With Fourth of July just around the corner, my craving for barbecue has kicked into gear. I recently heeded the call and headed to M&D’s Café for some old-fashioned Southern cooking.

The long-time Denver establishment—it’s been in the same location since 1977—serves all my favorites: catfish nuggets, fried okra, mac and cheese, the list goes on. Making a decision is always difficult, but the $6.99 lunch deal helps ease the pain.

Diners can choose from one of three baskets (barbecue rib tips, catfish nuggets, or barbecue sliders). My recommendation is the slider basket in which you select two sliders from a list of beef brisket, pulled pork, or chopped pork and beef together. Regardless of which you pick, the tender meat is smoked to perfection and smothered in the house barbecue sauce, which comes in hot, medium, or mild. It’s all served on a bed of sweet potato fries, or, for a legit M&D’s experience, the signature Peppa fries: the potato wedges are seasoned with a black pepper mixture, emerging like little pieces of fried chicken.

Save room for a lunch-size peach cobbler à la mode (for $1 more). There’s no better way to start a summer weekend than by sitting on the patio on a Friday afternoon, sipping sweet tea, chowing down on barbecue, and relaxing to the tunes of live jazz musicians.

2000 E. 28th Ave., 303-296-1760