Restaurants & Food

Single Best Lunch in Nashville 2017: Blue Moon BBQ

Think good barbeque only comes around once in a blue moon? If so, you definitely haven’t eaten at Blue Moon BBQ in Lebanon, TN. Owner and Pit Master Todd Beaird only uses the freshest and finest cuts of meat, which he wraps in a tantalizing rub and slow cooks over hickory wood to achieve the award-winning flavor barbeque lovers come back for again and again. We sat down with Todd to learn what inspires the mouthwatering menu items at Blue Moon BBQ and even scored the recipe for their banana pudding.

What’s the story behind Blue Moon BBQ?

I had been working in the insurance industry for almost 20 years when I started helping my brother-in-law run his BBQ restaurant. The last few years at my job were miserable and I wanted a way out, but I didn’t have a plan or any idea of what I would do next. During this time my brother-in-law opened a second restaurant, and two weeks before he opened the doors I walked into work and was handed a severance package. After a few years of flipping houses in the real estate business, my brother-in-law asked me to run the second location and it was an easy decision. I ended up buying the restaurant from him.

What is your most popular dish?

It’s a toss up between our beef brisket and smoked chicken. Our mac and cheese is also really popular – we sell out every day.

What inspires the menu creations at Blue Moon BBQ?

Experimenting, more than anything. Making something one way one time, adding a seasoning the next time, and playing around to try to get a flavor profile that works. It’s a lot of trial and error and practice. We also get feedback from our customers, which we take into consideration when updating the menu.

Do you have a recipe we can share with readers at home?

Here’s a recipe for our banana pudding:

Why do you think consumers voted you best BBQ in Nashville?

I try to talk to customers to get to know them a little bit. The biggest feedback we get is how good the food looks and how good it smells. You eat with your eyes and eat with your nose sometimes. I think presentation is important, so as the line starts forming we do our best to make the food look appetizing. At every pop-up we have four different meats, six side options, and three desserts. Customers like the variety and how many unique combinations they can make.

What are some food trends you’re seeing in Nashville, if any?

The Nashville area is trending towards fast casual. People don’t have as much time to sit down and be waited on. That’s how we run our restaurant. You’re eating within five minutes of walking in the door. People want a good meal at a good value, and they don’t want to spend an hour getting it.

Do you have any exciting plans for Blue Moon BBQ in the near future?

We hope to open a second location in the Nashville area within the next 18 months.

There you have it. When it comes to finger lickin’ good barbeque, foodies say Blue Moon BBQ takes the cake with its tender beef brisket, smoked chicken, and mac and cheese.