Editor’s Note: Ubon’s BBQ Restaurant is the fourth local BBQ joint on the Eat Jackson BBQ Trail. May is National Barbecue Month, and we’re celebrating in falling off the bone goodness. In case you missed the first few stops, be sure to check those out too!
Ubon’s BBQ Restaurant
When we started the Eat Jackson BBQ Trail, several readers told us we should go try Ubon’s in Yazoo City. This barbecue joint has gotten rave reviews and national recognition for the way they do their barbecue. Naturally, I was excited to try it.
I took the 35-minute drive up from Jackson to Yazoo City to pay Ubon’s a lunch visit. Their location right on the side of Highway 49 makes them easy to find. When I pulled up, I saw two Ubon’s signs, one on the building, and one free standing in front of the building, both with blue ribbons on them. As I was walking up, I saw their smoking equipment, artistically enhanced with “The Champion’s Choice.”
I opened the front door to find a clean and quaint dining area, awards and trophies on every wall. “Ok,” I thought to myself, “This is going to be the best BBQ I’ve ever put in my mouth. All of these awards can’t be for nothing!” The friendly hostess/waitress told me I could sit wherever I wanted, so I took a seat right by the door.
I opened the menu and saw that their Entrees section was highlighted with yet another blue ribbon. Now, I love a good Pulled Pork platter, and the description of theirs made my decision easier than easy: “Award-winning, awe-inspiring, the best you ever had.” Sold. Look no further. Pulled Pork platter it is. How can I resist something described like that?
The waitress came over and took my order. Along with the meat, I got my choice of sides, so I chose the Baked Beans and the Sweet Potato Fries.
Five or so minutes later, a plate of beauty was set before me. Everything looked, well, awe-inspiring (just as the menu had suggested!). I first took a bite of the thick, breaded Sweet Potato Fries. OH MY HEAVENS… These were seriously the best SPF’s I’ve ever put in my mouth. No question. The Baked Beans followed suit to a tee. These bad boys were hot, hearty, and downright tasty. They had bits of meat mixed in, which always takes Baked Beans to a higher playing field. These sides were in-cred-uh-bull… So far, so good!
Now it was time to try this award-winning meat I’ve heard so much about. If it tastes as good as it looks, then this might just be the best meal ever. I poured a fair amount of the Ubon’s special BBQ over a good portion of the meat, speared a piece with my fork, and ate it. Then I repeated the process, only this time I got a piece without the sauce. Then I repeated the process again, adding the sauce back to the sequence.
“Am I missing something?” I said quietly.
The meat was cold. It lacked the caliber of flavor I expected. I will say that the sauce was pretty jaw-dropping, but without a great base, the sauce is nothing but surface-level cover-up.
Did I expect too much from all the signs, awards, and blue ribbons everywhere? That’s possible. But with all the hype surrounding the Ubon’s BBQ, I don’t think I was out of line to expect nothing short of pulled pork perfection. Without the sauce, this meat would have been a complete disappointment.
Because this meat has won so many awards and gotten so many accolades, I’ve got to chalk this up to a bad day. There’s no way the meat that I ate has earned this place all the regalia I saw. Whatever magic wand they wave over the meat got left at home that day…
FOOD: The Sweet Potato Fries were excellent. The Baked Beans were excellent. Heck, even the roll was excellent. The meat, however, did not live up to the hype on this particular visit. I’m guessing they just had a bad day in the kitchen. It happens. But when you have so many sings and awards on display, these “off days” should be very few and far between! I’ll give them another shot next time I’m that way.
SERVICE: The service was very friendly and quick. You take a seat wherever you want, order with the waitress, then pay at the counter at the end of your meal. Simple, courteous, and speedy.
ATMOSPHERE: The atmosphere at Ubon’s BBQ Restaurant was refreshing as far as BBQ places go. There were elements of your typical barbecue joint in the décor, but it was cleaner and a nicer than most. The big windows allow for lots of natural light, which always frees up a restaurant’s atmosphere. The regulars would come in and have their meals served with the exchange of very few words other than “Hey Mr. Jones, how you doin today?” That’s always cool to see. Ubon’s gets an A+ in this category!
Ubon’s BBQ Restaurant
801 Jerry Clower Blvd
Yazoo City, MS 39194