Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que

Bar-b-q | Smoke House
Worth driving from anywhere!

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 is a restaurant where everything is done the old-fashioned way. Sauce is brewed daily in the back room. Meats are slow-smoked over hickory and carved to order as you watch from the short cafeteria line.

Ribs are big and meat-laden; ham is sweet and swanky; ruggedly-hacked pork ranges from velvet-soft white meat to chewy bark. Even the brisket is Texas-tender and dripping juice. Chicken, which in our book of barbecue tends to be a secondary consideration, is absolutely first class here, its skin glazed dark, its meat moist and ludicrously tender.

No matter what meat you choose, two side dishes are essential. The smoked pit potato is a massive spud that emerges from a long, slow heat bath with insides that are fluffy and delicious even before butter and sour cream are applied. (It is possible to get the potato loaded with barbecued beef or pork — an awesome meal.) Stubby’s pot-o-beans is larded with hunks of smoky ham and blanketed with sauce. The sauce is one of the nation’s best: tangy, peppery and so beguilingly spiced that even after the meat on your plate is only a glowing memory, you may find yourself using white bread to mop the last of it from the bowlful that comes with every meal.

What to Eat
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Ultimate Platter
Ultimate Platter
Everything Stubby's barbecues is first rate. Those unable to commit to one item can choose the Ultimate Platter: beef, pork, ham and ribs. The Super Ultimate Platter adds a half chicken.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Pot O Beans
Pot O Beans
Only the top layer of sauce is visible in this picture of Stubby's pot o' beans. Below it is a surfeit of pit-cooked ham laced in among the beans.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Half Chicken
Half Chicken
Arkansas is as well known for its chicken as for barbecue, so it should come as no surprise that Stubby's barbecued chicken is four-star. Its skin glazed with magnificent sauce, its meat indescribably tender and succulent, it compares well to the most luxurious pork.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Smoked Pit Potato
Smoked Pit Potato
Another of Stubby's don't miss sides is the smoked pit potato, a mountain of food that includes a baked potato covered in slaw, beans, chopped pork and bbq sauce.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Sauce
Chris Dunkel makes sauce from scratch in back of Stubby's every day. He starts with 40 gallons and boils it down to about 15. The result: intense, sweet and tangy sauce that is perhaps the South's best.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Pork BBQ Sandwich
Pork BBQ Sandwich
With all the great menu items it is easy to overlook the pork BBQ sandwich. It came out a little more heavily sauced than I would prefer, but the meat is sliced thick and you can really taste the smoky flavor.
Stubby’s Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que, Ribs
Put Stubby's on the short list of best ribs in the country!
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11am - 8pm
Monday11am - 8pm
Tuesday11am - 8pm
Wednesday11am - 8pm
Thursday11am - 8pm
Friday11am - 9pm
Saturday11am - 9pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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