Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Stop at an Alabama Roadside Stand.

We've been on the road a few days now, trying out barbecue joints and checking out places to visit in southern Alabama.  On our way out of Mobile, we spotted a bright orange roadside stand in Wilmer that smelled really fantastic, so we stopped.  Here's what we discovered.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Road Eats - Gambino Brothers in Mobile, AL... Like Family.

There are many rules you should follow when you're dining out.  Some are practical (don't go to a restaurant after closing time and expect to be served), some are sadly humorous (always wash your hands after eating peppers), but some are just ironclad things you should know.  Three of those cardinal rules:  follow your nose, choose new things, and don't argue with the chef.

All three of those things apply at Gambino Brothers on the western side of Mobile, Alabama, along with a fourth -- when you can, dine with friends.

Grav and I are on our way to the Alabama Gulf Coast for an assignment.  We decided we'd do most of the driving on one day and then tackle all the really cool things the rest of the trip.  This is good advice if you have a long drive to your vacation destination.

However, we arrived in the evening, and as tired and grumpy as we were after the eight hour trip, we decided to play a little restaurant roulette, randomly turning here and there until we saw something we liked.  This time around, we almost dined at a place called Pour Baby -- mostly for the crazy sign out front -- before looking at the menu and realizing there was something I was allergic to in every item on the menu except the steak.  And they were out of steak.  We passed a place called Montego's, went through a shopping center and almost ended up at a Thai place.

And then we spotted the somewhat dimly lit exterior of an Italian restaurant.  We hadn't set out to have Italian, but what the heck.

There were few in the restaurant.  It was eight at night, and the restaurant closed at nine, and it was a Wednesday.  I worried
momentarily that we'd be shooed away with a "the kitchen is closed" remark (this has happened more times than I have acknowledged) but instead a gentleman came out of the kitchen and asked us to sit wherever we liked. Grav pointed at a six-top but I mentioned since there was just two of
us, we should get a booth.

The first thing I noticed when we sat was that the ad-covered tables included, front and center where I was, an ad for a burger joint.  Either this place had been around a long time, or they were comfortable sharing local recommendations.  That was cool.

The same gentleman came to our table with menus and wandered away to check on the other guests.  The couple at one of the two other occupied tables were getting ready to leave.  I heard compliments.  That was pretty cool.

The menu is pretty standard Italian -- pasta, pizza, salad.  Where it differs is in application.  Grav and I both contemplated the crawfish pizza with alfredo sauce (we'd find out later) but once I asked about the meat sauce (beef and pork), I turned my thoughts to lasagna.  Usually it'll be pork-tastic, but Gambino Brothers offers four different versions -- the Brothers Lasagna with meat, ricotta and marinara sauce layered between pasta noodles; the Vegetable Lasagna with vegetable medley, ricotta and mozzarella; the Eggplant Lasagna, which substitutes slices of eggplant for the pasta, and the Spinach Lasagna. I ordered the Vegetable Lasagna and Grav got the Lasagna and Crawfish Alfredo combo.  We decided against salads.  It was late.

Our came out and in his thick, quick, tight Italian restaurant accent he told me the.vegetable lasagna was gone.

"How bout the spinach lasagna?"

"Do you have the eggplant lasagna?"

Grav started to say "the problem is, she's all-" and then realized what he was saying and stopped.

Our waiter looked at me and said "there's eggplant in the spinach. There's no spinach in the eggplant."

"That sounds good. Spinach it is."

"You wan' mari-nare or alfredo?"

"Which would you choose?"

He stopped. I think he was surprised I asked.
"The alfredo."

"Then alfredo it is!"

He skuttled off to the kitchen, to return moments later with fresh, hot breadsticks... crispy on the outside, somewhat salty.  They were nice and airy and I could have eaten a basketful.  Grav
and I both stopped at one, knowing dinner was on its way.

As we usually do, Grav posted images on Instagram, which also go to his Twitter and Facebook.

And then this happened.

Grav at first started panicking, having read the message wrong and thinking someone was going to show up at the house (which would certainly startle the housesitter) in Little Rock.

Our plates showed up about this time.  I believe the gentleman who'd been waiting on us was amused by our camera antics.  Me?  I managed not to take all my normal photos, since I was incredibly hungry and here was this amazing smelling plate in front of me.  We did our usual dance of taking
photos with cameras and phones.  I finished first, and our waiter looked at me, looked at my pasta and asked "you need something more?  Maybe another plateful?"

