Home » BBQ, Restaurants

Louise’s Open Pit BBQ

Posted by YAR 18 Jan 2010 27 Comments

I know I talk  a lot about BBQ.  I know I usually say it is good.  I always mean it (I tend to only write about food I like), but this time I really mean it. Louise’s Open Pit BBQ (Corner of Hwys 51 and 27, Crystal Springs) is well worth the 30-minute trip (each way) from Jackson.



We only found the restaurant because Google Maps led us wrong in our search for another place in Crystal Springs. We drove by Louise’s, smelled the open pit, and suddenly became hungry.


Louise’s BBQ sauce is a clear, vinegar-based sauce unlike any sauce I’d had before. After becoming accustomed to the thick, rich, sweet-hot sauces common here, I thought I might have lost my taste for the thinner vinegar sauces that dominate North Carolina. This wasn’t quite like either, but I might even prefer it to both. The sauce was strongly acidic but also fairly sweet. It was much less spicy than many sauces in the area; what spice it had came not from chile peppers, but rather from a generous amount of black pepper.


We got a rib combo plate for $11.50, which was enough for the two of us. It included ribs, one other meat, and two sides. We decided on the sausage for our second meat. We both liked the sausage; it wasn’t particularly exciting, but it had been cooked in that wonderful sauce and had a decent snap to the skin. Next time, though, we will definitely try the pork steak instead, which we heard others order and which seems to be a specialty of theirs.

The ribs were the highlight of the meal, and possibly of my week. The plate came with four ribs, and Louise’s geniusly leaves the tips on instead of cutting them off and selling them separately, making each rib the equivalent of at least one and a third ribs at other places. Plus, the meat gets fattier and more succulent at the tip. The ribs had the requisite pink smoke ring under the crust and were tender yet toothy.

The sides were fine, but we pretty quickly abandoned them in favor of getting as much as we could off the ribs. At one point a bit of napkin was stuck to my boyfriend’s finger, and when he saw that the napkin was covered with sauce… well, let’s just say he went for it.

Louise’s is open 9am-9pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 9am-2pm Sunday and Monday. Check out the menu here. I’m sure I’ll never again make the drive to New Orleans without stopping there.


  • Stuart said:

    Were you looking for Wilson’s? Heading south from Jackson, take the second Crystal Springs exit (#68 or #69), turn left at the stop sign, and cross the overpass. When you get to the next stop sign, turn right. Wilson’s will be on the left a bit less than a mile down.


    YAR Reply:

    It’s true, we were looking for Wilson’s Meathouse–Google’s coverage of Crystal Springs is a little spotty, but we ended up calling the store and getting directions (it’s exit 68). Thanks for the tip about that place, it is amazing. We bought quite a lot of sausage and I’ll be posting about it once I’ve tried it!


  • Kelly said:

    I’m from Crystal Springs originally my hometown :) and both Wilson’s and Louise’s are great! Louise’s BBQ will even cook your turkeys or hams for you at Christmas/Thanksgiving — great addition to the table during the holidays.

    Wilson’s undoubtedly has the BEST meat in the state of MIssissippi. They will even process deer meat there and you will not be disappointed.


  • Andi said:

    Just found your blog on recommendation of some friends. Louise’s is the best! I suggest trying the BBQ chicken next time too, you get plenty of sauce with that and it is SO GOOD.


  • Alex said:

    Just finished eating here. The pork steak was dry but very flavorful. Sauce was amazing.


    YAR Reply:

    I went back to Louise’s recently and tried the pork steak–I liked it but preferred the ribs. More importantly, I tried the other sauce on the table this time (the thicker sweet/hot tomato-based sauce) and loved it about as much as I liked the clear sauce. I kept having a bite with one sauce and then a bite with the other, back and forth until I was way past full, trying to decide which I preferred. I never decided.


  • Mudbug said:

    Love your site.May I offer one recommendation?Please add the phone numbers of the restaurants you review.Thanks,and keep up the good work.


  • Joe said:

    I grew up eating at Louise’s. The sauce is amazing. i miss the beef ribs from long ago, but the pork ribs and pork steak is superior to any other BBQ joints menu. I always get a couple gallons of their marinade (sauce). I travel the world now, but always make it the first stop when I fly into Jackson, MS.. I have shipped it to friend in Texas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Florida, Gerogia, even Italy and Germany. I wish either I had the recipe or they would start marketing the sauce. Best in the World!!!!


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  • dr said:

    You think it’s good now, you should have had it 20 years ago. While still good, it has gone down hill a lot from the old glory days when they use to have more 18 wheelers parked outside than cars. And the person that mentioned the beef ribs is spot on, while the pork steak is great, nothing has ever came close to their Beef Ribs.


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