Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Jones BBQ in Marianna wins Beard Foundation honor

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

GET THERE EARLY: Jones Bar-B-Q in Marianna.

SIMPLE MENU: Anything you want, as long as its pork.
  • SIMPLE MENU: Anything you want, as long as it's pork.
The James Beard Foundation, which promotes good restaurant eating in America and annually honors top restaurants, chefs and others, today announced that a Marianna barbecue restaurant had been designated one of this year's American Classics.

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, owned by James and Betty Jones, will be one of five restaurants honored for their "timeless appeal" and the quality of food "that reflects the character of their community."

The Beard release:

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner (219 W. Louisiana St., Marianna, AR, Owners: James and Betty Jones)

Some incarnation of Jones Bar-B-Q Diner has been open since at least the 1910s. Walter Jones was the founder and first pitmaster. He lived in a dogtrot house, perched nearby. From the back porch, he served barbecue on Fridays and Saturdays.

Hubert Jones, the son of Walter Jones, and father of present-day-proprietor James Jones, recalled the family’s initial
barbecue set-up as “a hole in the ground, some iron pipes and a piece of fence wire, and two pieces of tin.”

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner, one of the oldest African-American—owned restaurants in America, remains true to those roots. James Jones, the grandson of Walter Jones, tends the pits. His cooking apparatus is still elemental. And the pork shoulder, hacked into savory bits and served on white bread with a spritz of vinegary sauce, is as smoky as ever.
In the Delta town of Marianna, not far from the Mississippi River, Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is a beacon of community pride and continuity.

Typically, the American Classics are featured in videos. You can see some from last year here.

A friend who's eaten there says:

Great pits, they're old cinder block made and low to the ground. Usually out of food by early in the day, and when he's out he's out. Served on white bread, and very discrete flavors. I once heard it described as a bbq fan's bbq. Most tender pulled pork I've ever had.

John T Edge told me this was one of the more difficult oral history projects ever, for some reason Jones was reluctant to talk at first.

Mr. Jones will be on hand for the Beard awards in May, wearing a tux, my friend says. The diner has been featured in Saveur, a great foodie mag. The article was by Edge, the Southern Foodways savant from Mississippi. Also in the Oxford American.

Tags: , ,

Speaking of...

  • In Forrest City, Delta Q is doing it right

    June 23, 2014
    I hesitate to declare something “the best in the state,” as I know that’s a highly subjective proclamation, but Delta Q definitely needs to be in that discussion. And if a finer barbecue establishment does exist in Arkansas, I’ve yet to find it. To any barbecue devotee, plan to make the trip to Forrest City to see for yourself what Delta Q has to offer. /more/
  • Gee Que's skills will give you wings

    June 5, 2014
    Kelly Gee, North Little Rock's most infamous rogue grill master, shares with us his recipe for smoked chicken wings with a very different style of sauce. /more/
  • VICE.com: No 'Ozark Cuisine'? Blame meth and racism

    April 11, 2014
    The website Vice.com has an article on their "Munchies" blog right now which posits that the reason there's no nationally-recognized "Ozark Cuisine" on par with other beloved regional cuisines is due to the three headed beast that has plagued the image and reality of the Ozarks since Hector was a pup: racism, poverty and xenophobia. Writer Josh Bell singles out white-supremacist organizations in Harrison, Ark. to make his point. /more/
  • More »

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Stealth politics at grassroots in Arkansas

    A funny thing happened shortly before vote-short developer Dickson Flake got a three-month delay from the Little Rock City Board on considering his widely panned proposal to install a MAPCO filling station and 24-hour convenience store at the dangerous Third and Broadway intersection, just a block and a half from a $70 million Robinson Center Music Hall redo.
    • Jul 10, 2014
  • Property purchases recommend on Main for LR Tech Park: UPDATE

    A consultant has made his recommendations for property to purchase for the Little Rock Tech Park.
    • Jul 9, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation