The South has always been known as a hotspot for barbecue; the method and type of meat might just vary wherever you happen to feast. Though Oxford might not necessarily have the reputation of Memphis, some will still say there are still some pretty good spots to get your pork and beans. At the end of the day, as one of our experts told us, it’s not just about the sandwich, but also the slaw, bun and sauce. With that in mind, HottyToddy.com gives you the best spots for barbecue in Oxford.
The Top 2: Handy Andy & B’s Hickory Smoked BBQ
When talking to students and locals, these are the two favorites by far. Dr. Kathy Knight, associate professor for Nutrition and Hospitality Management, called these two locations “classics” in terms of barbecue in the Oxford community.
B’s Hickory Smoked BBQ
This top spot for “Q” is located just off College Hill Road, next to the BP Gas Station. Most would consider it a little hole in wall, but they sure have a lot to offer. Besides their famous barbecue sandwich, they have fried okra, chicken mashed potatoes and more. Some say they have the best brisket around.
Not to be outdone for laid back atmosphere, Handy Andy’s is on North Lamar. Whether you stop in for the burgers or the barbecue, you’ll probably leave full and pleased. You can sit and stay a while to eat in or grab and go. Before you leave, don’t forget to snag a side of beans, potato salad or a dessert. Ole Miss senior Erin Smith said that Handy Andy’s is by far her favorite barbecue spot.
Old Favorite, New Twist: Lamar Lounge
Chef John Currence bought the establishment this past summer and it’s one of John T. Edge’s favorite spots for Oxford barbecue. In August, Lamar Lounge decided to take a new twist on the everyday barbecue sandwich. As cook Chris said, the barbeque is a mix of a lot of different ideas management liked, all put together. Some of the ideas came from North Carolina, some from Texas — all to compliment a Mississippi-made sandwich.
“Mississippi really doesn’t have a barbecue per se,” Chris said. “What we said was, ‘Let’s try to take some stuff that we’ve all learned and put Mississippi on it.’”
The pig cooks the old-fashioned way, turning and roasting in a big pit filled with coals taken out of their burn barrels out behind the restaurant. Halfway through, they turn the pig skin side down for a crispness and smoke flavor that is tasted later in the meat — a mixture of light and dark meat, plus cooked pig skin. The vinegar-based sauce, mixed with a little pepper and brown sugar, is complimented with pickled onions on top, an idea they picked up on from Texans. The process takes a long time, but the cooks call it a “labor of love.”
The Newbie: Ember’s Biscuits and BBQ
Located right on University Avenue, Ember’s Biscuits and BBQ opened this summer. They offer a drive through and are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, they serve breakfast all day long, but probably the coolest thing is that you can get your pulled pork and sauce on a biscuit rather than a bun. The more traditional option is there as well of course, but what could be better than a fresh, hot biscuit piled with meat and dripping with sauce? Foodie John T. Edge likes this one a lot, too.
The Old Favorite: Betty Davis
Our next barbecue haven, is not necessarily in Oxford, but is still considered a hotspot for Oxonians. Betty Davis is located on Old Oxford Road, just outside of the Lafayette County line in Marshall County. However, don’t let that make you think you have to drive very far, it’s only a 15 minute drive away. Knight gave a little more insight into the restaurant’s popularity.
“Betty Davis was for years, when Lafayette County was still dry, Betty Davis was where college kids used to go buy beer. My husband has made a couple of runs to Betty Davis.” The place still serves cold beer, seven days a week along with a really good sandwich.
The Square Establishment: Rib Cage
The Rib Cage came to Oxford in 2003, moving from its original location in Tupelo. Located on the Square on South Lamar, the walls are covered in Ole Miss memorabilia and is quite popular on game days.
Set yourself up with some sweet tea and a saucy sandwich and you are set for watching Rebel sports.
Story contributed by Ole Miss journalism students Natalie Moore and Kristen Wilson.