Leonard's Pit Barbeque
5465 Fox Plaza Drive
So, I have this friend named Hope. We met in kindergarten at YMCA Camp. Then we ended up on the same soccer team in first grade. We played soccer for many years and eventually started going to the same schools in sixth grade and graduated from White Station together. In all of our years together I do not remember us ever eating bbq. Maybe a trip or two to Gridley's because my dad was paying, but eh.
Hope moved away for college and now only comes to visit Memphis once or twice a year. She rarely misses Memphis in May, so she is in town now. Over the past few years she has fallen in love with Leonard's. All she ever talks about is Leonard's. Leonard's Leonard's Leonard's. So yesterday, I took the monkeys (Satchel, 10, and Jiro, 8) to Leonard's to have dinner with Hope.
(It was sunny.)
There used to be a Leonard's downtown, and I went once for lunch with Chip. Despite growing up in the Fox Meadows area, I really had no idea where this other Leonard's was. It's tucked behind the Krystal's on Mt. Moriah on Fox Plaza Drive. Judging from the kitschiness of it, I think it had to be there when I was little. Anyways, I loved the looks of it.
We arrived around 6pm and it wasn't very crowded. (Later we saw a large group of elderly people emerge from a party room.) Leonard's is known for their buffet, but we were not there on a buffet night. We took a seat next to the car parked in the dining room.
(Of course the monkeys tried to get in the car, but it was locked.)
A waiter came right over and took our drink order. There isn't any beer on tap and the flavors are fairly limited so I went with a Miller Light. Jiro ordered a root beer when I wasn't paying attention and I thought it was nice that the waiter okay'd it with me before bringing it. (Actually, he assumed Hope was Jiro's mom at first, which was even better.)
Yes, it looks like a beer, but it's root beer. Jiro guzzled it in about a minute and begged for a second but I said no.
Now, as for food. Satchel and Jiro were both starved and both requested chips and burgers. Sorry monkeys, no chips or burgers. Satchel actually looked at the menu and then requested ribs and fries. I read Jiro his options and he settled on chicken fingers and fries.
I ordered a bbq salad, but imagined it as bbq nachos. And a side of spaghetti. (Not bbq spaghetti, but regular spaghetti.) Hope got a pile of meat and some ravioli on the side. Not sure what's up with the Italian dishes.
We had plenty to talk about so it seemed like the food came out fairly quickly. I had just given the monkeys pens to draw on napkins with to keep them calm, but they weren't necessary. Both of their dinners seemed to be good portions.
The curly fries made me laugh and reminded me of the time I took them to Hooter's (which used to be down the street).
They talked about those fries for weeks. Heh.
My salad was ok. I mean, it wasn't nachos, but it was ok.
Without the pepperoncinis it would have been a total loss. I eventually covered it in bbq sauce, but once I started eating it I realized that the bbq sauce was nasty. (Shh! Don't tell Hope!) It had a singed flavor. At least to me it did.
Thank goodness for my side of spaghetti.
Hope seemed quite pleased with her dinner, so that's all that mattered, really.
(That's her "Are you really taking my picture while I'm trying to chow down on my favorite Q?" face.)
I should mention that my mom and sister were also in attendance and both ordered a half slab of ribs. Both agreed it was a huge serving and both seemed pleased. Tracey gave me one of her wedge fries.
Satchel, who was very dirty, and still hungry, after finishing his dinner wanted a second dinner of chicken fingers. He has a bad habit of wanting a second dinner after his first and then not being able to eat it, so I sad no. He then consoled himself by dipping crackers and bread into Jiro's honey mustard sauce.
Oh yes, the bread. They brought a basket out during the meal. They were delicious and buttery. My mom said they were Sister Shubert's rolls.
When we were all done, and the leftovers packed up, we went to the register to pay. For me and the monkeys it was $30 ($36 with tip). That didn't seem terrible, but I can think of a lot of other meals I'd rather spend $36 on.
The monkeys had spotted the $.03 lollipops on the way in, and their grandmother generously gave them a quarter to spend. That's was a pretty good deal.
And Hope, bless her heart, bought six bottles of sauce to take back to Virginia.
All in all, it was alright. Great atmosphere, good service, ok food. Next time, assuming there is one, I'll take Warren on a buffet day.