What’s Your Sauce Say? [VIDEO]

Did you know that our own Andy Marshall and crew came up with Puckett’s famous BBQ sauces? We took our time getting these just right, and we think they turned out pretty darn good!

We believe that your barbecue tells us a little somethin’ about you… take a listen to Chattanooga GM Max Stephenson explain our in-house concoctions:

 

ORIGINAL
Not too thick, not too spicy, with a good balance of smoke and flavor to complement pulled pork, ribs and chicken cooked slow and low for hours. This is Memphis-style BBQ sauce, sweet with no heat. It goes well with any of our dishes, from mac n’ cheese to sweet potato fries. For a little more kick, try our Spicy version!
SPICY
Not too thin, not too sweet, with a good balance of smoke and flavor to complement pulled pork, ribs and chicken cooked slow and low for hours. Our Spicy BBQ sauce is a little bolder than the Original, more Kansas City than Memphis. It’s not what you’d call hot, but if you like things with some kick, then this is it!

Big News: Max Is Movin’!

We’ve got some big, exciting news y’all — and we just couldn’t wait to share!

We’re taking our long-time general manager Max Stephenson to lead the new Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant location in Chattanooga… and as you can tell from this picture, he’s just about jumpin’ for joy to start a new adventure in the Scenic City!

Max has been with the restaurant for many years, and worked from the back of the kitchen to the front of the house and everywhere in between. He oversaw six successful years of double-digit growth at Puckett’s in downtown Franklin–and, well, you could say we view him as family here.

Max Stephenson, Puckett's Chattanooga

Max Stephenson just got a new home in Chattanooga!

We’re going to throw up a #TBT in honor of Max: below is one of our favorite articles, written about our dear old friend. Learn more about Chattanooga’s new general manager–and if you visit, your new friend–below:

FACES OF FRANKLIN: MAX STEPHENSON

This story was published in the Williamson Herald and on DowntownFranklinTN.com in 2013.

Since 1998, Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant has made its name on live local music, southern comfort staples, and the friendly faces that welcome guests to the family-owned eatery and music venue. Max Stephenson is one of those faces.

Six years ago, Stephenson started out as a cook; today he is one of the most recognized personalities in downtown Franklin. As general manager of the Puckett’s Franklin location on Fourth Ave., South, he is often one of the first voices to greet the swarms of visitors who flock to America’s Favorite Main Street.

“The first time I heard about Puckett’s was when I interviewed for the position,” Stephenson said. “I left the interview thinking I did not get the job. I still believe he hired me just because he knew I needed the job, and not because I impressed him— but that is just the kind of man Andy Marshall is.”

Max became a part of the Puckett’s family in 2007 when he came on board to help in the kitchen. Splitting his time between Leiper’s Fork and Franklin—and taking on any role needed—he quickly demonstrated some invaluable assets: his breadth of industry knowledge and a dedicated work ethic.

Since those days, Stephenson has seen the Puckett’s family of restaurants grow from a grocery store out in the country to include Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant locations in three different counties, Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin, and Puckett’s Trolley, the mobile eatery.

He says the core values remain the same among the various ventures, including a community-centered environment and home-cooked dishes that he can take pride in.

“Back then, it was just the three of us: Andy, Claire [Marshall Crowell, director of operations] and myself,” Stephenson said. “I can say without hesitation, this is the best company I have every worked for. It is rare to see an owner get physically involved, but with the Marshall family everyone dives in. They make you a part of the family, and it is so rewarding to work with them.”

Stephenson says that outside of the ingenious culinary skills and the amazing talent he’s witnessed at Puckett’s (on-stage names include Faith Hill, Jonathan Kane, Steve Cropper, Amy Grant, and more), what he enjoys most about his job are the people he works with and those friends he’s met along the way.

“Once I had a lady ask me if any famous people ever came to Puckett’s,” he said. “I pointed to the lady sitting behind her and said does Sheryl Crow count?”

“The people are what make Puckett’s so special,” Stephenson said. “There is a genuineness at Puckett’s that you can’t get anywhere else. I get to come to work as a restaurant manager wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, and there is just something so egalitarian about that.”

Stephenson has taken on the role of coaching and guiding the employees around him, driving home the importance of things like uncommon service and consistency. His 30-plus years of industry experience qualifies him for that role, but he’s also been the innovator behind some of Puckett’s signature menu items like Bubba’s Benedict and the Country Club.

“I love the culinary aspect of my job,” he said. “I like coming up with different combinations, and giving them a Puckett’s twist.”

A couple of months ago, Stephenson was offered the general manager position at the newest Puckett’s location, on the square in downtown Columbia. Since he lives in Mount Pleasant, and makes the 45-minute commute every day, it seemed like a natural transition. But it didn’t turn out that way.

