Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The trailer may only be half finished (albeit functional), but never mistake that my priorities are not in order. This afternoon I tatooed the pit with this. Rest in peace Waylon Jennings, rest in peace.

Trailer. Memphis in May.

Well the catering trailer I've been building is starting to take shape. The pics you see here have it about 50% from the finished product. Still have a little more welding to do for the sides, need to put the fridge in place, need to paint it (what you see here is just primer). Have it ready to cook though, and thank the good Lord. Last week Carey (Peg Leg Porker) burned down the teams pit and about 8 more houses on Tyne Blvd. Just kidding, but the teams cooker is done, R.I.P.! So now our only option is to use this one. Trying to get the competition switch put on it so the automatic fan will blow the coals to give a longer burn time. Leave for Memphis on Saturday for Memphis in May. Ill be doing a bunch of audio blogs from down there, you may not want to hit the play button on those if you are sitting in your office.

Friday, May 02, 2008

There is no title

Well its almost been a month, again, since my last post. Without taking you through the line of been working a lot and all that, well I've been working a lot. Things are really going well. Business is still up considerably from this time last year. The economy is really starting to take a toll though. Two weeks ago my pork prices jumped almost $.30 in one week. Usually there is a $.2-$.3 variance from week to week. I had my rep try to find out what was going on in the market for such a huge jump but really got the insight from some research from some friends of my Dads at a well known commodities firm in Memphis. Russia, China, & Japan are buying up pork left & right........mostly due to the fact that our currency is so cheap relative to the rest of the World. They can buy it much cheaper here. Prices jumped to levels we saw last July 4th, which is always the peak season for proteins such as pork & beef. Soaring grain prices are forcing packers to slaughter at a much higher rate, especially in regards to beef. The good side to this though is that the higher rate of slaughter might force the prices of beef to go down some due to putting so much supply on the market, but then again they could just keep prices where they are because of the summer season. Who knows......all I know is that I'm bracing for another 15-20% jump in pork prices in the next month or two. I am trying to get my new menu done to get my prices up in line with my costs. As I've said before I hope it doesnt piss my customers off but I have no choice, my food costs are really starting to get away from my model. Another line guy is leaving at the end of next week so thats something else I've got to handle, and Emily is leaving at the end of the month to stay at home with her sick grandmother. She may come in and work in a pinch if we need her, and she may come back after that sad time for her comes around. I'm trying to alleviate pressure on my seating on Friday & Saturday nights, figuring on maybe some outdoor temporary seating. We've now developed the reputation of being "too packed" on weekend nights, especially Saturdays. Most of our weekend customers come from Nashville/Brentwood, I'd say 80%. Where as 7:00 used to be our peak time it now hits a 15-20 minute lull before one last push going into the close. With only 48 seats, I've got to figure out some temporary seating. Katie "All-Star" Walker has my new T-shirt designs finished. Robby Lunday from the Peg Leg team is going to print those for me. I'm also going to get more of my original shirts ordered from Nick Mathews. So if you want to buy a shirt, shoot me an email at:

Buy one........hell I've got kids to feed!

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!