Category Archives: Barbecue

Area’s seventh Hog Wild opens today

The brand new Hog Wild at 8821 W. 21st St. opens today.

A new Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q  is opening today at 8821 W. 21st St.

It’s the seventh Hog Wild in the area, and it will serve the same menu of ribs, smoked meats and sandwiches that the other ones do. It has a drive-through, too.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call 316-721-7775.

Question of the week: Best BBQ meat?

Look, there under the sweet potato fries. It's some of the most moist and flavorful smoked turkey I've tried in a while. Thank you, Bite Me BBQ.

It’s been days since I ate it, but I’m STILL fantasizing about the succulent, juicy, perfectly smoked turkey breast I ate at Bite Me BBQ, the restaurant that I’ve reviewed for this week’s paper.

It’s the kind of turkey I dream about every Thanksgiving but rarely get, partially because I have no relatives with access to smokers. Perhaps I’ll have to become that relative.

Barbecue is a very personal thing, and it seems like there are as many favorite barbecue restaurants as there are barbecue fans.

My question this week: Which barbecue meat is your favorite? Ribs? Hotlinks? Pulled pork? Turkey? Chicken? Brisket? And more important, which local barbecue restaurant serves the best version of your favorite meat?

Answer in the comments section below.

A whole lotta ribbin’ going on

My camera is still sticky from taking this picture. Not exactly sure how to solve that problem.

Last night, I served as a judge at the Wichita Ribfest. I’m still a little sticky.

The judging was pretty serious. I wasn’t allowed to discuss the ribs with my co-judges as we sampled, and we didn’t know which ribs came from which booth. Ribfest organizers aren’t announcing the winner until Saturday. (So much for my plan to tell you which ribs to get if you go this weekend.)

The panel of judges, which also included Mayor Carl Brewer and Wichita Thunder assistant coach Jason Duda, was given two ribs from each of the six vendors to sample. I ate only half of each rib delivered, knowing I would need to pace myself to get to the end.

My co-judges, who included Thunder assistant coach Jason Duda, left, and Mayor Carl Brewer.

They were all different. Some were smoky. Some were sweet. All were sticky and saucy. The winner (I wish I knew who made it!!) was a basic rib with a nice glaze and a smoky flavor — refreshingly not oversauced.

The psychology of the Ribfest is pretty interesting so far. At lunch on Thursday, people all were lined up to get ribs at two booths while the other four booths had no lines at all. I stopped and asked a few people why they chose the line they chose, and all said they picked it because it was the longest so they assumed it must be the best. Another person said he chose the booth with the most championship flags. Though this logic seems faulty, there’s really no other way to decide which ribs to buy, I realized, so people were using the only information they had.

Meals cost between $7 and $10. Beers are $3 for a can or $4 for a cup.

The Wichita Ribfest continues from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today and Saturday. Live music is scheduled to go on all day both days. Admission is $4 or a Wichita River Festival button. Admission is only $2 if you go from1 1 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.

Country band Gloriana will headline tonight at 9 p.m. “American Idol” finalist Casey James plays at 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information and a complete lineup, visit the Wichita Ribfest website.

Question of the week: Wichita’s best barbecue place?

Wichita just gained Bite Me BBQ at 132 N. St. Francis and just lost Bubba’s Nekkid BBQ at 2428 West 13th Street N.

The barbecue places seem to come and go on a fairly frequent basis. Which one is your favorite? Which one would you miss most if it evaporated like Bubba?

I liked Bubba, but I also have enjoyed many a meal at Pig In! Pig Out! at 1003 East 13th Street N. and When Pig’s Fly at 7011 W. Central.

Submit your barbecue favorites in the comments section below.

Bite Me BBQ moves downtown

This place is big. And by big, I mean huge.

Bite Me BBQ just finished its long-planned move from Goddard to downtown Wichita and re-opened on Monday in a ginormous space at 132 N. St. Francis.

Owner Coleman Lockett announced his plan to relocate last year. He closed his restaurant at 151st Street West and Kellogg in March and has been busy since then relocating. I stopped in the new space on Wednesday and was surprised by how cavernous it was. I was struck by the big bar, the number of tables, the shiny cement floor and the smell of new paint mixed with smoked meat.

Bite Me’s menu includes traditional barbecue favorites plus a few unexpected items (deep fried lobster! mountain oysters!).

While it waits for its liquor license, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Once the license is obtained, which Lockett predicts will take a couple of weeks, he’ll extend the hours to 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-729-2904.

Wichita Ribfest details coming together

The pieces of the Wichita Ribfest at Intrust Bank Arena have been slowly coming together over the past several weeks. And today, the arena announced its Friday, May 18 musical lineup, which includes headliners Gloriana, a country act that opened for Taylor Swift when she performed at the arena in 2010. Local bands The Watchers and Nobody’s Business also will perform that night.

