505 Albert Pike Rd, Hot Springs, AR | Directions 7191334.496264 -93.074834
Mon., Sun. CLOSED;Tue. - Sat. 11am - 8pm
What's the Problem – Like the previous reviewer, I've lived in Texas, too. I love the state. I've eaten lots of great 'que in Texas and other places, including NC, Memphis, KC, etc.
But once I had bbq in a "famous" place in Memphis that everyone raves about and I found it to be so-so. But I enjoyed it anyway.
Now, there are a thousand ways to prepare bbq. And a thousand different people with a thousand different opinions. But, some people eat snails and sea cucumbers and love them. A buddy of mine had an eel when we were in Holland and he loved it. I'm glad he did. But not in my taste range.
My point, many folks grow up with foods preped one way and think that's the only way to do it. They love it. They sometimes get snobbish about it.
My favorite hamburger place (a grocery store in Ft. Worth) has been panned -pardon the pun- by some reviews as "tasteless- just plain meat". The reviewer complained that it should have had lot of seasoning and other stuff. However, Gourmet magazine once called the grocery store's burger one of the top ten best old fashioned burger in the country. Well, I love the taste of good hamburger meat with just salt and pepper. Let the trendy theme restaurants fix over-seasoned "gourmet" burgers. I'll enjoy them, too, but not any more than that Ft. Worth joint.
Conclusion, McClard's is really good, different than 'cue in other places. But worthy of enjoyment, none-the-less, as evidenced by throngs from across the nation who are willing to hang up their provincialisms and enjoy the one at hand.
awesome! – Ok. I'm from TX too... some friends took us to McClards because its the place to go in Hot Springs. the bbq pork was delicious. The tamales are great too. Being from San Antonio I was scared of AR tamales (which are made w/cornmeal instead of masa)... but they were great. Not greasy at all and stuffed with a ton of pork/beef that had a great mix of spices.
the waitress was very sweet... she was always there to fill up the drinksand brought the food promptly even though it was crowded. yeah sure the place its like gorgeous or anything..but it's frickin' bbq!
and to those these people who are complaining about the ambiance and lack of service..maybe they were just a pain to be around. it sounds like thats the case!
Great Meat – Reading several negative reviews of McClard's prompted me to register on this site and give my two cents worth. I've been eating at McClard's since way before Clinton was president or governor so I don't go there just to be in the same room where he eats/ate. I frequent McClard's because the food is EXCELLENT. Taste is subjective and though other reviewers claim the meat is "oversmoked" I disagree strongly. It's smoked just right and certainly isn't dry. What it is, is top quality pork and beef, lean and tender with sauce that I always have in my refrigerator. No mention of the tamales, they're are delicious. One comment I agree with, the fries are home made and always good.
As for the decor, actually it's a little fancier than it used to be. Hey it's a BBQ joint, it ain't fine dining, you go there to EAT not sit around and admire the surroundings. Some of the best food I've ever eaten was in places a whole bunch rougher than McClards. Yes it can be noisy, guess why? because of all the people inside eating that's why. You want quiet in a BBQ joint? go to one that doesn't have any business.
Oh Please! – Maybe my time in Texas makes me rate this poorly, but my colleagues from other parts of the country felt the same way! The meat is so smoked as to be dry and almost flavorless, except for the crust. You will need to sauce and a hearty cup of iced tea or other beverage to wash it down. Every BarBQ place here seems to oversmoke/cook their meats. Get a thermometer and leave some moisture in that brisket! The ambience is so old & plain that it has lost the "cuteness" of being retro. Put some money into some new decor. Service was very poor. She took our order, gave us drinks, dropped the check with the food and never returned!
Go if you must! – President Clinton ate/eats here so go if you must. I was far from impressed. There hasn't been a bit of remodeling done in probably 40 years. The service is quirky at best. If they know you it's great, if not you may have to wait while they catch on the latest gossip before getting to you.
The sauce is vinegary and meat overly smoky and dry. The french fries were good.
Don't get too excited to go here, it is pretty mediocre. My husband and I got a kick out the sign saying "Fine Food" - must mean something different in Arkansas.
Crowded, Noisy, Over-hyped – Okay so Clinton ate here, let's see the president with a penchant for McD's. The fries are homemade and very good, but the Bar B Q was over smoked for my tastes and the sauce a bit heavy on vinegar. Considering I ate in a circa 1960's style dining room that was so noisy it was hard to carry on a conversation at our table. I know I've had better in Kansas City and in Memphis, but for here this may be fine. The sign did say "Fine Foods" if that gives you an idea.
The Best BBQ period – McClard's is the best Bar-b-q period. The food is amazing and the prices are very inexpensive. I live in Los Angeles and had to come home with several bottles of the BBQ sauce. It has been rumored that Bill Clinton had them ship food to him while he was still in office. Anyway, if you ever are in Hot Springs, you owe it to yourself to stop on by.
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