Lunching in Little Rock: Sims BBQ


In our Lunching in Little Rock blog series, Michael Kirkpatrick will explore and review the best restaurants in Little Rock and its surrounding area – all in time to get back to the office. This week, Michael ate lunch at Sims BBQ.

Restaurants come and go in Little Rock. If you are judging the success of a place by it’s longevity, wouldn’t you like to go to a place that has been around since the ‘30s? Since 1937, Sims BBQ has been a fixture in Little Rock and it never fails to keep people coming back.

My dad and I made the trek to John Barrow to sample their, not unique, but oh-so-special style of barbecue. The dining room is basic, with familiar faces behind the counter and a friendly server ready take your drink order. The menu – which sits on the table and is printed on the wall – has lots of options. The customers are very diverse, as barbecue is one of the great food equalizers. Surprisingly, in Dad’s over 40 years of living in Little Rock, he doesn’t recall ever dining in the restaurant. Sims does a big catering business and has been the food choice at family parties for many years. My favorite catering item is the Sympathy Plate, which comes with a slab of ribs, a whole chicken, pulled pork and all the trimmings.

Dad orders the pulled pork with coleslaw and potato salad, but I’m not here to mess around; I order the rib plate.  The ribs come in a mound on top of four slices of white bread, chips and slaw. Smoked ribs aren’t unique, but Sims does them so perfectly they become special. Sweet, sticky and smoky on the outside and fall-off-the-bone tender underneath the smoke cap. I love to soak up the juices with the bread. Dad seemed to like his saying, “Wow. We are coming back here. We are coming back here tomorrow.”

The key to longevity in business is attracting new customers and, more importantly, keeping those customers coming back again and again. Dad’s quote perfectly sums up Sims success since 1937. They make barbecue so good, you not only want to come back, but you’re ready to eat there for your next meal! Head down to Sims BBQ this week and get hooked for yourself.

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