Couch’s Barbecue - “Their Southern Went Flat”

Sunday, October 28, 2012 - by Willie Mae
Couch's Barbecue is at 8307 Old Lee Highway in Ooltewah
Couch's Barbecue is at 8307 Old Lee Highway in Ooltewah

 Even though I am not fond of a lot of fried foods or having good old timey Southern cooking each day, when I want a good Southern-based meal I want it to be re-e-a-a-l Southern!

On the occasion that I let myself have fried okra, I want it to be hand breaded (and fried in a cast iron skillet if possible). When I want barbecue, I want it so moist and tender it falls off the bone.

With all the good food we have in Chattanooga and small business owners creating unique touches, I also like a choice of homemade sauces for my barbecue.

And can’t you just see a good ol’ buttermilk corn muffin on the side?

When I went into Couch’s Barbecue, I expected a Southern BBQ meal. I had several friends tell me how much they loved this place and it had been around for years! I already had in mind that I was going to love it!

The place was all decorated in Coke paraphernalia and it gave you a cozy feeling. It was busy and it seemed this was a pretty popular place. A cute little waitress wearing a kerchief on her head came to take my order.

I was delighted to try this charming little place that was family owned. I even snickered at the pig with wings that appeared to be flying on the pull string of a ceiling fan.

I read over the menu and ordered a BBQ pork plate that came with three sides and a roll for 8.99. I chose coleslaw, fried okra and mashed potatoes.

There was a menu-like thing on the table that had trivia questions of all sorts for patrons to have fun with while they waited. It also told of their history, being owned by Will and Agnes Couch in 1946, along with local advertisements.

I liked everything about this place but when the food arrived… well, this one was of those ‘to each his own’ moments. From my beginning description of how I anticipated a good ol’ Southern BBQ dinner to taste – I was a bit disappointed.

The pork was not pulled – it was shaved and a little dry. There was only one barbecue sauce in a bottle on the table along with a small bottle of an off-brand, store-bought hot sauce.

The slaw was grated very fine and was runny with a strong onion-y taste. The okra looked like it came from a package and or what you would get on one of those food bars and a chain restaurant. The potatoes were ‘just okay’ with a little saw mill gravy on top and I was brought some rolls that looked like they also came from a package and thrown on the griddle made to be flat with a bit of shimmer of some type of butter or grease on top.

I hate to say that I was not impressed with the food because I really did like the place. So I am just going to say that it was not the BBQ meal I expect when I am hankering for good ol’ barbecue of the South.

To me, the rolls were not the only thing flat about this meal. Sorry.

 

Menu items
Menu items

World Of Beer Taps Chattanooga For New Tavern Featuring 500 Craft Beers

Featuring local craft beers and a wide selection of brews from around the globe, World of Beer Franchising, Inc. and owners Wayne Farmer and Frank Hudson celebrate the opening of the franchise’s 60th tavern at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, at 412 Market St.  This is the third tavern for Farmer and Hudson and the first in Tennessee. Locals are invited to support the opening ... (click for more)

T.MAC Restaurant On Market Street Now Open Following Major Expansion

TM Restaurant Group Monday announced the grand reopening of its T.MAC restaurant at 423 Market St. in downtown Chattanooga. The restaurant originally opened in its current location in November 1998. Since undergoing a major expansion that began back in May, the company-owned restaurant has now grown to 6,700 square feet with a fresh, redesigned interior space, said officials. ... (click for more)

Boy, 16, To Face Murder Charges In Criminal Court On Triple Lookout Valley Slayings

A Lookout Valley youth who was 15 at the time of his alleged involvement in a massacre in the valley will stand trial as an adult. Jacob Allison, who is now 16, was taken by the sheriff's office to the Hamilton County Jail after a transfer hearing in Juvenile Court on Friday morning. Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw said under state law he has jurisdiction over rehabilitation ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)