Dr. BBQ knows his way around the circuit.Photo: Josh OzerskyIt’s not that Southern Hospitality lacked a big name associated with it, or plenty of cold beer, or ample communications power — no, the only problem the first-year eatery partially owned by Justin Timberlake faced was that its barbecue was awful. So, while he may not have the attention-getting power of the fresh-faced pop star, Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe was called in to revamp the struggling barbecue program.
Lampe, a competition barbecuer and barbecue consultant known for his balanced, crowd-pleasing style, says that the new menu is totally revamped and that he will be on-site two weeks a month to keep it sharp. Barbecued bologna, fried ribs with pickles, and brisket “burnt ends” will all be appearing, but the biggest difference will be in the ribs. “We want them to be competition-style, where when you take a bite the meat comes off easy, but doesn’t just slide off the bone. I don’t think the guys that were in charge before really got that,” Lampe says. The genial cook will also be bringing his Jack Daniels sweet-potato pie to the dessert menu. Don’t expect the rub to be too assertive, Lampe warns: “I’m not a guy that wants to be create a distinct flavor. None of the spices stand out, and I like it that way.”