"I think this is going to be plenty!"

"You look like you could use another plateful."

This brought me down into giggles, and as he wandered away, I looked at Grav and stuck a fork in my dish.  "I hope you already got this."

"I did," he sighed, training his Samsung Note on the meat lasagna on his plate.

I took a bite.  Well, damn.  That was extraordinary.

No, really, I mean, it was... okay, it may have looked like a huge white mass on a plate, but it was layers and layers of alternating spinach leaves and thin eggplant slices, lightly seasoned and glued together by ricotta and mozzarella cheese, under a thick blanket of alfredo sauce and more cheese.  For a meatless dish, it was very hearty.  It probably did unspeakable things to my cholesterol, but I didn't care.  It was just dumbfoundingly good.

I had Grav try some before he dug into his own plate... and he agreed.  I believe his word was magnificent.

I tried a bit of his crawfish alfredo dish... and was thrilled with that, too, lightly seasoned and grilled crawfish with that same alfredo sauce on thick noodles.  But I liked mine better.

He tried the same, was overjoyed with nicely done crawfish, and then sampled the meat lasagna.  Then he looked at me, pointed with his fork for emphasis at my dish, and said "that's magnificent."
Then he pointed at his own, and said "but this is better."

His phone started to ping.  He checked his messages and looked up.

"They're coming here."

"Wait, what?"

"Our friends... are coming to join us here.  Just a few seconds away."

And seriously, yes, three
of our friends came through the door.  And merriment happened.  After hugs were exchanged all around, we ended up moving to the six-top Grav had originally aimed for, and conversation rolled around for a while.

I knew it was getting close
to nine, or maybe a bit afterward. But no one was shooed away.  Instead, the guy who was waiting on us started pointing at our new guests, asking them for beverage orders.  One of the ladies with us asked what I was having and ordered it, along with a salad. She was asked what sort of dressing she wanted.

"House dressing... what is your house dressing?"

The gentleman waiting on us looked at her and said "what kind of restaurant are you in?"


"There you go."

We all laughed.  She also ordered a pineapple martini, which I photographed.  The other lady that joined us ordered wine and, when the gentleman came back to check on us, asked for another glass.

"Not until you finish that one," he told her, and she dutifully nearly emptied the glass.  He brought her another one, took the first and poured the last couple of drops into the second glass for emphasis.  Apparently you are expected to finish your wine here!

The conversation stretched out, as good conversations often do.  I asked for a box and ordered the tiramisu, which came to the table in a large square with whipped cream.  It was well chilled and soaked in espresso and had a strong, warm flavor of alcohol within.  I had to hand half
of it on its plate to Grav so I wouldn't injure myself on the rest.  It was a far larger portion than I had expected.

So, it turns out the gentleman who was waiting on us was one of the Gambino Brothers.  Some less-savvy diners might have found him strongly-tempered but Grav and I both recognized him as someone very emotionally invested in his restaurant.  Turns out the joint's been in this spot since 2002, and it's already gained the patina of a classic eatery.  Our trio of friends were regulars, and I could see it being a popular stop for folks in the neighborhood.  It strangely enough reminded me of Star of India in Little Rock... I suspect Mr. Gambino, like Sami Lal, knows everyone's name.

It was late, and we decided to let the staff go home and adjourned to one of our friends' homes.  As we were going out the door, Mr. Gambino told us to come back for the muffaletta, so I'm guessing there will soon be a return visit.

If you find yourself in Mobile out on the west side of town, not too far from the airport, look for the shopping center with the big shoe store.  On the western end, you'll find Gambino Brothers.  Try the lasagna.  But be sure to finish your wine.

Gambino Brothers
873 Hillcrest Road
Mobile, AL 36695
(251) 344-8115

Click to add a blog post for Gambino Brothers on Zomato

Monday, July 27, 2015

Change is Constant.

This morning was a milestone.  Hunter is six and a half years old, and she has adult teeth coming in. Unfortunately, she still had the baby teeth in those places, so they had to go.

We've been dreading this day for two weeks, ever since her last dental cleaning, when we found out her six year molars were already fully in and the tops of her front adult teeth were already poking through.  Though each of the baby teeth were loose, Hunter didn't seem too interested in pulling them out herself, so we made the appointment.

