Two Brothers Smoked Meats is Starkville, Mississippi’s rising star in the smoked meat arena. This Starkville restaurant is turning heads, so here’s what you need to know to enjoy this newer gem in the crown of the Starkville restaurant scene.
Find Them in the Cotton District
If you know the Cotton District in Starkville, you probably know the Rue de Grand Fromage. How can you miss The Great Cheese Street? But if you haven’t travelled down this narrow bricked lane lately, you might be missing one of Starkville’s best restaurants: Two Brothers Smoked Meats.
It sits on the left side of the Rue as you turn off of University Drive. But if you don’t see it right away, just follow your nose.
Barton Dinkins, the chef and owner – and one of the brothers – uses the same smoker (custom-built by his father) that his family has been using since Dinkins was learning to walk. The cooking gene is strong.
“A lot of kids threw the baseball with their dad, or went hunting… We did all that stuff, but the thing we actually did together – that was our thing – was cooking,” Dinkins says.
Dinkins graduated from Mississippi State University (literally a stone’s throw from the Cotton District) with several years of local restaurant experience under his apron and a notebook full of ideas.
And so, Two Brothers came to be.
The Menu: Something Smoky
The menu is straightforward: sandwiches, burgers, wraps, tacos, wings. Most items feature something smoked in the family smoker.
Pecan is the wood of choice. When it comes to what goes inside the smoker – the sky’s the limit. Beyond the obvious subjects of pork, chicken, and duck that populate the menu, don’t be surprised to see tomatoes, peppers, even onion rings taking a break in the smoker.
If for some sad reason you can only order one thing, consider the wings. Their process begins with a rub that friends and family have developed over years. Then they smoke for two to three hours before being cooled and flash fried just before they’re brought to the table. These wings are fly.
A customer favorite is the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese, featuring gouda, cheddar, jalapenos and pickled cabbage coleslaw.
The Chicken Bacon Barbecue Sandwich is another top pick that highlights the skills of the brothers with smoked chicken, house-made bacon and an authentic white barbecue sauce, courtesy of a true North Alabama great-grandmother.
Tacos are always on the menu, but Taco Tuesday is the time to go. Fillings include smoked chicken, pulled pork, portobello mushrooms, avocado and Sriracha, just to get your tastebuds rolling. Get there early, though – seating is limited, and the cravings are high.
Finally, be sure to ask about the weekly special. It might be a smoked bone-in pork chop served over hash browns, or the dish that swept the awards at Starkville’s Forks and Corks competition: smoked Mississippi Simmons Catfish over smoked gouda grits, topped with an Asian spinach salad. My favorite limited edition treat was a dessert: a hearty chunk of deep fried, crushed pork rind crusted pecan pie. Yes; yes, they did.
When you visit, parking is available on the Rue, but it can be tight – especially for Mississippi boys like me with big pickup trucks. I suggest you look for street parking somewhere along University Drive and enjoy a nice walk through the District.
If you arrive during prime dinner hour, there might be a little wait, especially on game weekends or Taco Tuesday. It’s a cozy space with a small bar, about a half dozen tables inside and a few more on the porch. But wait you should.
If you prefer to experience their food at a party or tailgate (which I recommend), they do cater.
If you are mobile, there is a late-night walk-up window offering wings or pulled pork cheese fries.
No matter the delivery, if you are hungry in the Starkville area and want to taste some elegantly smoked meat, turn off the beaten path to Two Brothers Smoked Meats.
Guest post by Jay Reed.
Photos provided by Two Brothers Smoked Meats.