Barbecued pork and chicken, along with a considerable variety of other foods, are featured Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., (but not on Sundays) at Murray’s barbecue place on South Lee Highway in Cleveland, Tennessee.
I tried the pulled pork one recent Friday with sides of coleslaw and sweet baked beans. Texas-style fresh bread goes with the barbecue, too.
Be careful driving by, but look for the barbecue grill that sits near the concession stand. Murray, a former construction worker, built the grill out of scrap metal and he also does maintenance work for Wal-Mart.
If you hear a little about this man’s story, you’ll know sacrifice and sorrow somehow brought him to sharing good food and God’s grace in this southeastern Tennessee city. Murray’s expansive vision already sees hungry souls being fed along with hungry bellies. He wants to feature gospel preachers and gospel singers as well, right there on the paved surroundings next to the grill and concession stand.
From inside the stand, the preacher-cook took out a CD of “God Sends the Rain” and I don’t remember which singers sing the songs, but I recall the generosity of spirit shown that day by Murray and his friend, Bill Carroll, a former United States Navy cook and current owner of real estate at B & B Marina in the Cleveland area. Carroll prepared that Friday’s coleslaw, which was also very, very good.
Everything about Murray’s barbecue stand soothes the soul, from the colored Christmas lights designed to shine in the darkness to the old-fashioned comfort foods like biscuits or fried potatoes or fried bologna and egg with several other selections and soft drinks, all served with such cleanliness and kindness it would be difficult to go away feelin’ lost or hungry.
You may not believe this, but early that night when I walked to my car with my take-out barbecue plate, it started rainin’. Maybe it was a sign of blessings on the way…drop by drop, plate by plate, song by song and soul by soul. Stop by the barbecue place on the hill. If nothing else, you’ll be blessed by real good barbecue. (Update: I drove by this particular outdoor barbecue place just a few weeks ago. It wasn’t there anymore, that I could see. Don’t know what happened, but didn’t want to send you on a wild goose chase).
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