Upror Media

building connections by documenting the world.

J&W Smokehouse

When I stepped out the door this morning, it was just a little colder than I expected. Which put me in the mood for a good, hearty lunch.

Folks in Texas and the Carolinas and, hell, Kansas City may contest this, but I firmly believe that the Mississippi Delta is barbecue country. Fine, we don't have our nationally known distinct style. But Jean Johnson, the owner at J&W Smokehouse told me that the Delta is barbecue country. And based on the sandwich she served me -- perfectly smoky pork, a nice tang of vinegar in the sauce -- Ms. Jean knows what she talks about.

J&W Smokehouse, Cleveland

J&W Smokehouse, Cleveland

This spot has a local-family-done-good story: a few friends started making food "for the football boys," Ms. Jean said. Which was popular enough to get asked for on other occasions, until they figured they just ought to open a restaurant. After two years up the road in Mound Bayou, they decided to move down the highway to the bigger market in Cleveland.

And we are blessed for that. To barbecue, y'all.

Ready to get storytelling? Email us, or sign up for our newsletter for monthly behind-the-scenes tips on how we do our work.