Mean Pig BBQ – Cabot, AR – Crash

Mean Pig BBQ

Cabot, Arkansas

mean Pig Front

 

Let me begin by saying that this was a planned trip to Cabot, AR for the purpose of taking the Shut-up Juice Challenge, not just some place on the side of the road that I stopped to get a pork sandwich.

“What is the SUJ Challenge?”, you may ask yourself…well it’s a Jumbo Pork sandwich topped with creamy cole slaw and Shut-up Juice, a tomato based BBQ sauce which contains 1 tablespoon of habanero extract.

 

Nestled between a Sonic and a Waffle House in the small community northwest of Little Rock, lies a gem of a BBQ place that was definitely worth the drive.

 

I have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed when I pulled into the parking lot; the place looked brand new.

I walked into the front door…too clean.   In my experience, the best BBQ I have ever had came from run down shacks, dilapidated buildings, gas stations, and even truck pulled smokers in parking lots, but I didn’t let my prejudice get in the way.  This place had one thing going for them…there was a long line for Mean Pig BBQ.

The challenge is to finish the entire sandwich (meat, slaw, bun) and hold it down for five minutes.  There is no time limit and the only caveat is that you cannot leave the dining room and if you miss the “Barf Box” you have to clean it up.

 

 

Now, I couldn’t do a fair review without actually trying the

Q; there is no way that I was going to drive 2 ½ hours and not enjoy a little something.  So, as I waited nervously in line, I looked at all of the food coming out of the kitchen (This is not a sit-down and order place.  You wait in line, pay, and they hand you your food.) and had a hard time deciding.  I looked up at the menu that hung over the order window and saw some interesting and intriguing items. The Smoked Frito Pie looked amazing, however I wanted to try some “pure” BBQ and not a bunch of flavors mixed together.  The Frito Pie was a bed of Frito’s, smoked pork, sauce, baked beans, and topped off with shredded cheese and homemade slaw. I passed it up this time, but next trip back to Little Rock, I have to make the stop again and try this beautiful “BBQ Sundae.”

 

The next thing that stood out was the “patented baked beans.”  I am not sure how you patent a recipe, but, what the hell?  I’ve got to try those.  I got a ½ slab or ribs that were offered Memphis Style with your choice of regular or spicy, and I had to taste the smoked rotel.  I placed my order and then announced that I was here for the SUJ Challenge.  The lady looked up at me and kind of snickered thinking back to all of the other idiots that have come in and said the exact same thing and handed me a waiver to sign saying that they were not responsible for anything as it was my dumb idea to try this.  Over 5000 people have tried this sandwich and only 89 have survived it.  I vowed that I was going to be #90.

 

I sat down with 2 trays of food, my barf box, and a glass of water which in hindsight was a really stupid idea, kind of like bringing a water pistol to put out burning building, but I was stupidly optimistic and sat down to enjoy my food.

 

The first thing I tasted were the ribs.  Wow!!!  

mean Pig Ribs

If pork is meat candy, then these ribs were pure, pig lollipops.  These weren’t little sissy Baby Back Ribs…no, these were the biggest, meatiest spare ribs that rivaled those that Fred Flintstone ordered and tipped over his car.  They were perfectly seasoned with their salty, spicy rub that had a touch of brown sugar and a beautiful and even smoke ring.  They were very tender and moist but didn’t fall off of the bone (which to you newbies out there is a sign that the ribs have been truly smoked and not steamed in an oven.  Trust me, this is a good thing).

The spicy sauce that accompanied the ribs was a wonderful tomato sauce with a perfect mix of spice and vinegar; not too thin and not too thick.  I’m begging to really like this place.

 

Next I go for the famous baked beans.  I was a little disappointed in the beans; they weren’t bad by any means, but they just tasted like average baked beans…nothing special.  Same with the Smoked Queso…just tasted like ordinary rotel.  Good, nonetheless, just expected a gouda/hickory taste to it.

