Recently an article was published by the Chefs Pencil ranking americas best bbq cities. It stirred up quite the controversy around here listing Wichita Kansas as the third best barbecue city in the United States. Some defended their city and its ranking, and others were outspoken in their disagreement. Having lived in, or relatively close to Wichita my entire life I have eaten a lot of barbecue around town, and have never considered Wichita a great barbecue city. The barbecue culture in Wichita is still in its infancy. There are a few long time establishments that serve barbecue here, but nothing like what you find in other parts of the country. Skylight inn bbq in Ayden North Carolina established in 1947, Big Bob Gibsons in Decatur Alabama established in founded in 1925, or Kreuz Market in Lockhart Texas established in 1900 for example. Barbecue is more of a fast food option, then an experience in Wichita. There are no lines at opening, no 1000 gallon offset pits pumping out blue smoke from a well run fire. No one doing it the hard way for that perfect bite of barbecue. There isn’t that special barbecue spot that you can put in the elite category with places in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Carolinas to name a few. But does all that mean Wichita isn’t a great barbecue city? A week ago I would have definitely said it wasn’t, but maybe it is time I take a fresh look.
There are few places I have been to enough there is no need to make a special trip to again, like Hog Wild, and Crutch BBQ. Hog Wild is basically a fast food bbq joint, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Nothing special, but it wild is quick and convenient with multiple locations across town. Crutch BBQ is relatively new, but after a couple of trips there and trying different menu items I hate to say I am not a fan. There are other places I prefer to go. This is just my opinion, and honestly I hope if you have the chance you give Crutch a try for yourself and see what you think. I am going to start visiting the local bbq joints again, but with fresh eyes this time. I plan trying to get to at least one a week, and post a review. I will reference trip advisor and yelps rankings and post them in my review. Maybe this can be on going thing? I know of at least one new barbecue spot scheduled to open in the next few months, and the food truck scene around town usually has a new barbecue option to track down and try. I travel to eat barbecue why not keep it local and try what is close to home. Maybe after visiting these places again, and writing out my thoughts my mind will be changed. Maybe Wichita is a great barbecue city, but I was too accustom to it to notice. Only time and sampler platters will tell. Traveling Bqqer.
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