Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blue Moon BBQ: Hendersonville, TN

It's been a fairly regular tradition to to go to Hendersonville on Sunday after church to get some "All you can eat" fried chicken at Uncle Bud's Catfish, Chicken, and Such restaurant for $6.99, so I was really disappointed to hear that they closed it down. A few weeks later, I drove past it and saw a new sign up for a new BBQ place. That is about the only thing I can think of to replace Uncle Bud's. Needless to say, this place has been on my list to visit since the day it opened.

I finally got a good excuse to get up that way and decided to check it out. The store manager was extremely friendly and gave a mini-tour of the smokers they use. Check them out:

Blue moon has a great BBQ atmosphere. They changed the fishing motif for Uncle Bud's and I think they really stepped it up a notch with the memorabilia:

We stepped up to order. Since we always like to get a platter with a little of everything to sample as much as possible, we got the "Jay Boy" which has everything except chicken - for $20. Great price. We added a 1/2 chicken as well. I figured that would keep me from starving for at least an hour.

They do not use MSG in any of their seasoning. They cannot control the MSG in the sausage, but everything else is MSG-free, and this was a real relief. It was also refreshing that they understood what it was and why it's not a good thing.

The picture directly below is where you go to get your drinks after ordering. They have a variety of hot sauces, including the very hot El Yucatero - which goes very well with BBQ. They plan to have an even wider selection in the new future I am told. The sweet tea was excellent, and a good first sign that there is good stuff on the way. I have said it before, but it bears repeating. If the BBQ place pays attention to the tea and the "little" things, the food will usually be good.

With our plate, we got the beans and slaw as usual. The slaw was sort of a half way between mayo and vinegar based. It was OK, but I think it needs to go one way or the other. The beans were a little pasty, but you could tell they had been cooked (they were not directly poured out of a can and re-heated). They had meat cooked into them, which gave them a good flavor.

The meat was excellent. Their brisket is the best I have had in the Nashville area lately. Blue Moon is very comparable to Martin's BBQ Joint in Nolensville in presentation and the food served when it comes to the platters. However, I can say that overall Blue Moon has Martin's beat. The portions are a little bigger, and the meat is a little tastier. In fact, we enjoyed eating the meat without any sauce at first. At Martins, the chicken seems more like rotisserie, and at Blue Moon you can tell it has been in a smoker. The pulled pork has more smoke as well. I think this is because they use only hickory at Blue Moon and it makes a difference.

The ribs are also comparable to Martin's, but I think Blue Moon has them beat on taste. Although the pulled pork and chicken were also good, I think the brisket and ribs are the stars of the show. I plan to come back for a brisket sandwich soon.

The sauces at Blue Moon are a regular tomato based, a sweet and spicy, and a mustard based sauce. We did not care for the mustard at all. All of the sauces are a bit too sweet for my taste. This tends to overtake the taste of the meat if you use too much, especially when the ribs have such a great flavor on their own. My favorite was to combine the sweet and spicy with some El Yucatero and Louisiana hot sauces and it tasted awesome. I would highly recommend that they keep playing around with the sauce recipe's and tweaking them a little bit more. Perhaps check out the sauces at Jim -N- Nicks. To get back to a comparison of Martin's BBQ Joint - Martin's has more variety, but none of their sauces were really as good (even mixed). Martin's tends to be very "spice heavy" where you get the sense that the spice hasn't fully blended with the sauce. Not the case here.

Unfortunately we were unable to try desert. I am told their Banana Pudding is a great experience. That's on my list for next time.

After we finished eating, the manager wanted our honest opinion on the food and experience and we gave him the same feedback that we are giving here. I would rate Blue Moon a 7.75, and I only ding them a .25 point because the sides and sauces need to come up a notch or so. That's one of my higher ratings. Blue Moon is definitely a strong contender to Jim -N- Nicks and one of the better places in the Nashville area. The prices are good, and the service is excellent. Real smoked BBQ and a great atmosphere to eat it in. Check them out at:

104 Sanders Ferry
Hendersonville, TN. 37075

Tell them BBQ Quest sent you!

-Big Daddy

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