Triple A’s Barbecue on Old Fannin Road, near the Barnett Reservoir in Brandon, MS is located inside of the Old Fannin Road Exxon gas station. To navigate, Spillway Road on the west side of the reservoir intersects with Old Fannin Road, turn south and just behind the McDonald’s and you will see Old Fannin Road Exxon. You have now arrived at a serious Gas Station BBQ Joint. You can also follow them on Facebook.
When you open the door to go inside, the pecan wood smoke begins to take over. You can quickly tell that the aroma of spices and smoked meats are wrapping around your mind and all of your senses – turn to the left and head over to the counter. Behind the counter you find a smiling gentleman wearing his work, Mr. Chris Haley, Chef Extraordinaire of Triple A’s BBQ.
Chef Chris grew up on a farm in Dickson, Tennessee and knows what it takes to grow and raise and tend and harvest a plate of good food. Country cooking is famous fare in the hills near Loretta Lynn’s house, so when Chris enlisted in the U.S. Navy, he was selected to attend the U.S. Navy Culinary Specialist School in San Diego, California. Center for Service Support (CSS) Learning Site San Diego Culinary School
Chef Chris then drew orders and sailed aboard the frigate USS Taylor FFG-50, a ship that was just recently decommissioned on May 8, 2015 after 30 years in service. After his tour of duty and later moving to Mississippi, Chef Chris commanded the kitchen at the famous Parker House in Madison, MS for many years. His expertise and enthusiasm is now working everyday in his own restaurant to provide folks with the best barbecue.
Chef Chris is an enthusiastic Grill Master and I managed to prevail upon him for a tour of the kitchen. The first piece of equipment I see is the most important – the smoker. This is a Southern Pride electric smoker that uses a tray for wood chips in the bottom of the cabinet. This is a self-contained unit and excellent results can be achieve if you have the talent for low and slow. Some Grill Masters and Chefs are now using pelleted hickory – small chips of hickory wood compacted into a capsule shape similar to a headache medication. These hickory pellets are placed in a metal tray and put on the top rack of the smoker or any preferred spot. Chef Chris shows us his hatchet and chopping station where he prepares the various wood varieties for smoking and what the results look like after smoking meat all day. Chef explains that he doesn’t use just pecan wood, but adds other varieties to give his signature smoked flavor.
Triple A’s Barbecue offers Pulled Pork, BBQ Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket complimented with side items like a Loaded Baked Potato Salad and Baked Beans that are WOW! All the meats prepared by Chef Chris are pecan-smoked, low and slow, to be tender and full of flavor. The BBQ Ribs are “3 1/2 down” – Chef-speak for what civilians call Baby Back Ribs – you can pull the rib bone out, they are so tender. Chef prepares me a sampling of BBQ Ribs, Smoked Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Green Beans, and a full compliment of his exclusive sauces.
Chef Chris also prepares dessert fresh daily, with Peach Cobbler and Pecan Cobbler as Southern as the Sweet Tea served with your meal.
Anytime I find a Grill Master that prepares Beef Brisket, I always take notice. Brisket is difficult to prepare properly and Chef Chris has a Perfect 10. Our friends say “I didn’t know brisket could be this good.” Tender and flavorful, this brisket really doesn’t need sauce, but Chef Chris has a specially prepared Brisket Sauce that is impressive by itself.
Speaking of BBQ Sauce, Triple A’s Bbarbecue has Chef Chris’ own fine sauce recipes to create a taste delight with barbecue:
• Sweet Sauce: A perfect medley of Coca-Cola, brown sugar, vinegar, and our rub.
• Rooster Booster: Triple A’s Version of a South Carolina mustard based barbecue sauce. With just a touch of Tobasco to put the “zip in your doo-dah.”
• Red Sauce: A straight forward vinegar and tomato sauce with a touch of heat. Growing up, in Dickson, TN; this is what barbecue sauce was to me.
•Memphis in May: This is the sauce for the person that likes everything. It’s sweet, vinegary, and a little hot; just like Memphis barbecue.
• Hot Season Cider: Triple A’s version of a North Carolina apple cider vinegar based barbecue sauce. This sauce will make you sit up straight in your chair.
• Blue Cheese BBQ Sauce: It is a homemade Blue Cheese barbecue sauce. Any questions? When you add it to our brisket, there needs to be a moment of silence.
I recommend you taste them all.
You will make a good friend when you meet Chef Chris Haley because he is service Amazing Awesome Barbecue All Day.