The Wichita Ribfest is an outdoor barbecue festival featuring music and national rib vendors that originally scheduled for last August, but the arena canceled it citing “unforeseen conflicts.”  The annual BlackTop Nationa event was scheduled in the same area the same weekend. Arena officials announced in February that they were rescheduling the event for May 17-19 in Lot D, a city-managed parking lot east of the arena at 777 E. Waterman.

Gloriana will entertain Ribfest crowds on Friday, May 18.

The arena previously announced the Saturday, May 19, musical lineup: Former American Idol contestant Casey James, Mexican musician and singer Kareem Lopez and local groups Conjunto Anonimo, Poultry ‘N Motion and Pretty Ugly.

The lineup of six rib vendors also has been announced: Cowboy’s Barbecue & Rib Co. and Texas Thunder, both from Texas; Chicago BBQ Company; Uncle Bub’s BBQ from Westmont, Ill.; Johnson’s BBQ out of Virginia; and Porky Chicks BBQ out of Arkansas.

Wichita Ribest also will feature a beer garden and kids’ activities. It’s scheduled for 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, May 17, through Saturday, May 19. Admission is $4, free for children 12 and under. Half-price admission wlil be offeree from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Those with a Wichita River Festival button will be admitted free.

Arena reviving Wichita Ribfest idea

People line up for their free lunch earlier today inside Intrust Bank Arena.

Intrust Bank Arena is reviving its idea for the Wichita Ribfest, an outdoor barbecue festival originally scheduled for last August.

The event, which will feature six national rib vendors, live music, a beer garden and kids’ activities, now is scheduled for May 17-19 in Lot D, a city-managed parking east of the arena at 777 E. Waterman.

I attended the press conference where the event was announced earlier today, and not just because the arena was passing out free ribs, potato salad and homemade chips. Although I certainly enjoyed that aspect of the event. A line of people that included nearby office workers were waiting to get in when the doors opened at 11:30 a.m. By the end of the event, about 300 people had taken advantage of the free lunch, I was told.

By the way, the arena also is asking people to vote on an official logo for the event. I like the bony pig with the flaming back, personally. You can cast your vote on the arena’s website between now and 10 a.m. Feb. 24

All the details about the Ribfest are in the story I wrote earlier today. Here are a few more photos from the event, shot by Eagle photog Jaime Green. Read More »

Free lunch Thursday at Intrust Bank Arena

The folks at Intrust Bank Arena just sent out a very mysterious press release.

Starting at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, the first 400 people who show up inside the arena’s south concourse between entrances A and B will be treated to a free lunch of St. Louis-style pork ribs, potato salad and homemade potato chips. During the event, which lasts until 1 p.m., the arena will be announcing plans for a new food-based event.

My guess? Some type of barbecue competition similar to the River City Ribfest that the arena canceled earlier this year. I’ll let you know when I find out for sure.

Hank is so wise, he’s adding barbecue

Hank is Wiser Brewery, a well-regarded family-owned brew pub that’s operated in Cheney since 2005, is in the process of creating  a menu that will include all sorts of barbecue offerings, including ribs, brisket and more. Founder Hank Sanford and his brewer son, Steve, acquired a smoker and at the moment are perfecting their rubs and sauces. They hope to have the new menu launched by the end of the year or early in 2012.

They’ve also been busy remodeling the restaurant, an upgrade that’s adding 1,000 square feet to the space at 213 N. Main in Cheney. This summer, they also added a patio out back.

A bottle of Sam Adams Utopias.

Hank also told me recently about a rare offering he has in his brewery that will appeal to beer aficionados. He carries Sam Adams Utopias, which he says is the strongest beer brewed in the United States. The alcohol contest of Utopias is around 27 percent, and it costs between $13 and $18 an ounce. Hank has the Utopias from 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011. Very few businesses carry the beer, Hank said, and he believes his may be the only place in Kansas.

Hank is Wiser Brewery is open from 5:30 p.m. to midnight on Thursdays and from 5:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-542-0113.

When Pigs Fly’s birthday rib eating contest

When pigs turn 1, they celebrate with a rib eating contest.

On Saturday, When Pigs Fly Bar-B-Que at 7011 W. Central is marking its first birthday with a rib-eating contest featuring representatives from Wichita EMS, the Wichita Fire Department and local radio personalities. The restaurant also will be giving away prizes and balloons.

The fun starts at noon, and spectators are welcome to watch the contestants chow down.

I’d also recommend you eat lunch while you’re there. Read my When Pigs Fly review to get yourself ready.