Friday, December 28, 2007

Nathan Wells......STUD.

So tonight I was able to get away from the Joint, which is rare.....especially for a weekend night. Bo held down the fort and Martha and I went for our Christmas date night. We went to Eastland Cafe in East Nashville. My buddy Nathan Wells is the Sous Chef there. I gave him a call this afternoon to let him know we were going to try to make it out. He told me we would not be ordering off the menu, that he would cook for us. Was it good? Let me put it to you this classic redneck terminology. You ever picked a grey tick off your dogs ass? You know, those big disgusting bastards about the size of a grape whose bodies are literally 40 times larger than their head? Like the one here in the picture. Well, put my face on that body.......and thats what I fell like right now. I have sinned...........committed gluttony! The food I ate tonight was nothing short of phenomenal! Absolutely stunning! I highly suggest you get over there!
We had a really strong day yesterday. Today at lunch was pretty slow because of the rain. I thought Noah might stop in for lunch when the dadgum boat went by but he didnt. I was feeling pretty depressed about what today might end up looking like.........and then tonight came along. Emily called with the sales and we posted July/August type numbers (peak season). When I got that call I ordered a second bottle of wine.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Back at it......

Cant believe I'm saying this but I cant wait to get to work this morning to do some inventory! We've been closed since Saturday night for Christmas. Its been real nice but dadgum I'm itching to get to work. We had a great week last week. Saturday night was an absolute morgue. I dont think 20 people came in. Of course we were expecting that because of everyone traveling for Christmas. Even still we did over 250 orders at lunch, so that carried us. We ended up having a very, very good week. I went back on the blog and read posts from last year around this time......pretty dang funny. The good Lord really blessed us this year!!! We've seen a lot of growth. I remember last year, 45-50 orders at lunch was a good lunch. Well a year later if we dont do 100+ orders something is wrong. Its hard to believe that its been a year but it has. 2008 should be real interesting. I've got some things in the pipeline I'm planning on and I'm interested to see what happens. In the mean time......I've got to get in to do some inventory.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Peg Leg Meeting; Sol

This week has been very, very strong! Numbers, like the last two weeks are in line with our October/November sales. The slow down I expected has not really hit like I thought it would, which is a great thing. Because of when X-mas & new years fall (on a Tuesday) we'll only have 6 days of operation over the next two weeks. We'll be open Thursday-Saturday next week and new years week. After that I see us being fairly slow for the two weeks following that for folks to get back in to their routine. Last night I met up with some of my fellow Peg Leggers. Carey got a few of us together to talk about a few things. It was good to see those guys. I wasnt able to stay long because I had to get back out to Franklin to eat at Chef Jason McConnells new place, Sol. I cant encourage you enough to get your ass out there to was amazing! I cant think of one thing we had that was not really was awesome! Im about to head into the Joint, get things squared away and then I'm gonna head down to Bucksnort with my buddy Tracey "Mini-Don" Jarrell to shoot some quail. The picture is a shot of our Brisket Tacos.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Top of the chimney where we burn wood down to coals for the pit.

Monday, December 17, 2007


A shot of our ribs..........

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The week

This week finished really in normal pre-holiday time numbers. We had a big day overall yesterday and that is with us having the slowest Saturday night I think we've ever had! Snow was mentioned in the forecast for last night.......if you mention that word in Tennessee you'd better get to the store and get your milk cause its gonna be gone by the afternoon. People around here act like the ice age is coming back through. I thought we'd see a little bit of a slowdown (over and above the normal holiday time slowdown) because of an article that was in the papers this week. This past Wednesday the Brentwood Journal did an article that didnt paint the town of Nolensville in a very good light. We were quoted in there a few times, it was basically what I have stated being affected by weather, peoples schedules, etc.. The article was basically saying that anyone who lives in Nolensville eats outside of Nolensville. Of course if that were totally true I'd be out of business right now. Needless to say, judging from customer comments, there were a lot of local residents come in and a few city officials who were VERY unhappy with it. We are to a point now that it wont really affect us. We have an established brand so to speak........our name and reputation for good BBQ has gotten around and it reaches outside the Nolensville city limits. Now if this article had come out a year ago, when we had been open for only 6-7 weeks, I'd be a little worried. I dont know the writer but he was just doing his job. The fact is Nolensville is a few years away from having enough dining options to keep folks in town all week. We are on the front end of the growth curve. But the writer could have made the point he made and still followed it up by listing the positives that residents have as of right now. Rio Verde serves very, very good Mexican food. Two Way next door has awesome breakfast and lunch. Martin's BBQ was listed as one of the favorite 13 restaurants (of any genre, not just bbq) in the entire metro-Nashville area by the Tennessean. There could have been a few positives listed is all I'm saying. When you invest time and emotions in to an area you want to concentrate on the positives. Its like family, yeah my uncle might have some short comings, but you dont like hearing it from someone else.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Well Saturday night ended up being a lot better than I anticipated. We're still going in to the slowest time but it was a pleasant night. I'm 35 years old and I am eating Pepcid Complete like a 5th grader eating a box of grape/strawberry nerds. Every other freakin' day I've got heartburn. There could be an oil spot in your garage from your car.......dont go to Home Depot to and waste money to buy Muratic Acid. You can get it up for free by just giving me a call. I'll come over and spit on it, wait 15 minutes for it to bubble and just wipe it away. I guess its just the price you pay for eating your own product too much............2-3 Pabst Blue Ribbons on top of it dont help the matter either.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Here come the doldrums

Well its that time of year again. It happened last year and I've been wondering when it would hit this year. I think its hit. Biz always slides off this time of year (not including off premise catering for year end parties, etc..). Yesterday was the slowest friday since, well, last year about this time. It slides off for several reasons......depending on who you ask. Holidays, dark earlier, rain, mud, cold.....whatever. I think its a combination of them all, especially in a town like Nolensville. We need to survive the next 2-4 months. Oh we'll have a spike here and there, and after the holidays when folks have digested all the money they've spent on christmas presents they will get back in a routine and be back out. Its not like the world stops until spring but you see where I'm going. Its a cash flow it always seems to be. I'm about to head out to the Joint

Monday, December 03, 2007


Ladies and Gentlemen.........................Miss Reagan Boone!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Biz still going really well. We're really, really doing well during the lunch hours and weekends. Weeknights still a little slower. I'm contemplating several different options to combat that.......closing early during the weeknights until spring, kids eat free nights, rib night, frequent customer cards.....and/or a combination of it all. I feel today will be a little slower than we've seen in a while. There are a few xmas parades going on and the conference football championships are this afternoon and tonight, which means everyone will be at home or at a sports bar watching. I've added a pic of some a BBQ guy looking at those is like ol' man limpness taking Viagra.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!