Question of the week: Best restaurant ice?

I love Sonic ice so much, I buy it by the bag in the summer. This Sonic employee thought I was crazy when I asked to snap his picture.

I love ice. Especially ice that chews well. Sometimes, a restaurant has ice with such a perfect texture, I’ll go just for the ice.

I know I’m not the only one. There’s a whole Facebook page dedicated to “liking” Sonic ice. (Which I do. And which I have.)

Even more than Sonic ice, I love the ice at Taco Pronto, which is so very crushed, it’s the texture of a sno cone, which pairs perfectly with a diet coke. Or even with water.

QuikTrip’s crushed ice is nice, too, and I always fill my cup allllllllllllllllll the way to the top. And Freddy’s Frozen Custard recently announced that it had swapped out its old ice for chewin’ ice.

Here at The Wichita Eagle, our ice machine died several months ago. A large number of employees still bemoan this fact daily. At the moment, I’m chomping away on a cup of ice from my lunch at When Pigs Fly, and I’m pretty sure it’s driving my neighbor Katie insane.

My question this week is directed at my follow ice lovers. Which Wichita restaurant’s ice is best? What makes it so good?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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.

Question of the week: Who does ribs best?

I loved the ribs at When Pigs Fly, the restaurant I reviewed this week.

But I also know enough to know that everyone who loves ribs has a pretty firm opinion about which ones are best.

Who, in your opinion, serves Wichita’s best ribs? I’m talking restaurants, here, people, even though I’m sure your Uncle Jim knows his way around his backyard smoker.

Answer in the comments section below.

Chicken champ

My big food adventure this weekend was judging the Midwest Beerfest’s brand new chicken wing competition, which was sort of risky considering it was the first food I’d eaten since recovering from the 24-hour stomach flu.

The wings were good, as were my co-judges, local television personality Sierra Scott and “The Good Life Guy” (and Beerfest founder) Guy Bower.

We gave the “Best of Show” prize to Bubba’s Nekked BBQ, which presented a wing with layers of flavor, including a hint of cinnamon and a nice kick of spice. The originality prize went to The Anchor, whose chef Ben George brought a tasty Thai wing that he punctuated with spicy Sriracha sauce.  That wing also earned The Anchor the people’s choice award.

Other worthy competitors included Hooter’s, When Pig’s Fly, Dad’s, and Fox and Hound.

My weakened stomach handled the wings fine, but sadly, it wasn’t up for much beer. Maybe next year. Cheers to my Beerfest date Jaime Green for making the above video.

When will pigs fly? Today!

header-logo-when-pigs-fly-01aToday’s opening day for When Pigs Fly, a new barbecue restaurant at 7011 W. Central that’s owned by my Wichita Eagle colleague Ronnie Choy, his son, Brian, and their wives, Collette and Kendra.

Ronnie, an all-around nice guy, ad salesman and talented disc jockey, also knows his food. More important, so does his son, Brian, a Pig-In Pig-Out veteran who’ll be manning the kitchen and the smoker.

Opening day hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. After that, hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

When Pigs Fly will have good ribs, I have no doubt, and I’m also looking forward to the restaurant’s barbecue-filled baked potatoes, a combo I learned to love when I lived in Tennessee.

To get more info on When Pigs Fly, call 316-295-2150 or visit the slick website.

Tis the season for ‘cue

barbecueplatter (Small)I’ve always had a soft spot for men who decide they need to open their own barbecue restaurants — a desire that afflicts pretty much any man who’s ever been praised for his smoker skills.

Most of the barbecue restaurants in Wichita are owned by such pulled pork dreamers, and in past weeks, we’ve learned of two more that are on their way.

Chuck Miller, the new owner of the downtown Emerson Biggin’s, which includes Rock Island Live behind it, will begin serving Rock Island BBQ out of the space. He plans to start with a lunch buffet, served weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., an if it goes well, he might add an evening menu. He should be ready to go in early September.

Meanwhile, my colleague Ronnie Choy, a very nice guy and a BBQ connoisseur, plans to open a new ‘cue restaurant called When Pigs Fly along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. The family has a spot at Central and Ridge, and they plan to be open by late September/ early October.