In my humble opinion, barbecue should be a food group. It’s packed with protein, many of the sauces contain chopped vegetables, and it comes with enough sides to comprise a satisfying meal. Beyond that, barbecue is just downright delicious! If, like me, you’re always seeking a new “Que” restaurant to add to your list of favorites, one of the best is Ubons Barbecue of Yazoo. Almost as good as the food is the family-owned restaurant’s history.
Over 15 years ago, Garry Roark opened Ubons, named after his father, Ubon Roark, in Yazoo City. He got his start in the catering business, then opened a restaurant on Jerry Clower Boulevard, all the while using his father’s sauce recipe handed down through five generations. The recipe for Ubons sauce originated in southeast Missouri and contains elements of both Memphis and Kansas City sauces. It’s so good the sauce is now sold by the bottle in the restaurant, online, and other locations.
Garry and his daughter, Leslie, are no strangers to the competitive barbecue cooking competitions and nationally televised cooking shows. They’ve accumulated trophies from Memphis in May, Jack Daniels World Championship, and The Best of the Best and displayed their skills on television shows like Barbecue Pitmasters and The Barbecue Crawl. Leslie has also appeared on the Chopped series, where she was named a champion. Her son, Jacob, has also represented the family on Kids’ Barbecue Championship, among others.
Suffice to say, this is a family that knows how to smoke, cook, chop, display, and serve delicious barbecue. And this fact alone makes a “que stop” to Yazoo City worth your while.
Like any barbecue restaurant worth its sauce, Ubons knows how to create delectable appetizers as a preview of the main event. Most of their starters are filled with Ubons smoky meats. For example, there’s barbecue nachos ($8.95), rib or sausage sampler ($8.95), Ubons wings ($6.95), redneck fries topped with pork, chili, and cheese ($8.95), fried dill pickles ($6.95), tamales ($7.95-half dozen/$12-dozen), and fried cheese sticks ($6.95).
When it’s time for that long-anticipated Ubons barbecue meal, you might as well go big or go home. In short, order the Belt Buster Combo ($17.95). It’s a true belt-buster of a plate filled with hearty portions of pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and sausage. If you don’t wear a belt, at least wear stretchy pants; you’ll definitely need the extra room.
Smaller, but equally delicious selections are pulled pork ($12.95), sliced beef brisket ($12.95), ribs ($10.95-$22.50), and sausage platter ($11). Sides are $3 and include baked potato, fries, potato salad, coleslaw, home fries, sweet potato fries, and baked beans.
Also on the menu is a loaded baked potato filled with pork, beef, or chicken ($8.95). If a sandwich or burger is on your mind, there are plenty of those for the choosing, including pulled pork ($5.95-$7.95), beef brisket ($5.95-$7.95), grilled chicken breast ($6.95), and a single or “double barrel” shotgun burger ($7.95-$9.95).
Ubons also serves a daily blue plate special ($6.95-$8.95) that includes an entrée, two sides, and dessert with items that rotate throughout the week.
If you’re planning a special event or just feeding the family at home, Ubons packages large quantities of its famous smoked meats and sides for takeout.
Ubons is located at 801 Jerry Clower Blvd. N. in Yazoo City. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on weekends. Call 662-716-7100 for more information or to place a takeout order.