To get to Sparky’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q you head north on highway 51 and drive past Millington into the small town of Munford. You go past Sparky’s Wine and Spirits and hang a right at the Sparky’s Exxon at Atoka-Munford Road. Sparky’s restaurant is right there in front of Sparky’s Bait Shop. I don’t know who Sparky is, but he seems to be quite an entrepreneur. And his no-frills dive of a restaurant serves up some incredible ribs.
The ribs at Sparky’s are served in the traditional Memphis style – dry but with sauce at the table you can add as you wish. When ribs are served “dry” it just means that they are only coated with dry rub, there is no sauce added. Good dry ribs, like the ones at Sparky’s, should actually be very juicy. Sparky's offered hot and mild sauce at the table. I like spicy barbecue sauce but the mild had such a good flavor that I ended up using an even mix of the two for dipping my rib meat.
The beans and slaw were both good quality, and the buttered piece of Texas Toast looked tempting as well but I left it behind uneaten. I’ve had a couple people ask me about my no grains rule for when I’m ordering barbecue. Pretty much all of the modern “diseases of civilization,” like diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and cancer, are caused by a combination of inflammation and chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels. These conditions are mainly caused by eating industrially-manufactured chemicals that were never a part of the traditional human diet. So while it makes sense to avoid the soda (high fructose corn syrup) and the fried sides (oils chemically extracted from genetically modified seeds), it seems odd to avoid the bread when people have been eating bread for thousands of years. But thanks to companies like Monsanto, the “wheat” that is used to make bread today comes from a species of plant that didn’t even exist 50 years ago. As Dr. William Davis explains in the book Wheat Belly, what we’ve created is a frankenfood that actually spikes blood sugar worse than consuming straight cane sugar.
For more info, check out this review of the book by Sean Croxton, the man behind the always-informative Underground Wellness blog and podcast. And here is part one and part two of an interview Tom Naughton, creator of the Fat Head documentary, conducted with Dr. Davis.