“Even though I live closer to Columbia, Franklin has become my home,” Stephenson said. “I am constantly grateful for Franklin, and amazed at how a group of people have helped lead and shape this community into something truly special.”
Stephenson asked to remain the manager in Franklin, but agreed to be the interim manger for the new location. He currently splits his time between the two.

A Memphis native, Max moved with his family to Middle Tennessee when he was a senior in high school. After two years at Columbia State, he moved back to Memphis to finish college and got a job waiting tables. Stephenson quickly worked his way from server to head server, then assistant manager to general manager.

“I have been in the restaurant industry ever since,” he said. “I love the fast pace of this business, and that it requires quick decision-making skills.”

After he moved to Orlando to open and manage a fine-dining steak house, Stephenson says he started to miss the South and wanted to be closer to his parents. He moved back to Middle Tennessee in 2004 and opened his own restaurant in Columbia.

“I opened right when the economy starting falling, and had to close nine months after opening,” Stephenson said. “Ironically enough, the very day I closed my restaurant I saw an article in the paper about Puckett’s.”

Stephenson says that fateful day has shaped the course of his life, and his career. And he couldn’t imagine loving his job any more than his does.

This is part of a series on merchants in downtown Franklin, Tenn. To read more, visit www.downtownfranklintn.com/facesoffranklin.

Puckett’s Boat House Introduces Uncorked, A Monthly Wine Pairing Event

Puckett's Boat House Uncorked

Beginning this month, we’re kicking off Boat House Uncorked—a monthly wine-tasting series at Puckett’s Boat House that will focus on informative topics, food pairings and all things relating to sipping and swirling!

Our first Uncorked event, is happening Tuesday, February 24, 2015 in the Boat House Wine Bar from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. We chose the theme “Winter Whites,” so the evening will focus on white wines to ry in the colder months + inspired food pairings!

Each month, Uncorked participants will enjoy five pours of the featured wines; an in-depth description and background of each pour; and suggested food accompaniments. You’ll also take notes throughout the night, ask questions, and mix and mingle with other guests.

In addition to the five pours and hors d’oeuvres, Uncorked will allow guests to peruse rare blends from the world’s most notable wine regions under the direction of Puckett’s Beverage Director​, Ben Rodriguez.

We’re most excited to interact with guests and to create a fun, educational experience, while giving you access to the wines through our event presenting sponsor, Moon Wine and Spirits.

 The Puckett’s Wine Bar Uncorked events will take place on the last Tuesday of every month. Tickets are $20 per a person, and the price includes five pours and an appetizer bar.

Call the Boat House and make your reservation today: (615) 790-2309

Keith with Fox 17

Super Bowl: How To Recreate Dishes From Your Extra Game Day Food!

So you invited family and friends over to watch the Big Game tonight… and after your grocery story run, you know you’re lookin’ at food for days. Let’s plan ahead: what to do with all those stored-away dips and covered dishes?

Well, Puckett’s Brand Chef Keith West–you can usually find him at our Nashville location–started to think: why not show folks how to re-create meals with ingredients from that extra Super Bowl chow?

Keith took a few popular Game Day dishes, and came up with these ideas (below). Enjoy y’all!

SB 1.jpg

Super Bowl leftovers (left) made into tasty new dishes (right)!

What you may have leftover:

  • Chili
  • Queso or cheese dip
  • Buffalo chicken wings (plus celery and blue cheese dressing)
  • Shrimp
  • Pico de galla, salsa, sour cream and cheese

How to re-create dishes from those ingredients:

  1. Chili Breakfast Omelet
    Ingredients:
    -1 tbl. butter
    -4 oz. beaten eggs
    -1/3 cup cheese (leftover)
    -4 oz. chili (leftover)
    -serve with pico de gallo and sour cream (leftover)
  2. Shrimp Quesadilla
    -12 inches tortilla
    -1 tbl. butter
    -1/2 cup cheese (leftover)
    -1/2 cup shrimp, chopped & cooked (leftover)
    -1/4 cup pico de gallo (leftover)
    -garnish with sour cream (leftover)
  3. Buffalo Chicken Wrap
    -12 inches tortilla
    -1 cup lettuce, shredded
    -2 oz blue cheese dressing (leftover)
    -5 oz. pulled buffalo chicken (leftover)
    -2 tbl. celery, diced (leftover)
    -1 tbl. bacon bits
  4.  Buffalo Cheese Soup
    -2 tbl. oil
    -1/4 cup celery, finely diced (leftover)
    -1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
    -1/2 tbl. grated garlic
    -2 tbl. flour
    -2 oz. beer (if you’re a Denver fan, you probably don’t have much leftover)
    -8 oz. chicken stock
    -5 oz. pulled buffalo chicken (leftover)
    -1/4 cup hot sauce
    -2 oz blue cheese dressing (leftover)
    -8 oz. cheese dip (leftover)
    -salt & pepper to taste
Super Bowl leftovers

Super Bowl leftovers

Super Bowl dishes re-created by Keith!

