Just off I-40 in Forrest City, Arkansas (between Little Rock and Memphis) is Delta Q, a local establishment serving up traditional barbecue in a casual, family-friendly setting. Standard menu items like the bbq nachos, fried pickles, bbq pork sandwich, catfish sandwich, pork ribs, pulled pork tacos, and hickory smoked chicken are all reasonably priced.
Every table at Delta Q receives a complimentary basket of tasty fried pork rinds–a nice gesture on the restaurant’s part and one you don’t see at many area establishments. Our party ordered the half slab each of the wet and dry pork ribs ($12.99), a pulled pork platter ($7.99), sausage and cheese plate appetizer ($6.99), and the pulled pork sandwich ($4.99). Each platter came with two sides and a small roll. I opted for cole slaw and baked beans, a decision that proved to be a mixed bag. The cole slaw was fantastic–a cool, slightly sweet version that paired well with the ribs. The beans, however, were probably canned and overly sweet. They weren’t terrible and actually hit a personal soft spot as I grew up eating beans like these every Sunday afternoon.
My substantial portion of meaty, St. Louis-style pork ribs were slathered in a sweet and tangy sauce. The tender meat came off the bone with ease, possibly a little too easily, as I prefer more of a struggle. The overall rib lacked a true smokiness and a decent crisp exterior, but the thin layer of top fat kept the underlying meat both moist and flavorful.
In short, the ribs were certainly good enough to satisfy my barbecue craving, but not so stellar as to make me want to get in the car and make the 1.5 hour trek to Forrest City from Little Rock. That said, if you’re driving through and are in need of a rib fix, Delta Q serves up a more than respectable version. My tablemates approved of both the sausage platter and pulled pork, although judging by the less than substantial serving of pork (on the platter), your best option might be the heavier-handed sandwich. But given the reasonable $7.99 price tag for the pulled pork platter, diners with smaller appetites should certainly consider ordering it.
Will you find Delta Q to be a life-changing barbecue experience? Probably not. But solid, adequately priced food served up in a nice atmosphere by an attentive wait staff is A-OK in my book.
Info: 1112 N Washington St, Forrest City, AR (870-633-1234); Hours of operation: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.