Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que | An Arkansas BBQ Best

Review by: Michael Stern

Hot Springs BBQ Landmark

Since Richard “Stubby” Stubblefield, Jr. opened it in 1952, Stubby’s has become a benchmark of great barbecue, not only in Hot Springs but in all the South. Now in the capable hands of Chris Dunkel, whose parents bought it from Stubby in 1977, it does everything the old-fashioned way. Chris brews sauce daily in the back room. He slow-smokes meat over hickory. Only when you place an order does a carver apply his knife. I love to stand in the cafeteria line and watch how deftly slices of pork or beef are carved and set in a sandwich or on a plate. If you seek an Arkansas BBQ best, you won’t find a better example than a meal at Stubby’s.

All Meats Are Great

Pork hangs heavy from rib bones, ready to detach at first bite. Ham is sweet and swanky. Ruggedly-hacked BBQ ranges from velvet-soft white meat to chewy bark. Even juice-dripping brisket rates as Texas-tender. Chicken, which in our book of barbecue tends to be a secondary consideration, demands attention, too. Dark glazed skin envelops moist, ludicrously tender meat, making every bite a rapturous experience.

Essential Sides and Sauce

No matter what meat you choose, you must get two of Stubby’s outstanding side dishes. The a massive pit-baked potato emerges from its long, slow heat bath with insides that are fluffy and delicious even before you apply butter and sour cream. Or, get the potato loaded with barbecued beef or pork — an awesome meal. Stubby’s pot-o-beans, another essential, is larded with hunks of smoky ham and blanketed with sauce. The sauce ranks as an Arkansas BBQ best, indeed, one of the nation’s best. Slow-cooked in a great vat back in the kitchen, it delivers flavor that is tangy, peppery and beguilingly spiced. Even after all the meat on your plate has become a glowing memory, you will find yourself using white bread to mop the last of it from the bowlful that comes with every meal.

Directions & Hours

11am - 8pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

What To Eat

Ultimate Platter

DISH
Pot O Beans

DISH
Half Chicken

DISH
Smoked Pit Potato

DISH
Sauce

DISH
Pork BBQ Sandwich

DISH
Ribs

DISH

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