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Parking Lot Lunch at Suttle’s Road Hog BBQ

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Sometimes you just get a hankering for good barbecue. Combine that craving with a beautiful Saturday afternoon and a tremendous desire to get out of the house, and you have got yourself the recipe for a road trip.

But where to?

Thankfully, a few folks on the blog had been raving about Suttle’s Road Hog BBQ, so my destination was picked out. With my entire family of four in tow, we headed out to Beebe, the small town just 45 minutes northeast of Little Rock.

Ever heard of Suttle’s?

“We are family-owned and operated. We started in a catering trailer in 2004 and were only open to the public on weekends for 10 years, although during that time we catered events as well. We officially opened our restaurant doors in January 2015,” says manager Sara Suttle.

If you couldn’t tell, it’s a family affair at Suttle’s.

Sara’s father, Bill Suttle, worked for Union Pacific Railroad for many years, but due to a slipped disk in his back, he could no longer ride trains and had to retire.

“So, we worked together to find him a hobby. We bought him a book called Smoke and Spice for Christmas one year. My mom stumbled upon an advertisement for a smoker trailer that looked just like a log cabin. Next thing you know, my parents and oldest brother were on their way to Indiana to buy that trailer. Daddy learned everything he could learn about barbecue, although we are still learning every single day, and began his 15 years of hard work and sweat perfecting our signature rub and barbeque.”

As of the writing of this article, Suttle’s is still only curbside and drive-thru, so we placed our order 20 minutes out from the restaurant, and everything was ready for an easy drive-thru pickup.

“The drive-thru has honestly saved our employees and our business during this tragic time. We’ve enjoyed this surprise journey back to our roots, as it has reminded us much of our original Road Hog days in the trailer. We have enjoyed still being able to converse with our regulars and we have been thrilled to still be able to serve our community. Our customers have blessed us and supported us more than we ever could have imagined. We are eternally grateful.”

Being Suttle’s first-timers, we wanted to sample a broad selection from the menu. This included one each of a pulled pork and chopped beef sandwich, pork ribs, sides of slaw, beans, and potato salad, as well as a piece of strawberry cheesecake, and Suttle’s signature item, the Road Hog Potatoes.

“They have been around at least 14 of our 15 years of business. I like to describe them as a cheesy, smashed potato, mixed with everything that is good with the world, and topped with our rub,” says Suttle.

I could not have written it better myself and will tell you a visit to Suttle’s must include an order of these potatoes. They pair wonderfully with the super tender, crusty-barked ribs and one of those chopped beef sandwiches topped with subtly sweet slaw and barbeque sauce.

Chowing down on this barbecue in Suttle’s parking lot with a car full of family is just about as good as it gets. Maybe next time, we will be able to eat inside the restaurant. Until then, I have no complaints about the current set-up.

Did You Know?

Some of Suttle’s other more popular dishes include Mrs. Glenda’s homemade desserts like possum pie, banana pudding, and Mamaw Pie, as well as Smoked Frito Pies, BBQ Nachos, BBQ Stuffed Spuds, Smoked Half Chickens, BBQ Salads, turnip greens, green beans, and cheeseburgers.

 

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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