The next day, after pointing out how loose one of her bottom teeth had become, I'd finally convinced her to try.  She thought it would hurt.  I suggested she pull out the tube of Orajel in the bathroom drawer.  A few minutes later, I heard a shout and a laugh.  She had bent over the drawer looking for the Orajel and that particular tooth had fallen out.

I wish the others had come out so easily, but no dice.  Bagels, apples, waffles, nothing she ate seemed to make the teeth looser, so we were set to keep that appointment.

This should have been a just about Hunter losing teeth, but it's not.  Two weeks now, and I haven't been able to write much of anything.  I've been sad, reflective... numb, really.

A few days after Hunter lost that first tooth, we were on the road and got the news that one of our old friends was terminal.  Our friend Eddie had decided after 17 years of dialysis that he was throwing in the towel.  He had decided to end his dialysis.

We cut our trip short.

I've had friends die before.  One of my closest was a guy named Charles who was a mentor for me.  He passed in 2003 after a round of pneumonia that cascaded into a stroke and more.  Charles lived a couple of states away.  We were going to hang out at an event in Nashville over New Year's Eve weekend back in 2002, but he didn't show.  In an age before Facebook and Twitter, I was left with so many questions.  Emails weren't returned.  Phone calls weren't answered.  I didn't find out for more than a month... and yet he lingered for a couple of months more before he finally died.  I beat myself up for years that I didn't go see him, even though he wouldn't have known who I was.

Last year, I lost my friend Bryan.  One weekend he was in my kitchen cooking.  A few days later he was mentioning he was sick on Facebook.  And then a week after that, he was gone.  Just... gone.  Those few weeks were awful and weird, too.  Several of my Facebook acquaintances passed in the span of a month... most to the flu and to complications thereof.

But Eddie.  Man, I'd been bad about seeing Eddie.  Hadn't really run in the same circles for 15 years.  But there was a time, shortly after I'd graduated high school, that he was someone I really and truly admired.  He could sing and he could dance, and he could entertain.  Like my friends Charles and Bryan, I met Eddie through the Society for Creative Anachronism.  His songs were part of my college soundtrack.

When he stepped away from the SCA, we fell out of touch.  Still, his music is still part of my life, and I knew I had to go see him.

We did.  We brought Hunter and introduced her.  Grav had known Eddie longer than I had, meeting him several years before.  As we sat in the small hospital room, the years rolled away.  It was like we'd seen each other yesterday.  Eddie was very much at peace with his decision, and when we left I felt far less distressed than when we'd arrived.

I went back by myself a week later.  He was sleeping.  He was gone the next day.

There have been a few things I've had to do these past few weeks, but when it's come to sitting down and writing, I just haven't felt it.  I've beaten myself up about it, because this is how I make a living.  I can't go without writing for a while.  I made a choice a year ago to rely on my writing as my source of income, and if I fail, I let not only myself down but my daughter as well.

Yesterday I reminded her that today was the big day at the dentist.  She cried.  We tried to cheer her up.  My friend Leif even took her out to dinner for sushi, her favorite food.  Still, she dragged her feet getting ready for the dentist this morning, and when she was told she'd have to have her teeth out without me being there, she was pretty disappointed.  She sat in the X-ray chair and pouted.

Shortly after she went back, they came and fetched me to come sit with her.  She was really upset.  I realized then that every time I'd come to the dentist with her, I 'd sat with her through her cleanings.  I'd always been right there.  I wasn't really letting her build her confidence.  And now here she was, panicked because here were strangers sticking her with "ant bites" (Novocaine shots) and telling her to breathe weird air.

So I started making jokes, really bad jokes, and after a few minutes she finally started to calm down a little.  And they took out those other three teeth, and I was just grateful I was out of eyesight so she didn't see me cringe when they came out.

She got a Pop-Ice to suck on, but was so up on the nitrous oxide that she just held it and stared at it until after we got home when I insisted she drink the liquid.  It's an hour later and she's still holding the tube.  Her smile looks so weird now. Her appearance is very, very different.

I've spent the afternoon between laughing and being a bit weepy.  That smile will fill out again, but she'll look different.  She's going to change.

My friend Eddie has transitioned to whatever awaits him.  There will be others who will come into our lives.  Others will leave.  Hunter will lose more teeth and those adult teeth will come in.  And I will get back to writing again.

But for the moment, we're going to watch UHF and vegetate.  Because change needs a little time to process.

