As Labor Day quickly approaches it may be you, your family and friends will be cooking some barbecue. Why cook when we've got the perfect place for you to load up on ribs, chicken, and much more?
In this installment of Unique Eats we check out Lark’s BBQ in Benton Harbor.
Located just a stone's throw from the bluff in St. Joseph, Michigan is Lark's BBQ on Main Street in Benton Harbor.
This small, blink and you'll miss it eatery also doubles as a car wash and detailing. It's the smell of BBQ that will have you doing a U-turn if you drive past it.
“So with the car wash I decided people needed to get some food while they were getting their car washed so that's how it pretty much got started,” Owner Willie Lark said.
When not preaching at St. John Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Willie Lark and his wife Marilyn have been in business here for the past 14 years. Forget the advertising. Their success is all word of mouth.
It's no-frills down home cookin' that is done low and slow and marinated overnight.
“It's old fashioned cooking. On the outside the wood and charcoal not gas or liquid smoke. This is all, if you will, natural,” Lark said.
Their specialties are ribs and rib tips, but also BBQ chicken, fried turkey drummettes, and jambalaya.
They use both a dry and wet rub mixed together, they even have their own sauce. As for what makes their BBQ so successful, Willie says it's a mixture of the good Lord's blessings, love, and of course…
“Secret is the meat the sauce enhances it but if the meat is no good the sauce really can't help it,” Lark said.
I sat down with Willie and my intern Ally to give the rib tips a shot. Marilyn offered to make us her extremely popular fried catfish sandwich and let me tell you, it's amazing.
“What do you think?” Marilyn asked.
“I think I need to go to church because I have sinned. That is awesome. That is really, really good,” Joel replied
As for what makes this food so good, it may just be the fact Willie and Marilyn truly care about their customers and what they serve to them. A little mix of this, a little mix of that, and what you get to eat is something is truly heavenly.
Lark's BBQ is on West Main Street in Benton Harbor just past the bridge. If you need a late night fix they're open until 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.