For our return trip from Lynchburg, Jay Prince and I ended up travelling through Knoxville, TN. Naturally, I sent out a tweet asking if anyone had any recommendations for good BBQ in Knoxville. Within 5 minutes or so, I got a response giving me a place to try out. So we made a beeline for Dead End BBQ in Knoxville, TN.
At the end of a dead-end street, a group of neighbors gathered to hone and perfect the art of barbecue. From this group the Dead End Society was formed. Owners George Ewart and Robert Nutt continued to hone their craft in the dead end as well as on the competition BBQ circuit, and the end result was Dead End BBQ located on Sutherland Ave. in Knoxville, TN!
The restaurant was very neat and clean when we walked in. The kitchen is partially open, but the area where the smoker is located and the meat prepared is completely transparent and behind a glass window. The walls are decorated with memorabilia from the area, and some of the walls contain relevant quotes from famous people in the world of BBQ.
I decided to go with a combination plate of pork and brisket with pimento mac & cheese and beans & smoked sausage. While waiting for my order, I found that Dead End BBQ offers three different sauces, each varying in levels of heat from a mild sauce to a hot sauce.
After about 5-10 minutes, my order arrived, and I have to admit that the food sure did look tasty! I couldn’t wait to dig in!
Both the pork and beef brisket had an excellent flavor, and I could tell that this was some serious ‘que. The only drawback was that it was slightly dry. Saucing the pork definitely helped. I tried all three of the sauces with pork (because I just can’t bring myself to voluntarily sauce brisket). All three of the sauces were excellent. The mild sauce was sweet and reminded me of a sauce made from beer or some other alcoholic beverage (maybe rum or whiskey). The medium sauce, my personal favorite, added a touch of heat on the back end to let you know that it was there. The hot sauce packed more heat and flavor into its punch.
The sides were excellent! The mac & cheese was a very tasty and rich mac & cheese. The beans and smoked sausage — wow! I could have made an entire meal off of a large bowl of that! It was a perfect blend of proteins that complemented each other very well.
The price point was right about where I expected for a combination platter, so it wasn’t insanely expensive. I think the guys who run this place definitely have a good thing going on with Dead End BBQ. I just happened to get some meat that was a little dry, but I won’t let that stop me from recommending this place.