More travels to come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

4 Trips You Can Pack Into What's Left of this Arkansas Summer.

Have you missed out on summer? Been avoiding the really hot weather, or the really wet weather before that? Well, wake up... there are just a few weeks of summer left before the kids go back to school.

Need an idea for what you can still book and do here in Arkansas?  Here are four ideas.  Book some place to stay, get in the car and get going, even if it's just for a few days, before summer is gone.

Click here to check out waterparks and splash pads around Arkansas.
Click here to find great swimming holes in Arkansas.

I wasn't kidding about the makeup table.
Pack in a lot of history at Hope and Historic Washington. Face it, it's hot.  Why not spend some time in air conditioned museums.  Head to southwest Arkansas and tour the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Birthplace. See where the 42nd President of the United States spent his earliest years, learn about his grandparents and view Virginia Blythe's bedroom and makeup table.

Hope Watermelon Festival.
Downtown, you'll find the Hope Visitor Center and Museum, where you can learn about the town's history and pick up all the information you'll need to enjoy a good time. The Hope Watermelon Festival takes place August 6-9th, if you need more incentive to head that way.

Printing press at Historic Washington State Park.
While you're in the area, take the time to head six miles to the northwest and visit Historic Washington State Park. The tiny town was, for a brief period of time during the Civil War, the capitol of Arkansas.  Visit all sorts of neat places on-site, including the print shop (air
Better than a sauna, the working
blacksmith shop gets really hot during the
summer, but where else can you learn the
awesome history of the Bowie knife?
conditioned), the candlemaking shop (air conditioned), the bank that's now a really cool gun museum (air conditioned) and the state's largest magnolia tree (if you're lucky, it'll be windy).  There's also a really fantastic blacksmith shop where you can learn how the Bowie Knife came to be (it's very, very hot there), a couple of (air conditioned) courthouses and more.  You can ride a surrey around the park for a tour, and dine at Williams Tavern Restaurant, which is housed in the second oldest restaurant building in Arkansas.  Make your stay in Hope and Washington special and a real treat by staying on park at Grace Cottage.

The Mark Martin Museum, inside Mark Martin Ford.
Speed up and slow down in Batesville. Visit the oldest city in Arkansas! The comfortable town lies along the White River and offers excellent fishing. Learn about one of the city's most famous residents, NASCAR superstar Mark Martin, at the Mark Martin Museum.  If you can tolerate the heat, rally on for the Summer Slam Street Stock Sizzler at the Batesville Motor Speedway July 24th and 25th.  Learn all about north central Arkansas at the Old Independence Regional Museum, enjoy a siesta at Elizabeth's downtown, and have fun at one of the state's last Putt Putt Golf Courses (and for quilters, a stop at Marshall Dry Goods is a must).

Watermelon relays at the Cave City Watermelon Festival.
Pair the visit with a drive up to nearby Cave City, which celebrates its Watermelon Festival August 7-9 in Cave City City Park.  Even if you're not up for the amazing and free watermelon feast on the 8th, you can still pick up one of the sweetest watermelons in the world at one of several stands along US Highway 167.

Dive into cool water and hot dishes in Lake Village. Spend a few days on the largest oxbow lake in North America at Lake Chicot State Park.  The lake's well known for fishing and swimming both.  Wake up each morning with a Bean Boy omelet at JJ's Cafe, grab some of those well-known
One of Rhoda's famous hot tamales.
tamales at Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales and Pies on St. Mary's Street, and close the evening out with steak and Chip and Dip at The Cowpen south of town.

In the heat of the day, take a tour of Lakeport Plantation (yes, it's air conditioned!) and take in art at the (also air conditioned) Guachoya Art Center. Of course, you should also shop at Paul Michael's.

An exhibit at the World War II Japanese American Internment
Museum in McGehee.
Double your fun with an extended stay and take in the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum in McGehee... and a visit to the Rohwer Relocation Center National Memorial nearby. And you can't stop in McGehee without a visit to Hoots BBQ.

