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Gene's Barbeque

1107 N. Highway 17, Brinkley, AR - (870) 734-9965
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/30/2008 12:30:00 PM
A highway billboard along Interstate 40 notes there is plenty of truck parking at Gene's; and sure enough, when we pulled off at exit 216 on the way to Memphis, we found a great big barbecue restaurant surrounded by a spacious lot occupied by semis, pick-ups, and even a few automobiles.

Inside, knotty-pine paneled walls seem right for a place where literally half the customers are wearing hunter's camouflage gear. A hand-written sign advertises purple-hull peas for sale: $11.00 per bushel, plus tax. Long communal tables are marshaled in neat formation; and there is plenty of elbow room between chairs. Every few feet on the tabletops are squeeze bottles of barbecue sauce, plus hot sauce and vinegar peppers, along with ketchup, non-dairy creamer, salt, and pepper. This is a place set up for eating barbecue!

Other customers were enjoying catfish, which looked crisp and thick; but we were happy with our choice of a large rib plate and a jumbo pork sandwich. Both come pre-sauced with a thick, faintly sweet sauce that is not hot at all. The ribs had a good chew and thick ribbons of meat that pulled from the bone with ease; the pork is sliced and pit-smoke tender.

At a nearby table, guys were raving about the apricot fried pies available for dessert. But we felt it was important to spare some appetite for Memphis, and so left pie-tasting to our next visit.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Barbecue Rib Plate
Barbecue Pork Sandwich
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Four kinds of barbecue are available: pork, beef, ribs, and chicken. We really liked these ribs. In the background are baked beans, the necessary side dish for barbecue in Arkansas.
"Four kinds of barbecue are available: pork, beef, ribs, and chicken. We really liked these ribs. In the background are baked beans, the necessary side dish for barbecue in Arkansas."
Michael Stern





Gene's sandwiches are available regular-size or jumbo. This is a jumbo pork.
"Gene's sandwiches are available regular-size or jumbo. This is a jumbo pork."
Michael Stern


Biscuits and gravy seem to be the popular breakfast of choice.  While the biscuits are nothing special, the peppery sausage gravy makes a big impression.
"Biscuits and gravy seem to be the popular breakfast of choice. While the biscuits are nothing special, the peppery sausage gravy makes a big impression."
Cliff Strutz


The walls of Gene's BBQ are lined with posters and prints of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.  Once thought to be extinct, it was spotted nearby in 2004.
"The walls of Gene's BBQ are lined with posters and prints of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Once thought to be extinct, it was spotted nearby in 2004. "
Cliff Strutz


Gene's is a convenient stop for travelers: near the highway (exit 216) and open from 6am to 10pm. There's vast parking space for trucks and recreational vehicles.
"Gene's is a convenient stop for travelers: near the highway (exit 216) and open from 6am to 10pm. There's vast parking space for trucks and recreational vehicles."
Michael Stern



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