Corky's Ribs & BBQ must be doing something right. The southern barbecue has attracted celebrities such as Phoenix Suns coach Dan Majerle and running back Emmitt Smith, and its sought-after barbecue sauce is served in stores nationwide, except in stores that only sell big-and-tall pajama pants. People can't seem to resist Corky's signature Memphis-style ribs, which are hickory-smoked and slathered in the restaurant's secret blend of spices. The grill also slow cooks St. Louis-style pork ribs, chicken sandwiches, and fish, all of which are served with hearty southern sides.
The cooks at Catfish City & BBQ Grill heed the call of hunger with a Southern-style answer to surf 'n' turf: jumbo shrimp and catfish alongside slow-smoked barbecue. Cooks fry catfish fillets in cholesterol-free peanut oil before compiling platters designated for small, medium, and large appetites or pockets. Barbecue masters gingerly massage cuts of pork and beef brisket with a secret spice blend and smoke them over hickory wood for up to 12 hours. On a daily basis, the restaurant's in-house baker prepares three-tier carrot cakes with thick, creamy icing to satisfy sweet teeth or frost gums made out of cake, and fruit and pecan pies are offered as well. This Groupon applies for dine-in and drive-thru.
The enormous menu at Shorty Small's is home to a whole array of Southern-inspired comfort food, but what they're perhaps best known for is barbecue. Piled high with seasoned fries, baked beans, a cheesy biscuit, and slaw, plates crowd with tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs or marinated pulled pork topped with tangy barbecue sauce. Shorty Small's also has a full selection of imported and domestic beers, as well as wine by the glass and nonalcoholic beverages for shorties.
In November of 2009, Adam Richman of Man v. Food sat down at one of the wooden tables inside The Mean Pig BBQ and ordered the restaurant’s Shut-Up Juice Challenge. His only goal: to finish the smoked, pulled-pork sandwich, which comes topped with coleslaw and a slather of Shut-Up Juice—a fiery concoction of barbecue sauce mixed with concentrated habanero extract. After a hard-fought battle, the professional eater barely limped past the finish line, completing a challenge that bests most diners. At the restaurant’s last count, less than 2% of contenders who started the Shut-Up Juice Challenge finished it.
The Mean Pig BBQ may be most widely know for its spicy challenge, but locals come here for the chopped-pork sandwiches, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and smoked beans, a Mean Pig original. The owners smoke the pork and ribs over a hickory-wood smoker for 24 hours before drenching the meat in homemade mild, medium, or hot barbecue sauce. They temper the heat with creamy coleslaw, potato salad, and icy beverages to cool scorched tongues.
The casual eatery's bright-red floors allude to plates of sauce-slathered ribs. flanked by piles of cool, shredded coleslaw. The house’s brisket takes a starring role on tables, flaunting rich, smoky flavors gained from slow cooking over hickory for 12 hours. Diners can chow down on the combo meals and dinner plates in the restaurant, or buy in bulk for take-home meals that can satiate an entire family. While their meats and homestyle sides only last for one meal, their take-home bottles of their signature barbeque sauce keep the shop’s smokey flavors in the forefront of your memory.
After gigs in several well-respected Little Rock restaurants, David Bennett further honed his culinary skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute before opening Vieux Carre in January of 2006. David's parents and his wife Sarah greet patrons at the front of the house as he captains his culinary team as executive chef in the back, whipping up electric eats inspired by the cooking of New Orleans’ French Quarter, which fuses French, Italian, creole, and Cajun-style cuisine. Bennett serves his bistro fare in a historic Hillcrest space that was designed by lauded Little Rock architect Charles L. Thompson and once housed the Pulaski Heights town hall. Vieux Carre also hosts jazz brunches every Sunday, where feasts are paired with the jazz styles of Ted Ludwig on guitar and Joe Cripps on standing bass.