well-done as the law requires, but it can be done. Theirs relied too heavily on the toppings. It wasn't bad, but I've had much better here in Vancouver--Moderne Burger or Vera's, heck, even Triple-O's does a better burger.

Gordon thought that you have to order BBQ from a place with BBQ in the name, so he got smoked chicken, and for his two sides he picked yam fries (on my request) and hush puppies ($16.95).

I was going to be diplomatic and say some things about how you can taste the smoke flavor in the chicken and that the bbq sauce was nice, but I'm getting a little tired of this review so I'm just going to say it sucked. The chicken was dry, so it really needed that sauce. The hushpuppies had some kind of weird spice in them, which to me as a half-Southerner was just wrong. He had ordered the hushpuppies because he had never tried them before, but this was a bad introduction to the true nobility possible in lumps of fried cornmeal. The yam fries were okay, but how do you mess up yam fries? Plus they didn't come with any dips other than ketchup--to get any other dip, you had to pay.

Satiated, if not exactly satisfied, we left.

Pretty much anything Migz does, you can get better someplace else. Their main attraction, BBQ, just doesn't even compare to the euphoric experience we had at Memphis Blues (W. Broadway and Granville). I think Memphis Blues sucked all the BBQ culinary talent out of Broadway and thus there was none left for Migz. The best thing I got out of my experience at Migz BBQ was a determination to go back to Memphis Blues ASAP, and write a review showing what real barbecue can be. And if you want a burger, again, Vera's or Moderne Burger will set you up nice. I haven't been to any other sports bars yet (I prefer to watch the Penguins at home), but I'm sure there's a better sports bar than this one, with its tiny televisions and short bar. And, like I said, the service, despite the place being empty when we walked in, was distracted and indifferent.

Moral of the story: If you want into a place on a weekend evening and no one is there and you can't get served within a minute? Leave.

Name: Migz BBQ
Location: 2884 W. Broadway Vancouver BC 604 773 3002
Prices: $10-20 for entrees, $5-15 appetizers. Licensed for beer, wine and spirits. Lots of drink specials.
Service: No one there to greet us when we came in. Not served for a few minutes even though we were the only ones there, and the bartender and his chatty crew must have seen us. Bartender and two waiters(?) spent entire time gabbing not far from where we were seated. Waitress smiled a lot but that's about the only thing nice you can say.
Food: Mediocre. BBQ was dry. Appetizers overpriced for amount gotten.
Recommended?: Don't go here.

Migz BBQ on Urbanspoon


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