one of my biggest memphis oversights to date had been payne’s bbq. i have no good reason for not having eaten there, especially since it’s only a mile from my house. i have had it on my list for years but had never made it there.
until this march, that is.
but let me back up for a moment.
at the end of 2018 alex and i joined give365. give 365 is a giving circle that encourages community members to give $1 a day to create change in memphis. the money donated is pooled together to fund community initiatives and to provide grants to organizations around the city working to create change. bridges has been lucky enough to receive grants the past two years, and as a result alex and i decided we wanted to join and contribute.
since bridges is not up for a grant this year, we both volunteered to serve on grant review teams to help select the finalists. at my first meeting we were all invited to introduce ourselves and name the number one item on our memphis bucket list. i happened to mention payne’s, at which point frank, another member of my review team, said payne’s was also number one on his list. we decided a lunch date was in order.
we knew we needed to set a date or else we would never go, so set a date we did, and a few short weeks after speaking it into existence there we were.
payne’s is an unassuming building on lamar that you can easily drive past if you aren’t looking for it. it is simple and unadorned outside of the red checkered tablecloths, and there are only a few items on the menu, because they know what they do and they do it well.
frank was hoping for some ribs but they were out, so we both had chopped sandwiches with sides of baked beans, and both were delicious. i will definitely be back. soon.
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