Category Archives: Barbecue

Wichita restaurants will be on Travel Channel

Two local restaurants will be featured on national television next week, and one is putting on a watch party to celebrate.

Public at the Brickyard, the gastropub at 129 N. Rock Island in Old Town, and Jet BBQ at 1100 E. Third St., both will be featured Wednesday in back-to-back episodes of a Travel Channel show called “BBQ Crawl,” which features host Danielle Dimovski, a Canadian barbecue champion, traveling the country, competing, and sampling ‘cue.

The episode featuring Public is on first at 9 p.m. and is called “Bison, Beer and BBQ.” During the episode, Dimovski stops in to try Public’s buffalo sliders. Then, at 9:30 p.m., an episode called “Firehall Q, Cattle Auctions and Strawberry Banana Cake” features Jet BBQ and owner “Jet Man” John Thien giving Dimovski a tour in his signature fire truck.

The watch party starts at 8 p.m. at Public, which will offer $2 drafts and food specials. For more information, call Public at 316-263-4044.

Watch this trailer for a preview to the episode featuring Public and keep watching to see the Jet BBQ episode preview.

Sweet Willy’s restaurant opens May 28, food truck in a month

Sweet Willys

Sweet Willy’s Redneck BBQ should open on May 28.

Sweet Willy’s Hillbilly BBQ will open in the next couple of weeks at 4628 S. Seneca, said owner Randy Hare, and in about a month, he also plans to add another barbecue food truck to the growing fleet.

Next week, Hare said, he’ll build his barbecue pit and accept delivery of his smokers. He’s aiming for an opening date of May 28 for his 36-seat restaurant,

In the meantime, he’s put out a menu that features standard barbecue fare plus items such as meatball subs, corn on the cob on a stick, and an interesting invention called “Redneck Tacos,” which feature polenta topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and mustard balsamic barbecue sauce.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 11 a.. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Hare said that within the month, he also plans to have a Sweet Willy’s food truck parked and serving around Wichita about five days a week.

Here’s a look at the menu: Read More »

Third annual Wichita Ribfest opens on Friday

A scene from last year's Wichita Ribfest

A scene from last year’s Wichita Ribfest

This is the third year for the Wichita Ribfest, an event put on by Intrust Bank Arena in a downtown parking lot just behind the Eagle — and just a block from the arena.

The event opens on Friday with several changes that organizers hope will attract more visitors, including a Friday-through-Sunday schedule and a new admission structure. Instead of paying $4 a day, attendees can pay $5 for a writstband and get in all three days.

Note: Admission does not include food. Once inside, visitors purchase meals from on of six national vendors onsite. Admission does include all the live music and kid activities set up in the festival area. On Friday, national country star Craig Campbell will play.

Read all the details in my Ribfest story, which comes out in tomorrow’s Go! section.

Brickhouse BBQ: A Dodge City food truck transplant

unnamed (26)There’s a new barbecue food truck in town.

Brickhouse BBQ, owned by Sterling McPhaul, has operated successfully for several years in Dodge City. But recently, McPhaul decided to hit the road and relocate to Wichita.

His first time serving here was last Saturday, when he set up at Locke Supply at Harry and Woodlawn. He’ll be back there again this Saturday, May 10, opening at 11:30 a.m. and serving until he runs out of food, which last weekend was around 6:30 p.m.

McPhaul has a few events already on the books for the summer and also plans to serve lunches around town soon. He also hopes to become involved in the end-of-the-month Food Truck Rallies at the WaterWalk.

Soon, people will be able to track his Wichita progress at his Facebook page. Until then, the truck can be reached by calling 620-430-3062.

Rip’s Rib Shak food truck adding stationary restaurant

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Rip’s Rib Shak, the mobile barbecue trailer that Steven Pittman and his father-in-law Kevin Smith opened last summer, is about to get a brick-and-mortar brother.

The duo plus Pittman’s wife and Smith’s daughter, Alexis Pittman, are opening a stationary version of Rip’s Rib Shak in an old Phillips 66 station at 611 W. Harry. They hope to have it open by mid-June and plan to serve the same menu made popular by the trailer: St. Louis-style spare ribs, pulled pork, hotlinks, burgers and chicken legs cooked on a Himalayan salt block. The small space has some room for seating, and Pittman hopes to eventually add outdoor seating, too.

In the meantime, Pittman is serving from the trailer, which is parked right in front of the future business, starting at 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. He keeps serving until he runs out of food, which he said is usually around 5 or 6 p.m.

Pittman, who has worked at several barbecue restaurants over the years, plans to still use the truck for special events and to travel to barbecue competitions.

Keep up with the progress on the Rips Rib Shak Facebook page.

Jet Bar-B-Q’s famous drive-through is closed

Jet Bar-B-Q’s famous drive-through drive through is no more.