 

I now regret that I started this stupid challenge.  The ribs are too good and I won’t even be able to taste the chopped pork that lies under a huge puddle of fire.  I have come all of this way though and it is time.

Buddy Merritt, the owner, comes over to the table and offers me some kind words that are far from encouraging; he has seen this over 5000 times and knows that the percentages are against me.  All eyes in the restaurant are on me…I have come too far; I can’t back out now.

 

The first bite didn’t seem so bad for the first ½ second or so, however after a full second a feeling came over me like I had never felt.  A heat took over my mouth, tongue, esophagus, and stomach that cannot be described in words.  It felt like the devil himself, unzipped his pants and peed hellfire right into my mouth.

 

I gathered myself and went in for bite 2.  I kept trying to psych myself up by repeating my mantra, “It can’t get any hotter”, but it wasn’t the heat that was holding me back, no, it was the physical pain that was overwhelming me.

 

I was sweating profusely, my nose was running, my lips were burning and I looked and felt like my face was about to explode.  “What have I gotten myself into?” I thought to myself as I foraged on and took another bite of the sandwich.

 

As I was contemplating whether or not to call 911, the different staff members, nicely came by the table to laugh at me and give me some moral support.  This wasn’t about the T-Shirt anymore!!! This was a matter of pride now.

 

With more eyes watching me, I tried to ignore the whispers and concentrate on the ½ of sandwich that lay in front of me.  Buddy made his way back over and told me that I was the 4th person to try that day; two only took 1 bite while the other guy took 2 bites before they threw in the towel.  I was looking good.

 

I decided that I had to just force myself to eat the biggest bites as I could and do it as fast as I could.  Ha Ha!! Big mistake.  Buddy went back into the kitchen to get me a pair of gloves so that I could really go to town on this bad boy.  I took my spork and ripped off the biggest bite that I could handle and started chugging water to wash it all down.

 

I went in for another bite and I then I really started feeling it.  I don’t know if it was the sauce or my pride being smashed, but a tear rolled down my face as I looked at ¼ of the sandwich that was left and announced that I was tapping out.

People all around me congratulated me saying it was a great effort, but I knew deep down that the SUJ Challenge got the best of me.

All in all, this place is definitely worth the trip.  I know that going to a BBQ joint and not tasting the shoulder meat is like going to the Louvre and not seeing the Mona Lisa, and I’m not embarrassed to compare smoked meat to a priceless painting because one taste of Buddy’s ribs and you will agree that they were a piece of art.

 

 

 

 

Mean Pig BBQ

3096 Bill Foster Hwy

Cabot, AR 72023

501-941-5489

 

Hours:

Tues-Friday: 11:00-6:30

Saturday: 11:00-4:00

Closed Sunday & Monday

 

Check ‘em out @ www.meanpig.com

5 Responses to “Mean Pig BBQ – Cabot, AR – Crash”

  1. on 29 Dec 2009 at 11:50 am Brad

    Great review Crash…I saw it on Man v Food recently. This is by far the best review we have on the site; thanks and keep ’em coming!!

  2. on 10 Jan 2010 at 4:06 pm Kelly Hurdle

    What happened to eating for pleasure? I would have given anything to see you cry though!!

  3. on 23 Jul 2010 at 12:30 pm Pam

    I live in Cabot and frequent the Mean Pig. I have never nor will I ever try the SUJ it is legendary.

  4. on 01 Aug 2010 at 2:02 pm will

    im on my way to eat the suj. if 65 can do it so can i.

  5. on 04 Aug 2010 at 7:41 pm Glen

    We just moved to Beebe, just a few miles from Cabot. Haven’t been to the Mean Pig yet, but plan to real soon. I’d like to see them make Ghost Pepper BBQ sauce. It’ll make the Shut Up Juice look like Louisiana hot sauce.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Please copy the string 3yq1Bh to the field below: