It may have a celebrity chef and state-of-the-art, computer-controlled smokers, but don’t be fooled–Lumpkin’s Bar-B-Que (182 Raymond Rd, Jackson) has managed to stay extremely down-to-earth and friendly. It was pretty busy when we went for lunch, but someone (possibly one of the family members who owns/operates the restaurant) recognized my friend and me as new faces and welcomed us.
More importantly, the food is delicious and there is plenty of it. It’s $8 for all you can eat and there are many options–maybe not as many as at Hamil’s, but still more than I would comfortably be able to get to in two or three meals. As you can see from the picture below, it’s not as if I didn’t make an effort. This was only the first of my two plates of food, both of which I managed to mostly polish off. There is, after all, a sign at the beginning of the buffet warning that there will be fines for excessive waste.
My favorite meat (of the SIX kinds of meat that I tried at least a bite of) was the rib tip, which was meaty and smoky. The pork was also smokily delicious, though maybe a bit dry with no sauce. All of the meats I tried were good and generally stood up just fine without any sauce–there was some available, but I was already too overwhelmed with options to deal with that additional wrinkle. The roll was a bit greasy but (and I’m not sure that should be a “but”) very good and fairly fluffy.
I liked both of the chickens (fried and smoked) that I tried–the fried version was not too greasy and had a great crisp to it. The baked beans and the sweet potatoes were both flavorful and almost sweet enough to be desserts themselves. The apple pie was, of course, even sweeter and had a hearty, dense and delicious crust.
There were a couple of things I might not get next time (for instance, the chicken & dumplings weren’t my favorite and the corn muffin lost the bread war with the roll), but I was very happy with my Lumpkin’s experience. I’m looking forward to eventually trying all the things I had to pass by this time for the sake of making it back to work rather than passing out right there in a food coma.