Often when business or volunteer work takes me to locations around the state, I will query my friends on social media to ask about where I should stop in to eat or if there is a cultural or historic place I need to see.
When I mentioned online that I would be at the Lee County Courthouse, I was glad that my friend William Bert Daggett suggested stopping off at Jones Bar-B-Q Diner. This was perhaps the BEST barbecue I have ever tasted (and trust me, I have tasted a lot in my travels). When I arrived I just managed to get the last sandwich. Mr. Jones was about to pack up shop and go fishing, his usual pastime once the barbecue is done for the day. I really wasn't familiar with Jones, but I'm a fan now!
When I googled the restaurant I was greeted with this: Jones Bar-B-Q Diner is a barbecue joint in Marianna, Arkansas, US, that has been open since at least the 1910s. According to business guide Black Business, it is believed to be the country's oldest black-owned restaurant. In 2012 it was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as an "American Classic". The photo above is from 2012 on the Jones Bar-B-Q Diner Facebook page. What an honor for the Jones family and Arkansas.
If you find yourself in Lee County, head over to Jones and see for yourself why it is worthy of so many honors. PS: Great video about Jones Bar-B-Que in Marianna from Arkansas.com, the state's tourism site.