C.H.O.P. (Clay’s House of Pig) – East Tupelo, MS

>As we were driving to Kansas, it was approaching lunch time and we were in Mississippi. I put “barbecue” into Google maps and several popped up.  Clay’s House of Pig (C.H.O.P.) had the best name and was not too far off I-40, so off we went.  Pulling up to a restaurant that shares space with a bait shop, and a parking lot full of pickups, I figured we must be in the correct place.  In reading their story, it seems Clay Coleman started as a bait shop and then added the barbecue.  This was back in 2017, to find a way to bring in additional income to the bait and tackle shop in the winter.  Clay passed in 2021 and the chop shop is being run by his family.

Using a home-built smoker, they cook on charcoal, hickory and pecan and like most great bbq houses, close when the meat runs out. Looking at the menu board, two things immediately jumped out at me – corn “ribs” and pork belly burnt ends.  If you know me, you know I stopped reading at “pork belly’.

Let’s start with the corn ribs.  In talking with one of the servers as we paid, these are fairly common items at county fairs, and the like.  You cut the kernels off an ear of corn, leaving a little cob on it, then throw them in the fryer.  It tasted like roasted corn and ate like a short rib.  Very interesting. 

We shared a three meat platter – pulled pork, pork belly burnt ends and brisket.

The litmus test for any bbq joint is the pork.  This was slightly smoky, with a nice char on the crust and had no need for the sauce, whatsoever.  The brisket was good and more than fork tender.  The pork burnt ends were very good.  I never had heard of  these, but knowing that you generally get burnt ends when squaring off a brisket, I could see how they could occur when squaring a pork belly.  They melted in my mouth with a crunchy exterior. 

From what I gathered, after the fact, we picked a very popular spot from the Tupelo barbecue landscape. Whats’ in a name, you ask? Sometimes it’s just the tip you need…

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