OK Corral
8733 Greenwood Ave N, 783-3356

Mon-Sun noon-10 pm.

There are no menus at OK Corral, but if you order "the hook-up" ($13) you'll get that giddy sense that you know the secret handshake. The hook-up means a load of meat and an array of sides--at least four large ribs, two or three pieces of chicken, a hot link, beans and greens, and either a wedge of cornbread or a cluster of hush puppies--as well as all the "ghetto juice" (also known as Tang) the establishment has to offer.

Caution: The hook-up is enough to feed two people. I sent my friends Whitney and Ryan to the OK Corral, and for the most part they were thrilled with the shack-like joint that looks like it fell out of a short story by Flannery O'Connor. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to warn them about the actual size of said hook-up. So they ordered two hook-ups (horror!) and were dining al fresco in one of the decaying "garden" booths when the owner, who'd been standing by the grill sharpening his knives, came over to chat.

Whitney admits she may have had a little barbecue sauce on her upper lip, but other than that, she looked completely normal. Nevertheless, the owner bellowed, "Are you high!?!" He was being friendly, but still intended to suggest there was no way that these two could eat two hook-ups unless they were on something.

They weren't high. But this isn't to say that one couldn't get high off of a hook-up. The sauce has heat, and the hot link--my favorite item in the ensemble--definitely kicks in those endorphins so that a fine mist forms around your hairline. You don't have to be high to eat a hook-up, but the Corral's barbecue and roadside-diner atmosphere is more than worthy of a healthy addiction.

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