When I first walked up to the Razorback Bar-B-Q building in West Memphis last week I was concerned about the lack of smokey barbecue aroma coming from the business. But when I go inside an employee was feeding wood into a large old-fashioned pit built into a brick wall and getting ready to light it, so my concerns ended up being baseless. I'd just arrived in between cooking sessions.
Razorback recently opened in a space that had been a country cooking restaurant called Madea's. I never got a chance to try Madea's before it closed and I don't know if the owners of that establishment have anything to do with the recently-opened Madea's soul food restaurant in Frayser.
After glancing over the menu I asked the two employees present which they thought was better between the ribs and the pulled pork. "I just took the ribs off this morning and they turned out great today," was the answer I got so I ordered a half-slab plate.
The hefty portion of ribs was incredibly tender and served in my preferred dry-with-sauce-on-the-side manner. They didn't have a ton of smoke flavor but I liked the dry rub on them. The beans and slaw were both pretty standard with the slaw being creamy but not obnoxiously so.
There were three types of sauce available on the counter -- "Sweet Hoggy Style," "Woo Pig" and "Spicy Sooie"' -- so naturally I opted to try all three. I'm not a fan of overly sweet sauces so the ketchupy "Sweet Hoggy Style" was unsurprisingly my least favorite. I am normally a fan of spicy sauces but at Razorback the "Spicy Sooie" didn't pack very much heat and I didn't think it had as good of an overall flavor balance as the "Woo Pig," which ended up being my favorite. I used all of the sauces sparingly to avoid over-saucing ribs that were good enough to be enjoyed as-served. And by the time I was done eating the pit was going well enough to be pumping out the smokey aroma I love; the restaurant is just new enough that the smell hasn't permanently permeated the building yet.
Razorback is doing good things, especially for a place that has only been open a couple months. And since it sits on the section of Missouri Street in between I-55/240 and the main drag of Broadway I'm pretty much guaranteed to drive past it every time work takes me to West Memphis, making it a convenient addition to my go-to list of places to stop for lunch.