If the heat doesn't bother you, consider a
trip around the River Trail, including a
ride or walk across the Clinton Bridge.
Spend days or a week in downtown Little Rock. Even if you live in Arkansas's capitol city, you may not know about all the really interesting things you can do in the air conditioning.  Book a room at one of the city's downtown hotel and hop a trolley to hit so many great museums.  Start with the Heifer Village at Heifer International's World Headquarters.  Head on to the Clinton Presidential Museum, where you can learn all about the 42nd President of the United State's term in office, discover all sorts of cool things about the 1990s and visit a replica of the Oval Office.  Grab the Clinton Museum cart and head to the gift shop for souvenirs, then tuck into the Arkansas Museum of Discovery, where
The Arkansas Museum of Discovery, or AMOD.
you can stay and play all day while learning about tornadoes, crazy facts and the human body and maybe meet a celebrity.  Down the street, you'll find the Old Statehouse Museum, one of the coolest (yes, the temperature is quite cold) free museums in the state, documenting much of Arkansas's history.  Three blocks
There's a great exhibit dedicated to Arkansas-filmed movies
and TV shows on the second floor of the Old Statehouse Museum.
away, there's the Historic Arkansas Museum, which offers tours of several very old buildings, including that of the state's first restaurant, the Hinderliter Grog Shop.  You may also find showings of documentaries or old movies at the Ron Robinson Theater, pick up fresh fruits and vegetables at the Little Rock Farmers Market or enjoy a steamy walk through the Bill Clark Presidential Wetlands.

Bagels at Andina's Cafe.
This eight block area also has some of the most varied dining in the city, including 42 (the cafe at the Clinton Presidential Center), Flying Fish, Damgoode Pies, Cache, One Eleven at the Capital, Capital Bar and Grill, Copper Grill, Brown Sugar Bakeshop, Andina's Cafe, Dugan's Pub, Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro and much more.  Don't miss a visit to River Market Books and Gifts for great book deals, too -- and if you really can't make up your mind, drop in at the Little Rock Oppenheimer Market Hall for all sorts of good things to eat and drink.

Best of all, even if you don't manage to fit any of these trips into your summer, they're still all there and waiting for you this fall.  Need more suggestions?  Email me at or drop me a note on Twitter @TieDyeTravels. Have a great vacation!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Eat, Drink and Give a Hoot at Hoots BBQ in McGehee.

Almost any lunchtime or evening, you'll see a full parking lot at Hoots BBQ in McGehee.  But don't ever let that scare you off.  There's a place for you to sit and eat, and you'll have a good meal, too.

David and Suzie Powell spent a couple of years after retirement traveling from place to place by RV. When they grew tired of that, they decided to head back to their hometown of McGehee and open up a barbecue joint.  The old cattle sale barn out on US Highway 65 was vacant, and so what the heck, the Powells bought it and started fixing it up.

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on

They had found a lot of excellent items while traveling around in their RV, and Hoots gave them a place to put it all. Inside, the walls are covered with old tin, chalkboards and memorabilia from gas stations.

The interior decor of the restaurant today is
eclectic.  Light fixtures have been constructed from pipe fittings, wine bottles and those old lights from gas stations and matched up with retro lampshades.

Windows and walls from other places divide the
restaurant.  The tables are reclaimed from other restaurants, including the old West Little Rock Cross Eyed Pig BBQ location.

The restaurant is vast. Up front, there's a bar for those 21 and older on the right when you enter.  The bakery counter is on the left.  Straight back, there are two large dining rooms near the counter -- where you pay for your food and where you can pick up your meals to go.  And there's even more space in the back for group functions.

The restaurant gets its name from the high school mascot, the McGehee Owl. And just about any function you can imagine, from after-church gatherings on Sunday to prom night dates, happen at Hoots.  It's exactly what the town needed, and people from McGehee are quick to tell you it's the place you need to go.  Heck, people who aren't from McGehee say the same thing.

There are a lot of things on that menu, such as the fried pickles, which are hamburger dills very lightly breaded with flour, salt and pepper and served up in a fat pile with Ranch dressing.

There are burgers... many burgers... including an outstanding mushroom and swiss burger just slathered in 'shrooms and cheese.  And there's the Rita burger, which comes with several thick slices of avocado under its beef patty and lettuce.  Burgers come with chips, but you can pay a little extra and get fries or onion rings. And you should... see why below.

Pulled pork plate with coleslaw and onion rings.
As you can probably tell from the sheer number of photos in this post, we really love Hoots BBQ.  That's hard for us sometimes.  For instance, when we were researching Classic Eateries of the Arkansas Delta, we had to pass by Hoots numerous times
Beef brisket plate with baked potato and coleslaw.
on the way to dine at older restaurants.  The scent of that smoke was enough to pull us off the road time and time again, and even if we couldn't eat there then, we got the opportunity to dine later thanks to take-out.

