Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New 'Cue Review (Part 3): BoondoxXx BBQ & Juke Joint

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Continuing our review of new barbecue joints that have opened around town lately, I made a stop by BoondoxXx BBQ & Juke Joint at 515 Second Ave. S. near the Howard School building. First off, don't bother googling it, as the name of the restaurant is known in various social media sites as BoonDoXX, BoondoXxx Bbq, BoondoxXx and BoondocksBBQNashville. If you really want to see their website, type in and you'll be directed to, well, the BoondocksBBqNashville Facebook site. Trust me, it's the same place.

The restaurant/juke joint is the brainchild of Chris Michaels, whom Dana referred to last year as a "songwriter/barbecue fanatic" when Michaels announced that he was opening the Hot Rod Grille on Wedgewood at the original location of Judge Bean's. While the planned "BBQ Joint With a Hot Rod Vibe" hasn't opened yet, in the intervening time, Michaels saw the opportunity to move into what he calls "an out of the way sawmill lumber Bbq and Juke Joint that's appears to have been here since it's construction in 1925 during the Prohibition."

He does have cooking chops to go with his songwriting talents, though. Michaels is the founder of the Music City Chili Cook-Off and has a lot of experience in catering.

The interior at BooondoxXx certainly is lodgy with wood and animal heads everywhere with a one booth completely decorated as a shrine to Waylon Jennings with album covers decorating the walls. (I expect Pat Martin might be a big fan of that particular booth, not to say the bbq.) A small stage features music seven nights a week, and it's clear that Michaels has entertainment as a major focus of his business plan at BoondoxXx.

Another member of his kitchen staff is from Louisiana and contributes some Cajun dishes to the menu of expected smoked meats. The restaurant has been open since the beginning of this year, and the menu is still being tweaked. Interesting items include a smoked pickled egg, which tastes just as baffling as it sounds, but hey, it might be right up your alley after a few frosty PBRs. The Million Dollar Mac n' Cheese lives up to its name by being super-rich, thanks to the inclusion of six different cheeses over buttery shells. Green chilies add some spice to the dish, and a topping of fried onions contributes texture and crunch. It made me want to take an immediate nap.

I sampled a plate with some shoulder that was a mixture of chopped and pulled pork and some super smoky chicken wings. The hot sauce on the wings was delightfully tangy, and needed to be to fight through the flavor of the smoke. All the meats were extremely tender, so utensils aren't required, but a couple of napkins may be necessary. As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of fall-off-the-bone barbecue, but I know that there are plenty of you out there that are.

Another bonus is that BoondoxXx has access to a huge parking lots, so if you're looking for a place to enjoy some live music, a few beers and some wings before a Predators game, they'll validate your parking with a $10 purchase. So for a honky-tonk vibe and some smoky meat, drop by BoondoxXx. Or Boondocks. Or BoondoXX.

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