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Photo by Dave Flessner / Mimi's Que opened in October as the sixth barbecue restaurant at the Hixson Pike site. Jeff and Liz Crawford, who have operates Mimi's Deli for the past decade, offer Memphis-style barbecue pork sandwiches, ribs and a variety of side orders

A decade after opening Mimi's Deli in Hixson, Jeff and Liz Crawford are expanding their family-owned restaurant enterprise by adding a barbecue eatery a few miles up the road on Hixson Pike.

"Barbecue has always been a passion of mine," said Jeff Crawford, who opened Mimi's Que last month at 3874 Hixson Pike. "I love Memphis-style barbecue so we spend the time to smoke all of our meat for hours, and we have our own special sweet sauce to make our product special."

Mimi's Que will be the sixth barbecue restaurant to locate at 3874 Hixson Pike, which began as Henry's Skinny Pig 40 years ago and through the years has included a variety of barbecue outlets, including Sportsman BBQ, before most recently housing a FarmtoMed CBD shop that closed earlier this year. The Hixson Pike site has a built-in barbecue pit where Crawford uses hickory, apple and cherry woods to fire the pit every afternoon at 2 p.m. for meat that will cook overnight until the next morning.

"All of our meats are pit-smoked for 16 hours, creating the finest brisket, hand-pulled pork, wet ribs and dry ribs," Crawford said.

The side dishes include made-from-scratch baked beans, mac and cheese, Texas red skin potato salad and sweet coleslaw. Liz Crawford also makes made-from-scratch banana pudding every day for dessert.

Mimi's Que offers pulled pork sandwiches with at least a quarter-pound of meat for $5.95. Plate dinners, which include two sides and a sandwich, are $9.50, and a family pack dinner with a pound of pork, two pint sides and four buns is available for $24.95.

The 1,216-square-foot restaurant, which was built in 1981, seats 32 inside and 24 outside. Most of the initial business has been takeout, Crawford said.

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Crawford has turned over daily operations of Mimi's Deli near Northgate Mall to his daughter, Ashley Roy.

"We've always been a family-owned and family-oriented business, and we've been well-received by the community for the past 10 years," Crawford said, noting that the Mimi's name came from his mother. "The restaurant business can be tough, but it's great to be able to work with my family and welcome and serve other people with great food."

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreeprsess.com or at 423-757-6340

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