On Monday I stopped for lunch at Old Style Bar-B-Q in Olive Branch, MS. I've seen signs for it while traveling on U.S. Highway 78 in the past but had never seen the actual restaurant. It is right off the highway, so you can't miss it if you just turn where the signs tell you to. It ended up being much bigger than I expected.
The meat with my pulled pork dinner was fairly dry and only had a little smoke flavor. The sauce was pretty good and added some needed moisture to the meat. The mustard and relish-filled slaw was probably the best part of the meal, so I'm sure it and the sauce combine with the pork to make an okay sandwich. The beans tasted like canned beans that had been doctored with added pork meat and sauce, but the sauce was good enough to make that a pretty noticeable improvement over straight-from-the-can beans.
The menu also listed plenty of breakfast food available in the morning and a newspaper article on the wall said the restaurant was a popular gathering spot among locals, so it seems to be the Olive Branch version of Moma's Pit B-B-Q in Bartlett. None of the food was bad, but nothing really stood out either.
The most interesting part of my visit was checking out the large collection of Memphis-area hockey memorabilia. Sports memorabilia is a common at local barbecue places, especially when it comes to representing the University of Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. You also see restaurant owners displaying their loyalties to their favorite college football team (almost always an SEC school around here), their favorite NFL team (usually either the Cowboys, Steelers or Titans) and the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team. But this was the first time I'd seen a barbecue joint calling out its owners love of hockey.
DeSoto County is home to the Mississippi RiverKings hockey minor league hockey team that was based out of Memphis from 1992 through 2000 before it moved from the now-shuttered Mid-South Coliseum to the Lander's Center in Southaven. But I never knew that the Memphis area had a history of local hockey stretching back to the 1960s with teams like the Memphis South Stars and the Memphis Wings. I enjoyed taking in the little history lesson after I finished my meal.