Since this trip was about Arkansas, we decided to go as far as West Memphis but not really venture into Tennessee. However, there wasn’t really much to do on the Arkansas side of the river after we picked up our tire and all of the BBQ places were calling to Alan.
We started by heading right out to Interstate BBQ our first night. This is a pretty famous place known for their ribs and BBQ Spaghetti (yes, I said spaghetti). The place wasn’t in the greatest neighborhood and it definitely wasn’t a tourist attraction but it was clean and the food was absolutely delicious. I had the BBQ Spaghetti which is just spaghetti with chopped pork and what seemed to be a slightly sweeter version of their BBQ sauce. Alan had the ribs and chopped pork dinner. We got to see the owner. He stopped by our table to make sure everything was good. I would definitely go back there!
Our second day, we headed over the river again to check out Mud Island. We had read about a scale version of the Mississippi River that they had there and you could also ride your bike around. The miniature river was really cool. It explains where and how the other rivers feed the Mississippi and it ends at the Gulf. It was fun to walk down the length seeing how the river has moved and changed. Kids were playing in the water and letting their flip-flops float down the Missippi.
There were also scale versions of the cities, bridges and dams with signs all along pointing out places of historical significance.
We stayed in a campground right on the Mississippi River. We could sit outside our camper and watch the barge traffic go by. There was at least one barge about every hour or so. It was really interesting to watch them go by. We found the best write-up on the barge traffic at Mud Island.
We weren’t sure about staying at this campground at first because there isn’t much there except concrete pads and hook-ups. We had a tree though and once again got a couple of hummingbirds to come visit our feeder. No pictures of hummingbirds – just this picture of me that I didn’t know Alan had taken until later.
We left Mud Island and headed into Memphis first to check-out a peanut shop where they fresh-roast peanuts every hour. It was one of the original Planter’s Peanut outlets. Then we headed to our next BBQ meal – the Rendevzous. I think that I have been to this place in the past when I’d visited Memphis on business years ago. They have dry rub ribs which Alan liked but I found them a bit too spicy. My chopped pork sandwich that came with coleslaw was pretty good. Technically speaking, what they serve here is not actually “barbecue”; they refer to it as “charcoal broiled”. We couldn’t leave it at that though. There was one more place that Alan wanted to try – the Cozy Corner. Even our waiter at the Rendevzous said we should go there. (Although I doubt he thought we were going to head over right then after already eating one dinner.)
The Rendevzous was not exactly road food. I think it gets a lot of tourist traffic, but the Cozy Corner is definitely road food – to me that means you probably wouldn’t venture inside unless someone had told you in advance that it was okay. Alan had another set of ribs and made me order the bologna sandwich. I had a rib or two and maybe two bites of the sandwich. It was all really great but I couldn’t eat any more. Here is a better photo of the bologna sandwich which Alan finished:
Here is a shot of the restaurant (so if you are ever driving by you will recognize the place and go on in!)
That was it for Memphis. We did not go see Grace Land or do any of the other other Elvis-related tourist activities. We did go in the museum at Mud Island and that was better than expected. There were a lot of river boat displays that were pretty intresting. This is a replica of the Robert E. Lee that won a famous race of riverboats.
Before we left the museum I got Alan to pose for one picture: