Lindsey’s Hospitality House has been a North Little Rock mainstay for more than 60 years. It is now in the hands of the second generation with Donnie Lindsey, Jr. and his wife, Eleanor.
We were surprised to learn that Lindsey’s busiest time of year isn’t Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day, but Thanksgiving.
“Our tradition is barbeque, but we’ve expanded into home cooking.” explained Lindsey Jr. “Thanksgiving is our busiest time of year. We’re not open on Thanksgiving Day, but we are until 4 o’clock pm Thanksgiving Eve.”
When asked why it’s their busiest time, he said half laughing, “People don’t cook anymore.”
Fortunately, Lindsey Jr.’s mom, Irma, was a great cook and her recipes have found their way on the menu. “We do a lot of turkey and dressing from scratch,” explained Lindsey Jr. “We smoke our turkeys and the dressing is made with cornbread.” Candied yams, cabbage, greens and sweet potato pie are also packed for diners wanting Thanksgiving dinners to go to serve at home.
We were interested in the recipe for candied yams and the sweet potato pie. “These are the recipes my mom started. When we opened the restaurant we ran with them. Sweet potato and yams are the biggies.”
Lindsey Jr.’s love of his mom’s pies is unwavering. “As a child, every dinner meal we had yams. Every day. I still enjoy them, so I didn’t burn out,” he said laughing. “It’s what mom cooked. And, she did it great. She didn’t cook sweet potato pies every day, but during the holidays she did. And, she knew she had to make a pie especially for me!”
Donnie knows how to make the pie, but sticks to the restaurant operation and management. We thank the Lindsey family for sharing two of their special recipes with our AY readers for their enjoyment.
IRMA’S SWEET POTATO PIE
1 (9 inch) pie crust (in the frozen pie section or biscuits area)
Pure vanilla extract
1-pound sweet potatoes
AY EXTRA PIE TIP
Roll out left over unbaked crust and with a cookie cutter or with a knife cut a leaf, star, holiday ornament or your own design to bake separately to place atop the pie for presentation after the pie has cooled before cutting. You can eat it afterwards.
Before baking your design, lightly dust it with cinnamon, sugar or both.
IRMA’S CANDIED YAMS
2 cups white sugar
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
Add butter, water and sweet potatoes in a large pot. Place pot over high heat. Add sugar mixture and vanilla into the pot and stir. Cover and bring back to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the sauce is dark and the potatoes are candied. They should be tender, but a little hard around the edges.
This will make approximately eight servings.
For more on the history of Lindsey’s Barbecue, visit aymag.com/food for Arkansas food and travel writer Kat Robinson’s interview.