I have always loved anything barbecued, and growing up in the south, I have luckily tasted my fair share. From various restaurants to my friend’s dad’s own home smoker, there is something infallible about meat that has been cooked for long hours over some sort of fancy wood.
However, despite my indiscriminate love of all barbecue, there is something to be said about real barbecue that hasn’t been sucked into the commercial world or blended into the typical chain of restaurants. Hole-in-the-wall places are undoubtedly the best for authentic barbecue and that being said, The Gambling Stick does not disappoint.
My friends discovered the Gambling Stick by word of mouth. From a friend’s aunt, to a friend, to another friend, and then an accidental discovery on Yelp, we were lead to this pitched tent on a rainy Saturday morning. This place, that flies a red flag overhead until it has run out of meat for the day, had been referred to us as the “best BBQ in Nashville.” Although very difficult to find, one day my self-proclaimed foodie friends luckily stumbled upon the Gambling Stick on Yelp, and figured that we would give it try.
Only open on Saturday mornings, the Gambling Stick serves their barbecue from a tent in front of the Porter Road Butcher. This week, the rotating menu included pulled pork, beef brisket and pork brisket – something we had never heard of. Sides included homemade cornbread, pasta salad and baked beans with real chunks of meat. The sauce was vinegar-based, sparking some debate over whether vinegar or tomato-based barbecue sauce was best. The consensus was that vinegar is better (and this particular serving was an exceptional example).
Tears of joy poured down my face as the perfectly-cooked meat shredded in my fingers. I’d definitely recommend the Gambling Stick to anyone and everyone, as long as you have time for a long power nap after eating.
Location: 501 Gallatin Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206
Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturdays only