Sunday, May 24, 2009

Leonard's Buffet, our 14th BBQ stop

Our group went to Leonard's Friday April 24, 2009. It was the last stop for us to complete the Food Network's Diner's Drive-In's and Dive's tour of the top 4 BBQ joints in Memphis. Leonard's has been doing bbq in Memphis since 1922. The Memphis elite dined at Leonard's including Elvis. 

Tony's Review: I am not open to buffet style bbq. Was it a bbq joint or just food? They didn't specialize in one area, just lots of everything. You can't grade it like a bbq spot, it was more like Golden Coral or Sizzler. The catfish with Lousiana HotSauce and mustard was good as well as the chicken. For the bbq I give it a 2 out of 5. The service was good, I would give our waitress a 5 and Brett was checking out her butt the whole time. 

Kembree Review: Buffet's are tough for me, I don't know how to stop eating sometimes. I got excited at Leonard's when one of the employees showed us a drawer of assorted rolls and cornbread. What a way to start it off. I got one of the flat 'ciabatta like' breads and stuffed it with bbq. It was great, but it was more the bread than the pulled pork or sauce. The pork was good, but getting it off a buffet and under the 'lights' it 
wasn't as fresh as I would have liked. Now don't get me wrong, it was very clean, but just not sure how long the pulled pork was sitting out. The sauce was too think and rich for me as well. The catfish was ok, not as yummy as Brett had promised. The best thing I had was a juicy smoked bbq chicken breast. Loved that and would go back for it and the incredible lemon ice box pie for dessert. The service and atmosphere was great. But for the pork sandwich I have to give Leonard's at 3 out of 5. 

Courtney's ReviewI was a little disappointed in Leonard's mainly because my favorite thing to order at a BBQ restaurant is pulled pork with mild sauce and I didn't like either one. The pork didn't have enough outside meat and since it sits out on the buffet all day it was dry. The sauce was too thick and bitter...didn't like it at all. What I did like was the smoked  chicken. I lucked up and got a fresh piece so it was really moist and flavorful. As far as the buffet, they had a huge selection of food and desserts...I recommend the soft serve ice cream

Regina's Review: Leonard's was a pleasant surprise. I was a little concerned because of the buffet style service. Although the brisket was moist and tender I thought it was too fatty. The
 que was satisfactory and the beans and sauce nothing special. I am a fan of the mustard slaw though! Catfish was good too.Rhea has fond memories of the downtown restaurant too.

Diane's Review: Leonard's was a great value for the money. The bbq was good, but not as well done as I like it. It was a typical buffet with average food. I can't give the bbq more than an 3 minus. I can remember the original Leonard's on McLemore. I ate their quite frequently as a child because my mother had a business in the area. 
We would often go there for lunch and drive from midtown for dinner at night. It certainly is not the same; however nothing is as good as you remember. I think what has happened is the current owners are not as interested in quality but quantity. 

Brett's Review: Leonard's was good if you like the buffet thing. The catfish was great and the brisket was tender. However this is supposed to be a great place for BBQ and I wouldn't eat BBQ there. Their sauce is thick like molasses but with an almost bitter after taste and the meat was dried out from sitting on the buffet table to long. Good service but average food. Another 3 outta 5 for me. 

Randy's Review:
The buffet was adequate in quality and plenty of it. Actually, too much! I can't control myself in an "all you can eat" situation. I should have gone for the barbecue plate. Being at Leonard's brought back many fond memories from my childhood. After Sunday afternoon drives we would stop at Leonard's to have supper. Weather permitting we would take advantage of the drive in service and eat in the car. 
I vividly remember the "brown pig sandwich"  with slaw and hot sauce. It was always wrapped in white paper with plenty of grease spots oozing through held together by a toothpick. My beverage choice was always a bottled coke
, six ounces, 10 cents and packed a powerful burn. Eating inside the restaurant meant surveying the silver dollars embedded in the floor and in my childish mind divising ways of extricating them.Not the Leonard's of my childhood; however, I would recommend it highly to a hungry person wanting descent food at a very good price. I would rate the barbecue at 3. I found the beef brisket to be my meat of choice on the buffet.
Loren's Review: 
Great buffet for the price..extremely sanitary buffet's go..pretty impressive. , but what's best is that label everything, so you don't have to guess even a little...The beef brisket was surprisingly the best...All the chicken was tender...(even in spicy chicken wingsand the breading)...Not much different about their pulled pork- everyone said the rolls were great w/ the pork, but I was into MEAT that day...
Service was really really good- they do add tip to parties of 6 or more!)

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