Friday, July 16, 2010

Three Sam's BBQ Joint

Literally on the wrong side of the tracks as we drove into the small Mabelvale community. You see it right on the tracks, weather beaten with the word "BBQ" painted on the side. This place has the look, naturally, that other restaurants spend a fortune trying to attain. Inside, you find a bare-bones dining room crowded with people and tables and the wait staff threading their way between.

First glance at the menu strikes you with an entire page of rules. "Read the rules, don't screw this up," says my friend. He seems truly concerned that, like the soup nazi, there will be no barbeque for you! The first rule is "be nice." Okay, we'll give that a shot. Then it started to make sense in a way that makes you wonder why every restaurant doesn't print these rules on their menu. "you're here for lunch, your waitress works here..." and "our menus go into great detail to describe the food. Read it. Your mistakes cost us money." and ending up with "everyone should work in a restaurant at least once in their lives."

I hadn't really had time to digest all the rules when the waitress came to take our order, so I just blurted out that I wanted the large pork sandwich plate. I mentally stepped to the right...

Ordering the large was a mistake. The sandwich they brought me was a behemoth piled so high with meat, slaw and sauce that my only option was to attack it with a fork. Picking it up to eat would have jeopardized the "don't make a mess" rule. Plus, I had light colored slacks on. I glanced over to see the guy at the next table tackle what appeared to be a footlong hot dog under a six inch layer of chili and slaw, covering an entire platter. Note to self: might be interesting to try and survive that next time.

The barbeque was good, old fashioned Arkansas style vitamin Q, with all the tangy-ness and heat you'd expect in a mild sauce. And, as I mentioned before, it was heaped up on the oversize bun with lots of slaw and sauce. I ordered mine with onion rings and will flat out say right now: these are the best onion rings anywhere, ever.

All the usual meats, side dishes and dill pickle spears you would expect from a good Q joint, with the addition of great looking made-from-scratch desserts that left me wishing I hadn't eaten so much, this is a recommend for the regular Q rotation. Oh, and as the rule says, "Our food is made from scratch with family recipes. If you ain't family, don't ask for the recipe."


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