Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism
I recall holiday gatherings from my youth when relatives would spend hours cooking up their specialties, and how I and my cousins could reap the supreme benefit of a family full of cooks. Those benefits crested with the dessert sideboard, which was usually stacked three deep from front to back, five or six in a row, magnificent pies of all varieties. Even in my adult years, I’d cut the smallest viable slice I could of as many as I could put on my plate, thinking maybe I could salvage any remnant of a diet if I just had a sampling, knowing full well if I didn’t absorb a taste of every one some aunt or cousin might be offended.
So, as you might have concluded, I have a long running weakness for homemade pie. Unfortunately, I don’t also have an unending supply of time or patience, so I have found myself going with a popular alternative familiar with a select number of folks. And I might just get in trouble for letting the cat out of the bag. Because for homemade pies, you have to go to a barbecue joint. Find out which, on the jump.That’s right. Chip’s Barbecue is known around my neighborhood for its meat, sure. But the big draw is pie -- cream pies, cheesecakes, and seasonal wonders. They’re all made from family recipes, and I have yet to find one I don’t like.
The pies are delectable enough dropped onto a chilled plate and served with a fork and a smile in the restaurant. But many have discovered ordering them in advance of the big holidays is the way to go. Plenty of cream pies -- coconut, banana, lemon, chocolate -- and divine cheesecake with a smattering of well-matched toppings. During the holidays a sweetly spiced pumpkin and a meaty pecan are added to the menu. Pies run $17.95; the massive 16 slice cheesecakes are $37.95 and worth every bit.
Chip’s is relatively new to the online world, having just put up their website. But for a neighborhood barbecue joint that’s been around since 1961, you’re likely to find their phone number on speed dial in any given crowd of lifelong Little Rock residents. My suggestion on the pies, order yours in advance, and be forewarned -- they’re apt to run out of cheesecakes early. Call (501) 225-4346 or drop in for an order and a bite at their store at 9801 West Markham in Little Rock.