Louise’s Open Pit BBQ
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.