John “Jetman” Thien is in the process of trying to sell his Jet Bar-B-Q , which he’s operated for 32 years. In the meantime, he’s not in the mood to be cold.

As of this week, he has closed the  famous drive-through at the restaurant, which runs right through the center of the old 1928 firehouse  building at 1100 E. Third St. where it operates.

“This old man is too old to have snow blowing up his keister,” Thien said.

The restaurant is closed this week while Thien makes changes to shut off the drive-through. He’s redoing the floors and making other repairs and plans to reopen next week for his regular hours, which are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday. The restaurant will have dine-in and carry-out options only.

For more information, call 316-262-7299.

Rip’s Rib Shak a new bbq food truck

Rip’s Rib Shak is among the latest additions to the ever-growing food truck fleet in Wichita.

This one is owned by Steven Pittman, who has worked at several barbecue restaurants over the years, and his father-in-law, Kevin Smith. It’s been running since August and for now has a regular parking spot. Pittman opens the truck from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at  at Builder’s Inc. in Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver.

Eventually, Pittman said, the truck might be open more often, move around and participate in food truck gatherings around town.

Pittman serves St. Louis-style spare ribs, pulled pork, hotlinks and more. One of his specialties is chicken legs cooked on a Himalayan salt block.

For more information on the truck, see its Facebook page. 

Derby’s National BBQ Derby is this weekend

The National Bar-B-Que Derby scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Derby will include a barbecue competition, apple and cherry pie baking competitions, a cookie baking contest for kids, a competition for backyard barbecuers and more.

The event, now in its third year, is scheduled for 7 to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.t o 4 p.m. Saturday in Derby’s High Park, 2801 E James St.  It’s a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event.

Those who attend can sample competition-quality barbecue for $5, shop for food and craft items and take advantage of kids activities, a charity car show, live music and more.

Friday night’s activities include a classic rock concert by Those Party Bros from 7 to 10:30 p.m. in the High Park amphitheater. Beer and food will be sold.

On Saturday, people can taste the barbecue and vote for a People’s Choice award from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The car show lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a lineup of local bands will perform from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Kids activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday include face painting, balloon artists, arts and crafts, magic shows and more. The various baking and barbecue contests will be take place through out the day with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m.

Admission to the event is free, though Saturday’s people’s choice sampling is $5 a person. For cooking contest entry forms and a complete schedule of events, visit www.derbyweb.com/BBQ.

Wichita Ribfest: Report and results

The Wichita Ribfest has yet to get through a Saturday night.

The 2-year-old  event, which was staged over the weekend in a parking lot at 777 E. Waterman, had its final night cut short for the second year in a row because of threatening weather.

About 7 p.m., officials at Intrust Bank Arena, consulting with local weather people, made the call to close the festival at 9 p.m. It was scheduled to close at 11 p.m. after sets by two Mexican bands. Instead, the opening act didn’t play at all, and Kazzadorez performed a shortened set.

Although it didn’t rain after all, there was lightning about 10 p.m., and the festival would have had to have closed early either way. The festival needed about an hour to get the stage torn down and the equipment secured.

In the end, said Christine Pileckas, the arena’s director of sales and marketing, about 10,000 people attended the festival — the same number as last year. The arena has been aiming for about 15,000.

Still, she said, organizers are pleased with the Ribfest and said people responded positively to the extra participatory activities offered this year, including a car show and an interactive sports zone.

“I think over all it went really well,” Pileckas said. “We had two and three quarters of a day of fantastic weather. I would imagine we’ll be regrouping soon to pick the date for next year, and before we know it, we’ll be getting ready to put on the third Wichita Ribfest.”

Several people have asked me which ribbers won the Best in Show, determined by a panel of judges, and the People’s Choice award.

First place in Best in Show went to Chicago’s BBQ, and second place went to Howling Coyote.

The People’s Choice winner was Porky Chick’s.

Yet another food truck — this one with ‘cue

The food truck news. It never stops.

Now there’s news of a new barbecue food truck — Big Daddy’s Smoked Shack, owned by barbecue expert John Nielsen.

Back in 2009, Nielsen had a restaurant called  Big Daddy and Lil’ Mama’s Smoke Shack, which operated at 828 W. 11th in Riverside, the spot that now houses Squeezer’s Palace. That restaurant closed, but Nielsen has been dreaming about the food truck ever since.

Get your curly pig tail end over there.

Nielsen has converted a 24-foot RV into a mobile food truck, and he sets up from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at a spot at 4800 W. Central. Soon, he’ll expand his Saturday hours to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Next Friday, May 24, he’ll also be open for lunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1947 Founder’s Circle, near Via Christi on 21st Street just off K-96. He hopes to add more truck time as the business grows, and he’ll be updating followers as to his whereabouts on his Facebook page.

Big Daddy’s, which also caters, serves brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and things such as smoked stuffed jalapenos and smoked mushrooms.

For more informaion, call 316-871-1438.