Hot Springs scores high in barbecue | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hot Springs scores high in barbecue

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 10:55 AM

click to enlarge NEWCOMER: Stubby's, in business since 1952, is  a relative newcomer compared to McClard's, which had a 24-year head start.
  • NEWCOMER: Stubby's, in business since 1952, is a relative newcomer compared to McClard's, which had a 24-year head start.

It seems almost unfair to mention this on a day when ice forced cancellation of the Washington's Birthday racing at Oaklawn Park and Hot Springs is otherwise out of reach for most But things are slow, so…...

Hot Springs came in 6th in the whole US of A on a thrillist rating of the best cities for barbecue in America.

McClard's, Stubby's and Smokin' In Style BBQ get particular mention. And the tamale spread at McClard's, used to illustrate the listing, IS a trencherman's delight.

Says the listing:

Do you like spicy, tomato-based sauce that kind of seems like it’s the barbecue child of Memphis and Lockhart? Do you want to get involved in a barbecue scene that is criminally underrated outside of Arkansas? Do you like spas as well? Well then you’re perfect for Hot Springs. The eleventh largest city in Arkansas (meaning it has 35,000 people), nestled deep in the Ouachita Mountains, is the home to two classic Arkansas joints — McClard’s and Stubby’s — but McClard’s historical chops are unmatched. Started in 1928, they allegedly received their recipe for a fiery hot BBQ sauce from a tourist court resident who couldn’t afford the $10 for his lodging. As of now, six BBQ joints sit in the small town, meaning you’ve got a good excuse to get a week of R&R (just hit McClard’s twice). 

How about it, readers? Does McClard's still earn that top rating? Grumbling has been heard.

Back in the mid-1970s, I did a statewide barbecue review for the Arkansas Gazette that put McClard's at the top. Everything was done from scratch, from fries to beans to tamales. But I barely survived brushing off Stubby's. It had some serious fans, particularly of "those beans in the little clay pots." They were not amused, though not as profane as the Tom Cotton admirers I've been hearing from of late.

If we can't argue about barbecue, what's the point of living anyway?

Tags: , , , , ,


Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • How red are we?

    Election results in Arkansas were discouraging for Democrats and progressive voters.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Corporate welfare hostage-taking

    Wisconsin offers the latest example of what's wrong with corporate welfare and Arkansas figures in what amounts to a hostage situation.
    • Nov 14, 2018
  • Little Rock voting: Neighborhood matters

    Voting patterns in the race for 2nd District Congress might provide some clues on keys to victory in the runoff for Little Rock mayor.
    • Nov 14, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Two plead in fraud of sheriff's office

    A former employee of the Pulaski County sheriff and a North Little Rock woman who sold goods to the sheriff's office have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme to steal from the sheriff's office, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
    • May 16, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation