Coleman’s BBQ Senatobia, MS
In the hundreds of times that I have made the drive to Tunica from Oxford, there was never any reason to pull off on the Senatobia exit. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that if I lived in Senatobia that there wouldn’t be a reason for me to pull off on the Senatobia exit, and yet, today, I found a reason to travel there.
It was getting late and I was getting hungry, as that 3 o’ clock sun poured in my windshield, I figured it was time for one of my favorite meals of the day…Linner. Linner is a beautiful mixture of Lunch and Dinner; not quite as romantic as Brunch, but just as satisfying nonetheless.
I’d like to say that some serendipitous, cosmic force drew me to Coleman’s BBQ as I kept my eyes peeled for a BBQ joint in uncharted land, but I knew that being this close to the heart of BBQ country and in the middle of a small country town that there had to be some local joint that slung some swine.I was happy that I found Coleman’s a local BBQ & breakfast joint, buried in the sea of chain burger joints and gas stations, pulled into to the building that also housed a Domino’s pizza, and headed in for a quick bite.
I went up to the counter and ordered a Jumbo BBQ w/ slaw and my usual beans and potato salad, got my number, and sat down. I could see the girl open the large cast iron doors that housed the built in smoker and I could hear the sound of the meat cleaver crashing down on the cutting board.I waited in the dining room filled with old men that only came in for a cup of coffee telling stories of hunting, farming, and the weather for only about 5 minutes before my sandwich came. They looked at me oddly as I snapped a few pictures on my phone, but they quickly ignored me and turned back to the table to discuss what the movement of the deer would be as the expected cold front made its way across the Mid-South. I, in turn, ignored them and dug into my mid afternoon snack.
My sandwich was piled high with freshly chopped pork, a perfect size squirt of what turned out to be a truly amazing sauce, and a thin layer of homemade slaw, but the kicker to this sandwich was something that is so simple that most places don’t bother (or care) to take this extra step…a perfectly toasted, buttered bun.I know that most places don’t have a griddle because they really don’t need one, especially if you don’t do burgers and what-not, but there is nothing like a buttered bun that is toasted perfectly soft and crispy on a flat top that no convection oven could ever achieve. I scrape back a little slaw and sauce and go straight for some pork; exactly what I expected.
Coleman’s is a no frills kinda joint and I didn’t really expect the product to be much different. This was a purist’s dream…no ifs, ands, or buts about it, this was old school BBQ. The shoulder meat was smoked long and slow, over wood (probably hickory or pecan) with probably only salt and pepper for seasoning. There was no true “bark” but rather a leather color that resembled a tanned piece of hide that resulted from the numerous hours at a low, dry heat to achieve the perfect tenderness. The smoke ring was a nice and even pink and the texture was absolutely perfect. This wasn’t the greatest pork I had ever tasted, but, I marveled at the beauty that was the simplicity of this sandwich. Next was the sauce test, this sauce was truly amazing and was the hit of the meal! I was truly amazed and had to take another taste as I was not expecting such a rich and pepper sauce in this little breakfast and BBQ shack in a town that not many people have ever heard of.
I love sauce. I mean, I really love sauce, and I love nothing but sauce and a loaf of white bread and I would put this up against any sauce that is currently in my top 10. Coleman’s sauce was so vinegary and peppery without being too tart. It wasn’t sweet and it perfectly caressed the meat instead of falling through like an east coast vinegar sauce or sitting right on top like a molasses based KC style sauce; it almost tasted like a thicker Dreamland sauce.The slaw was fresh and crisp and not overly mayonnaise-y, which I liked and complimented the sauce and pork very well.The beans were above average baked beans with little bits of smokey chopped pork. I asked for a little side of sauce and added it to the beans which I thought took them over the edge of deliciousness, but I didn’t want to seem rude and pretentious so I kept that tidbit to myself just to share with y’all.The potato salad was homemade but wasn’t good for my taste. I’m sure that most people would enjoy it, and I’ll give them an “A” for effort, but I hate sweet relish and this was a great potato salad with a perfect touch of yellow mustard and then overpowered by my least favorite flavor in the world besides black jelly beans…sweet relish.I ate (almost) everything on my plate and was more than satisfied.
The Q was good, sides were above average, and they didn’t put a dent in my wallet. This isn’t a destination BBQ place; I would never drive just to go to Coleman’s, but if you are tired of the same ole stuff and you are headed up I-55 near exit 265, I would definitely take the five minute detour, support a locally owned business, and satisfy your craving whether it be breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, or linner…I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
312 East Main Street Senatobia, MS
Mon-Sat 7:30-8:30 Closed Sunday
Try their alternate location
554 East Commerce Street