27 August 2008

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Loveless "Sweet with a Bite" BBQ Sauce

I am a big fan of the Loveless Cafe. Having spent most of my life on Nashville's west side, I have eaten more than my share of biscuits and country ham at this venerable landmark, and I still think it's one of the best breakfasts in the city. Their extensive renovations a couple of years ago brought a lot of new things, one of them being barbecue. I have never brought myself to try it. Maybe one of these days I will. But for now I just stick to the proven winners - fried chicken, meatloaf, hashbrown casserole, country ham and red-eye gravy, and of course those incredible biscuits and homemade preserves.

I did, however, happen to pick up a jar of Loveless' "Sweet with a Bite" BBQ sauce when I was there the other night. I really wasn't sure what to expect. On one hand, this restaurant has a 50 year tradition of great southern cooking. On the other hand, they have almost zero barbecue tradition to speak of.

Well, it pains me to have to report to you that this sauce is considerably off the mark. It is neither very "sweet", nor possessive of any significant "bite". In fact, it actually tastes just like ketchup. And I don't mean ketchup-based. I mean, it tastes just like ketchup. There might be a tiny hint of vinegar tanginess, and there are a few sparse chunks of bell pepper floating around. But still...ketchup. Very disappointing.

Grade: C-

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