by Kat Robinson
See, Bubba’s Southern Pit BBQ isn’t your average barbecue joint. For one, it’s in Eureka Springs, which means it has a lot to compete against on the food front. For two, it’s been around a rather long time. For three…
Well, I can’t actually think of a third thing. I’ll try, but geez, sometimes there’s just two things. And maybe they don’t make that much of a difference. And sometimes I ramble.
The hubster and I dropped through last week on Tuesday night. I already knew I was going for a cheeseburger; I’d been told it was the best cheeseburger in town and I’m always collecting good cheeseburgers for Serious Eats, so there you go. But what was Paul going to have?
The place has been around for 30 years… more, if you count the year and a half it spent down in the downtown valley before moving up on the hill. The restaurant’s owner is the brother of the owner of Ermilio’s Italian Restaurant, an unforgettably fabulous Italian joint I’ll have to take you to sometimes. Well, at least on the blog. I don’t know if you want to stand outside in the heat and wait a couple of hours for a seat with me.
I took a few photos and realized we’d made a mistake in where we had been seated. I mean, it was perfect as far as the atmosphere went. There was this lovely scent of smoke throughout the building, and the music wasn’t overwhelming and we could talk. But there was a neon beer sign in the window above me, and it cast this red light over everything Gah.
But that was okay. I mean, I’m not a world class photographer. I write about food. And y’all put up with me, which is awesome.
The cole slaw was apparently very good, since Paul didn’t even let me try it, very creamy with a good texture. The potato salad was a lot like Miss Mary’s at Crosseyed Pig, but stronger on the sour cream and without the Cheddar cheese.
I did sneak some of his barbecue beef brisket. The meat was nice and savory, just enough smoke to make it mouthwatering. I really liked it with the sauce, though. That barbecue sauce started off smoky and went down to spicy with just enough tangy sweetness to make the whole thing work. I was all about that.
I’ve become a burger connoisseur with the assignments I get with Serious Eats. This is one hell of a burger.
If you get it, yeah, chips are fine, but spring another $2.25 and get yourself an order of the French fries. They’re hand cut and fresh and brown and soft and wonderful, especially dunked in some barbecue sauce.
I was treated to one thing that I was really curious about… the pit. I’m so used to seeing smokehouses around here. I was taken through the kitchen and allowed to peer into one of the two pits. It smelled like I hope heaven smells, redolent of good wood, good ash, good meat and well-chosen spices. Nom.
So, you wanna go? I’ll ride shotgun. You can find Bubba’s Southern Pit BBQ at 166 Van Buren in Eureka Springs — that’s Highway 62 on the historic loop. There’s a great website, or you can call (479) 253-7706.