We first discovered Hoots BBQ through two almost simultaneous incidents.  In August 2012, my friend Cindy Smith was telling me about this place I absolutely had to try in her hometown.  Either right before that or right after, while photographing slices of pie and fried pies for Arkansas Pie, Grav had been dragged off the road by that smoke... and he brought me a half pound of the brisket after dining there himself.  We were both hooked.

My favorite thing of all at Hoots BBQ -
a beef brisket stuffed baked potato.
It became our to-go place to pick up BBQ.  Cindy compelled me and the other members of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Communications team to dine there in November of that year, and Kerry Kraus and I had to make a return visit before heading back to Little Rock a few days later.

It was also where a bunch of us ended up in April 2013, the day George Takei came to the town for the dedication of the World War II Japanese American Internment Museum in the town's old rail depot.  In fact, I was sitting in one of the dining rooms when I received a message that my photo had ended up all over the web... but that's another story.
A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on

So a stop-in Friday afternoon with Grav and Hunter wasn't anything out of the usual for us.  It was Hunter's first visit, though, and we decided to take a break from a trip into mid-Mississippi for a bite to eat.  Since just about every time we've ever gone before, we've had some variety of beef brisket, Grav and I both
decided to depart from the usual and have ourselves some other meat options.  He went for the pulled pork plate with potato salad and baked beans.  The pork was good, very good, he said, but still the brisket is better.

Those baked beans are
pinto beans and they're barbecued with pork in them, and it's usually Grav's chosen side item for just about anything we get there.  He says they're just a bit sweet of savory, if that makes any sense.

He got both of our servings of potato salad, since I had forgotten the mayo-based big chunk salad included pieces of pork as well.  Grav says the potato salad is really good with bits of meat in it, and those bits are really smoky.

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on
Hunter surprised both of us by asking for a pork barbecue sandwich with her kids meal.
Now, Hunter started off life as a child who would eat anything, but as she's matured she's gotten selective, far more finicky.  But that child ate her entire sandwich, and she even dipped her fries in the orange-ish, South Carolina style sweet sauce.
I'd been told about the chicken at Hoots BBQ, but this was the first time I ordered it.  I'll be honest, I was actually originally more interested in the Four Egg Omelet on the menu -- a strange item to be sure, but an omelet stuffed with brisket, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, fries, jalapenos and cheese. However, eggs sometimes upset my stomach, and jalapenos always do, and we were on a road trip, so I decided on the chicken instead.

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on
The skin on that chicken was sweet and spicy both, thanks to the rub.  It was a compact chicken half, but the smoky flavor went all the way into the meat, and the breast was even juicy, which is an accomplishment and a half.

The coleslaw is slightly sweet, chopped fine, and it's good on the sandwiches.  It's decent here, too.

I knew our visit here would not be complete without some of those epic onion rings, and so we got an order, and they were magnificent... lightly floured and battered single large ringlets, a little salt and pepper, perfectly cooked.  They weren't too blonde and they certainly weren't too brown.  They're served with Ranch as well, which is perfect.  Ketchup is a little overpowering for these.  We even found two tiny fried pickles in the bottom of our basket.

After I dine at Hoots BBQ, I almost always get brisket to go.  This time was no exception.  You get it, just the meat and sauce, at $15.99 a pound.  That pound made six and a half ample sandwiches for us over the weekend.

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on
Hoots BBQ opened up its own bakery just a few months after it opened its doors.  The selections are plentiful, with an incredible carrot cake, German chocolate cake, Italian cream cake, cheesecakes and banana
pudding.  I even noticed on this visit that there's now lemon icebox pie.  It was a hard choice between that blueberry cheesecake and that Italian cream
cake, so we got both for the road.

They were magnificent.  I loved the homemade icing on the Italian cream cake... and the three of us took turns eating that blueberry cheesecake straight out of the box with the plastic forks stuck into our bag.

A photo posted by Grav Weldon (@lordgrav) on
Sadly, David passed away June 2nd.  He was the sort of guy who knew everyone and never met a stranger.  The restaurant continues on, though.  It's the heart of a community now, and I can see it staying such for generations to come.

Hoots BBQ
2008 US-65, McGehee, AR 71654
(870) 222-1234
Click to add a blog post for Hoots BBQ on Zomato