by Kat Robinson
So I asked Twitter fans (you can be one too) on Thursday where they’d stop to eat if they were on their way to Northwest Arkansas. And I had several selections in the Fayetteville area, but only one restaurant kept coming up -- a place in Ozark called Rivertowne BBQ. I’m willing to give just about anything a try, so yeah, I found my way there.
Boy, readers, you weren’t kidding.
It was packed. I tried to go on Thursday on my way up, but I missed the window (during the week the restaurant is closed 2-4 p.m.) so I made a point of stopping on the way back. The Saturday crowd was in full force when I darkened the door around 1:20 p.m.
The kind hostess in her bright tie-dye shirt got me a booth and a drink and let the waitress take over. My waitress was polite and awesome. She saw me scanning through the menu, and even though I knew exactly what I wanted she allowed me to keep the small tome to read through for my dining pleasure. Which is obviously how I found this listing:
And here comes out my lunch -- a barbecue brisket sandwich with a side of fried okra. I love fried okra, it’s in my blood. But I have to tell you, it didn’t all get eat. I was too absorbed in the sandwich. Because, my friends, if you haven’t been to Rivertowne BBQ, you need to know… they don’t put on bacon-thin strips of brisket like you get elsewhere. You get planks -- half inch thick planks stacked three across and two deep. And the brisket is soft as buttah, no joke. This isn’t tear-it-with-your-teeth brisket. It’s poke-a-fork-at-it-and-watch-it-fall-apart brisket.
I was already mighty pleased with the brisket -- from its softness to its pretty pink smoke ring. So I decided to try the barbecue sauces on the table. Didn’t care for the Vinegar -- way too sharp for me and not sweet at all. But the Mild was sweet and lovely, and the Hot -- well, it wasn’t so much hot but spiteful, and very good. I alternated, resorting to squeezing a little on my sandwich as I ate along. That sandwich -- that I could not put down. My my.
So yes, readers, you were right. Rate me as a fan. And some day I might have to come back and find out what that creamed possom’s all about. Unless you’d like to enlighten me.
You’ll find Rivertowne BBQ at 205 South 3rd Street in Ozark -- take the first Ozark exit from here (exit 37) and keep driving until you get to the main drag of Highway 64/Commercial. It’s a block and a half past there on the right. It’s open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and then on Sunday and Monday. Call (479) 667-1808 or check out their musically enhanced website.