Imagine, for one moment, you’re driving down the street in a completely average looking residential neighborhood. On the left, that’s the Singleys, he’s a dentist. On the right, that’s the Johnsons, their son is the quarterback for the high school football team, then there’s the Morrisons place, and that’s the Jones boy up yonder mowing lawns. And that house up there…oh, that’s actually a killer barbecue joint.
So it was as I ventured to H.B.’s Bar B.Q. for the first time. I had even known ahead of time that this place was in a residential area, but as I was slowly guided there by my GPS navigator, I still thought I was lost. Nevertheless, I pulled into H.B’s Bar B.Q. in this southwest Little Rock neighborhood, steering my car around their driveway, parking in the makeshift parking lot in the backyard. Needless to say, I was already intrigued.
The interior of H.B’s is modest, but not cramped. A single small dining room containing less than a dozen various-sized tables is about all patrons will see. There are a few pamphlet-like tri-fold menus scattered about the place, but most guests simply order off the menu board tacked up to small piece of paneling overhanging the kitchen. But here, ordering up barbecue is about as simple as it gets—beef or pork, chopped or sliced, ribs make a rare appearance on Tuesdays only. Okay, so they do offer a few other items, such as burgers, hot dogs, and ham sandwiches, but I don’t go to a barbecue establishment for a chili dog, that goes against my principles.
I ordered up 2 sandwiches, chopped pork and sliced beef, with two sides, cole slaw and onion rings. Excitement was practically oozing from my pores.
The chopped pork sandwich was superb…heavy on smoke flavor, each bite loudly boasting the ash-ridden remains of some helpless tree that sacrificed its life to help create such a heavenly product. Through the smoke, the salty, rich flavor of pork rang clearly. The pork, chopped into tender bite-sized bits, was juicy and succulent. With a crown of fresh, crunchy shredded cabbage and a generous dousing of the sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, this is one sandwich that will not soon be forgotten.
The owners and staff hopping around the dining room floor proudly wear shirts displaying the slogan, “You Can’t Beat Our Meat!” In the case of H.B’s chopped pork sandwich, that’s a claim I’m not willing to bet against. So next time you are out for a leisurely stroll around the block, make a stop by H.B’s Bar-B.Q, I seriously doubt you’ll leave disappointed once you wrap your lips around their smoked pig.
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