What started as a weekend hobby for Berry and Margaret Ann Wood soon blossomed into a local success at The Little Dooey in Starkville, Mississippi.
The Little Dooey was established in 1985 by Berry Wood and his wife, Margaret Ann Wood. The Woods would have regular weekend BBQ parties and with their own unique BBQ, sauces and side recipes, their friends and family encouraged them to open up a weekend joint.
Starting in a local service station and using a cinderblock fire pit, they soon became a huge local success and expanded their restaurant to a larger location. Purchasing an old house that was once owned by the Fire Chief, they started adding onto the building as their popularity grew, and 32-years later, The Little Dooey is still a local and regional favorite.
Bart Wood, son of Berry and Margaret Ann, has been running the family business for 5 years. “The motto here from the beginning has always been ‘come and taste the pride’,” says Bart. “We have put pride into everything we make, because most of the items we do here are handcrafted,” he says.
Over the years, The Little Dooey has had its fair share of celebrity visitors. From Tim Tebow to Gordon Ramsey, the family-owned business has satisfied local, traveling, and once-in-a-lifetime-guests.
The Little Dooey has been a local and regional attraction for over 30 years, and it has no plans of slowing down its growth. With the family tradition and signature foods, it is a sure place to satisfy a BBQ lover. If you stop by for some lunch or dinner, you’ll also be tasting the pride.
THE FOOD REVIEW
For my food review, I asked Mr. Wood for his most popular, and then most underrated item on the menu. The most popular is the Little Dooey Signature BBQ Sandwich, and the most underrated is their Marinated Steak Sandwich. They also served me the meat pies as an appetizer.
The meat pies are something very unexpected. They are filled with a pork and beef blend, mildly spiced with Cajun seasonings, giving it a great unique taste.
The Signature BBQ Sandwich is prepared with a 3-step process:
- Traditional hamburger bun
- A generous portion of pulled pork
- Topped with mild or hot BBQ sauce and handcrafted coleslaw
The pulled pork was very tender, and the BBQ sauce and coleslaw were a nice touch. If you are not a big fan of coleslaw, it’s optional. I received the sandwich with a side of fried pickles.
The Marinated Steak Sandwich was very satisfying. The steak is marinated a couple days, then cooked to 70% on a flat top, to a medium well temperature. Sautéed peppers and onions are then added on top of the meat which is topped with cheese and placed on Gambino’s French bread. The sautéed peppers and onions give the sandwich a very nice flavor, and the cheese topping it off balances and melds the flavors perfectly. This sandwich was served with fried onion rings and is definitely underrated. Try it.
Visit The Little Dooey at 100 Fellowship Street in Starkville daily from 10:30 a.m. until close.
Story and photos by Rachel Bowman, 2017 summer intern.