Pros: Good food, good price
Cons: messy, which is one of the joys of BBQ
Now I'm from Kansas City, originally, and if there's one thing KC is known for, it's BBQ. Memphis is a big BBQ town too, but very different from back home.
In KC, barbecue is beef. Here, it's pork. Ribs, pulled pork (shoulder cooked until it shreds) and more ribs.
And Corky's is the best.
I've not eaten at the one on Poplar Avenue. However, the one in Sam's Town Casino in Tunica is wonderful. There, it's a full-fledged buffet. $9.99/adult, all you can eat.
The cashier is pleasant and helpful, and the waitresses keep your drinks full and dirty dishes cleared, which is all one can ask of a buffet. The bar servers keep the food well-stocked, with nothing ever getting down to the last piece that no one wants.
The Sam's Town Corky's is decorated in a nostalgia theme. Lots of Memphis road signs, defunct restaurant signs and old photos on the walls. The music matches it by being a collection of old-style rock and roll. I don't remember hearing one song later than 1968.
The central dining area is well-lit, with tables and only slightly uncomfortable chairs. Everything is kept clean, and servers are on the spot if a mess is made. The sides of the room are dimmer, and have booths for a bit more privacy.
The salad bar is good. Nothing amazing or special, but the food on it is all fresh and kept stocked. There's a basic lettuce mix, and the usual sides of tomato, carrot, onion, radish, etc. Cold salads are also available, and the slaw is very good.
The breadbasket has rolls which are always fresh, and the butter is kept apart so it doesn't melt.
The bar itself has wet ribs (ribs that are basted with sauce), dry ribs (ribs rubbed with spices), pulled pork, BBQ beans, two kinds of chicken (bbq and fried), green beans and corn on the cob. It also has tortilla chips and cheese, and a poster giving directions on how to make Barbecue Nachos. These are a uniquely Memphis treat, and really should not be missed.
And all of this is topped with warmed Corky's sauce in regular or hot, as much as you like. I favor a mixture.
Once you're stuffed on the main bar, there is dessert. The famous brownie pie makes an appearance on the dessert bar, as does the pecan pie. Other standbys like apple pie, parfaits and cookies are available.
If you still haven't had enough, bottles of the sauce are available for purchase in the Sam's Town gift shop, and Memphis area Kroger stores. (The Brownie pie, ribs and pulled pork are also available in stores. The pie is fabulous.)