Burge's in Arkansas

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Bushie
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2003/06/19 21:58:25 (permalink)

Burge's in Arkansas

Here's a place I thought of tonight, and it's kind of a question for our Arkansas friends:

Last year I drove to Little Rock, just me and my long-haired Dachshund, Mason. We got an early start, but by lunchtime, we were still in east Texas. I started looking for a place that "looked right" driving up Hwy 79. We went through Louisiana and into Arkansas, and nothing appealed to me. I eventually got to the town of Lewisville, AR, and turning a corner, I knew immediately I had found my lunch. I turned to Mason and said, "This is it, pal." He wagged his tail in anticipation.

We had stumbled across Burge's, a smokehouse specializing in smoked turkey, but with a full menu of many items. Although the place was packed, I found a spot to park and ordered at the window. I got a combo turkey and ham sandwich, with a vanilla malt, and I bought Mason a quarter pound of thinly sliced smoked turkey. We drove contentedly away, smiling at each other every few miles, knowing we had made the right choice.

We have a number of Razorback fans on this board, so I'm wondering who else has tried this place? I noticed on the sign they also have a place in Little Rock, a fact verified by my aunt.
#1

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    CoreyEl
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/06/19 23:00:31 (permalink)
    I hadn't heard of this one yet (only been in AR two months) but I'll be in Little Rock on Saturday to go to the farmer's market and I'll see if I can hunt it down. Always looking for good "Q".
    #2
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/06/20 01:02:54 (permalink)
    Bushie, lets see if I can get a reply to you. I wrote one an hour or so ago, but then my computer froze when attempting to spellcheck it, and since then have been unable to connect with www.roadfood.com, or when did connect, then could go no further. Was experiencing some of these same problems with the roadfood website yesterday, but not experiencing them either day when connecting to/connected with other websites. Has anyone else experienced any such roadfood website problems recently, or is this something unique to my computer?

    As for Burge's, its an old southwest Arkansas institution, having been located in Lewisville for at least 20 years, and really longer it seems to me. I know I ordered smoked turkeys from it when living in Alabama years ago. Lewisville is the original Burge's location, but it indeed has a shop in The Heights in Little Rock now. I've only been by Burge's Lewisville once in recent years but visit the Little Rock location much more frequently, more so to pick up bulk smoked turkey or other food items to take as my contribution to some gathering or to the home of someone am visiting than to just get a sandwich. It seems to me the Little Rock location offers a bigger variety of foods than does the Lewisville one, but as is so often the case, it lacks much of the charm and uniqueness of the original. I think Burge's foods are wonderful, particularly its smoked turkey, but I know several people who consider its products, particularly its sandwiches, so overpriced and/or skimpily filled that they no longer patronize it. I understand to some extent their complaints concerning its sandwiches, but think its bulk meats are much more competitively priced/better values than are its sandwiches, and I always thoroughly enjoy them. Sorry I'm not able to .provide more detailed info re Burge's, but hopefully some other Arkie will be able to do so. Hope this doesn't contain too many misspelled words and typos. Am going to post it rather than risk losing it again attempting a spellcheck. Glad you and Mason enjoyed Burge's and hope you found other worthy dining sites in the state.

    Oh, CoreyEl, I don't know anything about Burge's barbecue, but as I said, I really like its smoked turkey. Know there are any number of good barbecue places in Little Rock. I swear I can't think of the name of my favorite but it occupies 3 adjoining buildings (having rapidly grown from 1 original building) near a Tuesday Morning, Alltel retail shop, and an Office Depot in a strip shopping mall down in what I call "the flats" area of Cantrell and in vicinity of Rebseman Park Road turnoff. The 3 guys who own this place are big into these barbecue competitions with the shop there being filled with trophies they've won. I love the fact that at their shop there are so many meat selections with choice of 6 different sauces. Welcome to Arknasas and hope you find the Riverfront Farmers' Market as enjoyable and as pleasant a surprise as I did upon my first ever visit there last Saturday. Liketoeat
    #3
    Bushie
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/06/20 08:11:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CoreyEl

    I hadn't heard of this one yet (only been in AR two months) but I'll be in Little Rock on Saturday to go to the farmer's market and I'll see if I can hunt it down. Always looking for good "Q".


    CoreyEl, as Liketoeat, I can't vouch for the BBQ, either. The smoked turkey and ham were great, though. Maybe you could try the BBQ and let us all know what you think!
    #4
    Rick F.
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/07/07 10:10:31 (permalink)
    I haven't stopped to eat there myself, but several people in Natchitoches (65 or so miles S of Shreveport) swear by it. They do have a catalogue. I stopped once on a hurried trip just to check it out, though,and learned something interesting. They sell country hams, but not the ultra-long-cured ones because of complaints about the mold from people who don't really understand country ham. The will sell it to you, though, if you tell them you know all about it.

