If you like your Roadfood restaurants humble, with a monomaniacal menu, have we got a place for you! Jones Bar-Q-Diner is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in tiny Marianna, AR, an hour west of Memphis. There is a sign in the parking lot that says open since 1964, but owner James Jones told us the restaurant’s roots go back 150 years! Despite recently garnering well-deserved national attention, nothing has changed and locals still flock to the place.
All you will find on the menu is pork barbecue sandwiches on cheap white bread, with or without cole slaw. Mr. Jones cooks pork shoulder/Boston butt for hours over hickory and oak, resulting in tender pulled pork with a remarkably clear smokiness. Nothing else is needed for meat of this quality, but the thin, slightly sweet, vinegar barbecue sauce is the rare sauce that truly enhances the flavor. So simple and yet so good! There are no sides and if you want something to drink, just grab a soda out of the refrigerator.
The doors open at 7:00AM everyday but Sunday and they are frequently out of ‘que by noon. Knowing this, we arrived shortly after they opened and my girlfriend and I enjoyed barbecue for breakfast. After just two bites, she leaned over and whispered, “We are going to need more sandwiches!”