Super Bowl dishes re-created by Keith!

 [This was reblogged from a Puckett’s post in February 2014, when Keith went on Nashville’s Fox 17 morning show] 

Dave Barnes Could Be Serenading You

Valentine’s Day is just around the bend – I mean, stores have been stealthily stocking their shelves with candy hearts and roses for weeks now!

When LeeAnn, our lovely Nashville events coordinator, started thinking about the perfect entertainer for the most romantic night of the year, Dave Barnes immediately came to mind. She’s been a fan since her college days–especially after seeing his charm on full display during live performances. Not only has the local songwriter written countless heart-felt tunes that’ve topped charts–he penned “God Gave Me You” (we know you know the song)–but he also happens to be one heckuva comedian. I mean, the guy will serenade you and leave you in stitches too.

So when Dave said he’d play at Puckett’s Nashville for Valentine’s Day (YES, he is playing at 5th & Church on February 14), we couldn’t contain our excitement! As fans ourselves, we were dying to ask him a few questions. Take a read below……

Dave Barnes

What was the inspiration for your new album Hymns for Her?
 I’VE BEEN WANTING TO DO SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT MUSICALLY, AND ALSO WANTED TO DO AN EP, SO IT SEEMED TO MAKE SENSE TO TRY A MORE MOODY ALBUM AS AN EP. I’VE ALWAYS LOVED NICK DRAKE AND SONGS IN THAT VEIN – ALTERNATE TUNINGS, SONGS ABOUT LOVE THAT AREN’T STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE. ONCE I HAD THE TITLE OF THE EP, HYMNS FOR HER, I WAS KIND OF OFF TO THE RACE CREATIVELY. I KNEW WHAT I WANTED TO DO THEN.
Did you know from the beginning that you would release it around Valentine’s Day?
YEAH. JUST SEEMED TO MAKE SENSE.
What is your favorite love song on this EP? That someone else has written?
I REALLY LOVE “TELL HER YOU DO” – NEVER REALLY WRITTEN ANYTHING THAT FEELS LIKE THAT BEFORE. AS FAR AS MY FAVORITE LOVE SONG WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE, THATS TOUGH! IVE ALWAYS LOVED “SOMETHING” BY THE BEATLES, BUT THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF LOVE SONGS I REALLY LOVE.
What is your favorite date spot in Nashville?
THERE ARE SO MANY! WE ALWAYS LOVE A GOOD MEAL, AND THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT PLACES IN NASHVILLE FOR THAT! WE LIVE IN 12 SOUTH, SO IT’S FUN TO BE ABLE TO WALK TO SOMEWHERE AROUND HERE AND EAT A GREAT MEAL IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
What is your ideal meal at Puckett’s?
START WITH SOME FRIED PICKLES, THEN EITHER THE FILET OR THE CATFISH THEN OFF TO THE DEEP-FRIED BROWNIE SUNDAE. THEN BACK HOME TO JOG UNTIL I DONT FEEL GUILTY ANYMORE.
If you could have dinner at Puckett’s with any musician, living or dead, who would it be? PAUL MCCARTNEY PROBABLY. I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOGRAPHY ON THE BEATLES AND I’M COMPLETELY FASCINATED. EITHER HIM OR STEVIE WONDER.
 If Puckett’s created a cocktail called the Dave Barnes, what would be in it? IT WOULD PROBABLY BE THE LIQUID EQUIVALENT OF A SOUR PATCH KID. DO IT. PLEASE.

 

……. call  (615) 770-2772 today to make your Valentine’s reservations, before they are all swept away! Tickets for the show are $100 per person, and include a three-course meal AND a free copy of Dave’s new EP “Hymns for Her” (per couple or table), in addition to his special show.

 

More About Dave
Dave Barnes is a talented singer-songwriter who is best known for Blake Shelton’s cut of his song “God Gave Me You,” which earned him a Grammy and CMA nomination. With several other songwriting cuts as well as nine of his own albums under his belt, Barnes also has an amazing artist career spanning almost 15 years. HIs latest EP, Hymns For Her, releases on 
February 10, 2015. This evening of romantic evening of love songs partnered with Dave’s charming humor is one not to miss this Valentine’s Day.  

Puckett's Fried Pickles