    They also have a web site:

    http://www.smokedturkeys.com/
    #5
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/07/21 11:53:19 (permalink)
    CoreyEl, in my 6/20 post above I tried to tell you of Little Rock's current best (to me) barbecue place, but could not think of either its name or location. Have also attempted to describe this place in some other forum posts. I do have that info now; it's the Whole Hog Cafe at 2516 Cantrell Road; open 11A-8P, Mon. thru Sat. Weekend before last got take out barbecued beef and pork and smoked pork loin there, along with 3 of their 6 sauces. Everyone at the party thought it all was wonderful. Then this past Friday three out-of-state friends and I had its combo beef-pork platter. They were all as impressed with it as I am. That was first time ever ate there during noontime rush hour (usually there later in afternoon), and it was tremendously crowded, with all three dining areas totally filled. However, noticed wait for food was never long and traffic moved in and out rapidly to point that seats, tho perhaps not always the most desirable, were always available. Just more impressed with that place the more I experience it, and appears lots of other folks feel the same way. Surely recommend it the next time you are in Little Rock. Also noticed in this week's "Arkansas Times" a quite positive review of Rivertowne BBQ at 205 S. 3rd. St. in Ozark, AR. Glad to read of that for I'm not familiar with many good eating spots (and no barbecue ones) along the Little Rock to Fayetteville or Fort Smith route (save for a couple in each of Conway and Russellville).
    #6
    redtressed
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/24 23:17:28 (permalink)
    Mmmmmmmm, I concur with the Arkansas Times then. I stayed near Ozark a couple of years ago with some friends, and if possible...would of moved into the Rivertowne permanently. The atmosphere was pure bbq pit ambience, clean, smokey and lots of conversation. Our waitress was a gal who was home for the summer from college and was as charming as I've ever talked to. She could tell by accents,we weren't locals.(West Virginia Hillbilly here) A few moments later...the jukebox started blaring out Country Roads....and everyone was clapping and singing....courtesy of our waitress.

    As for the food......pure, divine, heaven.....the ribs, the pulled pork, the half chickens to name just a few entrees.....simply melted in your mouth. A great variety of sauces and good ol' traditional side dishes made that place among the most delightful, I've ever eaten at. I've even had some bbq fed exed to me from there.
    #7
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/24 23:29:22 (permalink)
    redtressed, surely good to read your most positive comments re the Rivertowne BBQ in Ozark, AR. Though the Arkansas Times usually does a pretty good & honest job of restaurant reviews, I've found, I still put more confidence in the rewiew of an individual, in this case, you, than in that by any professional reviewer or publication. Your comments make me just the more determined to get up that way and stop by for that delicious meal. Thanks. PS - How do West Virginia hillbillies compare with the Arkansas ones?
    #8
    redtressed
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/25 15:40:04 (permalink)
    I too like the old word of mouth..[:) As far as the difference in a West Virginia Hillbilly and the Arkansanian ones......:

    1. I think Arkansas stuck closer to the traditional food heritages such as country hams, fried okra, fried catfish etc...more down home southern type fixins'. West Virginia, mistakenly I might add, kind of betrayed it's heritage, (food-wise) in the 70'sin order to counteract our Hillbilly image. We've always remained true to the arts heritages though and are returning to the traditional goodies. One traditional cooking heritage never abandoned here though...is Italian. We have festivals that honor this fine tradition and some of the best I've had can be found at these. One of the biggest Italian Heritage festivals occurs this weekend in the town of Clarksburg...a Labor Day tradition. Oregano and basil and tomato based sauces fill vendor stalls all over the streets of town. Tis advisable to wear a bib to this event..

    In line with the above statement....comparitively....we have less Mom and Pop places except in the Italian genre. Diners have been replaced by McDonalds....Family buffetts by Shoneys etc. I do see an upswing though in recreating the lost days of good eating.

    A good example of our rebirth is actually a state government run place-The Tamarack. Located on the West Virginia Turnpike in the Beckley Area, The Tamarack is the "Best Of West Virginia" Traditional artisans, glass factories, shoppes from the grand resort "The Greenbrier", and so on, all are featured there 365 days a year. You can also find a meal of fried green tomatoes, soup beans or cornbread, country ham and taters or our much touted pepperoni rolls, being savoured in the small cafes within. Also featured are many exhibits ranging from the lore of the Shay Railroad engines in the lumber camps to our local NASA activities.

    As far as geographically different..our Allegheny ridges are a bit more sharp pointed than the rolling Ozarks. A wonderful site to see our mountain beauty is this...www.jonathanjessup.com. Be sure to go all through it....this man is a true artist....even if he does live in New Hampshire..

