Sugar’s Ribs – Chattanooga, TN

By Coach Billy Jack Hoover

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A view of Lookout Mountain from the Sugar’s Ribs location just off I-24 in Chattanooga.

I went up to Chattanooga a couple of days ago to make a friendly visit to a couple of football players’ families there. I’ve only got about 10 or 12 linebackers coming back in the fall, and I don’t like to be thin at that position. Chely Sizemore got wind I was going, and she said she wanted to see where Moon Pies were made. So she tagged along. We filled up the oil and checked the gas in the old Ford truck, jumped in and headed up the road to what people there call the Scenic City.

After we took care of our business, Chely and I got hungry for barbecue. We asked a couple of good ol’ boys where the best meat in town was, and they headed us to Sugar’s Ribs off of I-24 halfway up Missionary Ridge. The experience started before we even got out of the truck. Chely went on and on (and on, and on, and on) about the view of the city. You can see everything, including Lookout Mountain and some of the other mountains that surround town. And get this: those guys even sells T-shirts that say “Q with a view.” Now that’s funny. Sugar’s has a covered deck where you can enjoy the view while you eat outside, but it was a little cold so we ate inside. The walls are all glass, though. So we still got to take it all in while we ate.

Follow the Beaver Dam Roadside Tavern on twitter

sugar's ribs beaverdamusa.comI got the pork butt and Texas Pintos. Now here’s a little lesson for all you Yankees and slackers out there: “Butt” refers to the shoulder of the hog. It’s called a Boston Butt cut, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the hog’s hind end, so quit snickering. Anyway, Chely got the BBQ chicken sandwich and smoked jalapenos.

My pork was a touchdown. It was served chopped. I prefer pulled, but when it’s this tender, you can just finish the job with your fork. Ol’ Coach has gobbled lots of barbeque in his day, and this rates among the best. There are 5 or so sauces on the table, and I tried them all. They included mustard, traditional, sweet, Carolina, and habanero pepper to describe a few. The good folks at Sugar’s put a bunch of little cups on the table so you can squirt a little in each. You’ve gotta try them all. My pork was served with a couple of southwest cornbread muffins that really stick to your ribs. The Texas pintos were a great side dish. They come with fresh onions, a fresh pepper and parsley on top. I mixed some of the habanero sauce in there with them.

Now, we all know that Chely has rung a few chickens’ necks in her day. She’s a real country girl who knows her yardbird. (That’s what we call chickens in Catfish County.) I think she would’ve gotten the pork like me, except when we walked in, the first thing we saw was the chicken rotisserie right there in the kitchen. Those birds were golden brown. I think that’s what hooked her. She was hypnotized.

Like all good women, Chely’s a talker. But the chicken sandwich hushed her up good. I don’t think she said a word the whole time she was eating it. It was fall-off-the-bone tender and tasty, according to her. She said the smoked jalapeno papers were a treat also. But slackers beware: they’re blazing hot. I’ve never seen a girl eat hot food like she does. But even she left the spine and seeds (that’s where the unbearable heat is, she says). She loved them, though.

sugar's ribs beaverdamusa.com

Mouth-watering sauces on the tables at Sugar’s Ribs.

Sugar’s also has ribs (it would be a slacker name if they didn’t), brisket, and lots of interesting side dishes. For all you back-sliding Baptists out there, they have a limited selection of beer and wine. You can check out the menu here. And, follow Sugar’s Ribs on twitter.

Me and Chely highly recommend if you ever go over to Chattanooga that you visit Sugar’s Ribs. They also have a location downtown.

Until next time, enjoy some Q with a view, and Give Me 20, Slackers!

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