    The people themselves are very alike...warm, open, and friendly. There's a bit of laid backness in both states.....that eases one almost instantly. So y'all come on down heah, and we'll find you the best of the best....
    #9
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/25 16:03:10 (permalink)
    redtressed, thank you so much for your so interesting and so informative response. Really enjoyed reading everything. Over the years I've known a few folks from West Virginia - Logan, Parkersburg, and the extreme southwestern area. All were fine folks and seems here with you West Virginians are continuing in that tradition. My only time in West Virginia was years ago passing thru that extreme northern narrow tip. Seems the state was only about 30 miles wide at that point. Also enjoyed hearing performances by several West Virginia performers/instructors who in the past usually attended the annual Dulcimer Festival in Memphis (which unfortunately no longer exists). Remember folks there talking about the summer music and crafts programs offered by, is it, Elkins College? Know the materials they had re that looked like it would be a great adventure to attend. The state run "The Tamarack" really sounds fascinating; a great place to begin a West Virginia visit if one is unfamiliar wtih the state. Don't believe I've run across anything quite that extensive/comprehensive in any states I've visited. Do tell more about your pepperoini roll. That sounds good but is totally foreign to me. Thanks again for your great post. Have always heard how beautiful your mountains are. Would love to get up your way to tour around one of these days.
    #10
    redtressed
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/26 12:45:33 (permalink)
    Well come on up and we'll take the tour! Now for the pepperoni roll....

    The pepperoni roll was "founded" in Fairmont, West Virginia mid 20th century. It's bare bones basic composition is comprised of pepperoni, either in slices, stick form or even ground up, lots of cheese.(mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, pepper jack or even American being the most prevalent)These are surrounded by a fluffy hot roll dough that bakes up to crusty outside and soft and slightly chewy on the inside. In this form, they are delicious hot or cold. They also keep extremely well, so are often coveted by those who hunt or participate in outdoor activities such as rock climbing, white water rafting etc.
    We've made many additions since the traditional pepperoni roll was created. Additions include roasted peppers in marinara sauce, hot peppers, banana peppers, and a sort of hotdog chili. Large bakeries have been built here, exclusively distributing these rolls of glory, and are availiable in every grocery or convienence store around here.
    They range in size from small dinner size rolls to italian bread size extravaganzas. And every self respecting home cook has a few pepperoni roll recipes under their belt.
    #11
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/26 13:12:10 (permalink)
    Redtressed, your explanation of the West Virginia pepperoni roll (and the subsequent additions to/take offs on it) really sounds delicious. Reading your description is next best thing to getting to eat one, which wish I was doing right now as today's lunch. Everything about them (pepperoni, cheese, chewy dough, peppers, sauces, etc.) are high on my list of likes. Do you know if the commercially prepared ones are distributed beyond the immediate area? If not, sounds like another reason to visit West Virginia. Thanks. .
    #12
    foodfreak
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/26 15:20:37 (permalink)
    If you are ever in the Northeast corner of Arkansas, you have to stop by Woody's BBQ in the little town of Waldenburg. The mayor of Waldenburg sells the best BBQ whole butts, sandwiches, chicken and ribs out of a Winnebago on the corner of Hwy 14 and 49. Being so close to Memphis, you wouldn't think someone would say that the best BBQ comes from a Winnebago, but I would put it up against anything in Memphis anyday. His cooker is attached to the Winnebago and he is only there Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Good luck pushing all the truck drivers out of the way to get your whole hog on a bun.
    #13
    redtressed
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/26 21:45:46 (permalink)
    Liketoeat, I haven't found them outside the WV/Eastern Ohio/SW PA and Western Maryland area, but if you wish, I'll be glad to send you a variety of them for your perusal.They travel well and have been shipped to all corners of the earth. They are a staple for us to send our local troops.
    #14
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/27 09:14:39 (permalink)
    redtressed, thank you so much for your so kind offer of sending down some West Virginia pepperoni rolls for a try. That is really going "above and beyond", just too kind and thoughtful an offer, but I will be contacting you by email soon to talk further about this. Thanks again. Really appreciate it. Lovetoeat
    #15
    MikeS.
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    RE: Burge's in Arkansas 2003/08/29 00:58:08 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    Liketoeat, I haven't found them outside the WV/Eastern Ohio/SW PA and Western Maryland area, but if you wish, I'll be glad to send you a variety of them for your perusal.They travel well and have been shipped to all corners of the earth. They are a staple for us to send our local troops.


    Too bad we don't have these in the Eastern panhandle. 1 place, an import itialian place from NJ has some. They offer pepperoni or sausage rolls.
    #16
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