BBQ Special Showdown

Almost every Barbecue restaurant does specials. Some run one special all week, others do different items on certain days of the week. These specials can be a big draw for the restaurant. A few weeks ago I happened to try two of these specials just days apart.

Pig In! Pig Out! started in Wichita in 1996 and has recently started serving BBQ pizza on Thursdays. I had driven past the sign for a few weeks before I got the opportunity to stop in for lunch. This was hands down the best BBQ pizza I have had. National pizza chains have tried BBQ pizza in the past but I promise you this beats all of them. Their smoked meats combined with a sweet sauce and perfectly proportioned cheese, this is as good as it gets. One pizza is big enough to split with two people. I had half leftover for lunch the next day. I hope this BBQ pizza is a Thursday staple at Pig in! Pig out! for a long time.

A few days later my in-laws came to town and wanted When pigs fly for dinner. When Pigs fly does weekly specials and this weeks was a BBQ burrito. The person taking our order said it was one of their most popular specials so I decided to give it a shot. It had pulled pork, crispy onion straws, Mac and cheese, bbq sauce, and came with a bag of chips. The burrito was good, meat was a little dry, but overall good flavor. I added a little more bbq sauce to the burrito, but overall I was satisfied with my choice. Every special I have had at When Pigs Fly has been good. They truly are one of the best spots in Wichita to eat.

So which one did I like better? This round has to go to the BBQ pizza at Pig in! Pig out! I was blown away by how good it was. It was one of the best pizzas I have had, and it was from a BBQ spot. Pig in! Pig out! knocked this one out of the park in my opinion. I hear they have added a second pizza to the Thursday lineup, a BBQ chicken pizza that I cannot wait to try. I may just block my calendar this Thursday to ensure I make it over there. Check out both restaurants, link to websites below. https://pipobbq.com https://www.whenpigsflywichita.com

Delano Barbecue Company, Wichita KS

I am no stranger to Delano Barbeque Company, I have eaten lunch there periodically over the last few years. Knowing I would be leaving for central Texas in a couple of days I switched up my order. I chose the two meat dinner with sweet heat pulled pork, and sloppy joe (chopped brisket). It comes with two sides, I selected smoked Mac and cheese and fries. It comes with a drink, and my total was around $13, not bad at all.

Food was ready quick, and I was ready to eat. Lets start with the sides. the fries are hand cut, and seasoned with what I am guess is some of their rub. That is a nice touch in my opinion, it is a great way to incorporate the bbq flavor into the sides. They crispy and were very good dipped in the mild sauce on the table. The smoked Mac and cheese was your typical Mac and cheese, nothing really stood out about it. There was no smoke taste to it, which was kind of disappointing.

Now lets get down to business, the meats. The sweet heat pulled pork had a unique flavor. There was a little heat in the pork, it was tender, and flavorful. Overall it was good, and nice change from the usual pulled pork. The mild sauce paired well with it, and balanced out the heat in the pork. The chopped brisket sloppy Joe mixture was good, but it belongs on a bun. The brisket was very finely ground and is hard to tell that is brisket. This would make a very good sloppy Joe, but it was a little much for me on its own. I will say this was an usual order for me, I would usually order sliced brisket so maybe that is why it really didn’t do it for me.

Delano district

Overall I would give my meal that day a 3.5. Good overall, but nothing that made me think I have to get this again. If you find yourself in the Delano district shopping, or going to a game at riverfront stadium stop at Delano Barbeque Company and give it a try for yourselves and let me know your thoughts.

The Traveling BBQer

Station 8 BBQ, Wichita KS

Station 8 BBQ is new to the restaurant scene in Wichita, and a place I could not wait to try. They opened to the public a few weeks ago and have been receiving great reviews. Their hours are limited, 11-2 Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I had tried to coordinate a lunch date with my wife at Station 8 a few times so we could share the yeti platter, but it hasn’t worked out yet. Our busy schedules and their limited hours make it difficult. I decided since it was just me I better not get the yeti, but man I wanted to! I chose two meats and two sides which comes with bread, onion, and pickles.

Photo from Facebook, I love the interior decoration and atmosphere at Station 8

I had to try their brisket that they slice right as you order it, and hot links. Slicing brisket in front of you when ordered is unique in Wichita, and something I wish more places did. I chose smoked Mac and cheese and bbq beans as my two sides, and added a can of Diet Coke. I think my total was $22 for my meal. A little more expensive than other places in town, but with meat prices the way they are now it is understandable.

two meat two sides

Station 8 offers two sauces, a sweet and hot when you order, none on the table. I chose the hot. The sauce was not a standout, and not anything that makes or breaks the barbecue. Maybe that is a good thing though, the meat should stand on its own. I think next time I will try the sweet just to give it a try. The brisket had good bark on some spots, and other spots it had fallen off. The brisket was tender, moist, and had good flavor. Overall a good brisket. The hot links were good as well, but seemed very similar to other links offered at spots in town. The beans were very good, had a good smokey flavor and what I think was some chopped brisket mixed in there. One of the better bbq beans in town. The Mac and cheese was good but I was wanting something more from it. Maybe another cheese thrown in the mix or something, but it is worth ordering it again. The sliced bread which we were told they make everyday was a good complement to all on the tray. Overall a good barbecue lunch. I wouldn’t put it as the top spot in Wichita yet, but it is up there. Station 8 has a bright future in Wichita. Overall I would give it a 4 out of 5. I have heard great things about the pulled pork so it is at the top of my list to try on my next visit, and I have got to give their ribs a try. Has anyone else tried Station 8 yet? What are your thoughts?

Traveling BBQer

Overland Park/Leawood BBQ throw-down

A few weeks ago I found myself tagging along with the wife for a short trip to Overland Park. She had a continuing education event, and I had an idea. Two Titans of Kansas City BBQ have locations in the Overland Park/Leawood area, I was going to try them both and compare. A little over three miles and few stop lights separate these two. We chose to do dinner at Q39 Friday night, and lunch at Joes Kansas City BBQ on Saturday. I had visited both of these establishments multiple times in the past at their original locations, but never at their Overland Park/Leawood spots. Not only did I want to compare the two head to head, but also to my experiences at their original locations. Were they just as good when compared to their original locations?

As you can tell from the picture I got a full spread. Onion straws, brisket, Chicken, ribs, and chipotle sausage, baked beans, and white bean cassoulet. This the same judges platter and ribs that I got at their original locations a few months ago. I will say the platter I got a few months ago at the midtown location was just a bit better. Since I was in no threat of being called into work I also ordered a drink, a whiskey drink. I can’t remember the name but I do remember thinking two of those and the wife would be driving back to the hotel. I can always get behind a place that isn’t afraid of a strong pour. The food was very good overall. Beautiful presentation on the plate, and great service. Brisket was perfectly tender and well seasoned. Ribs were cooked well, and the chicken was juicy with bite through skin. The wife had a wood fired grilled salmon salad, and helped me eat some of mine. She liked her salad, salmon was not dry, and had good flavor. Overall a great meal on Friday night to start the weekend.

Joes Kansas City BBQ 11723 ROE AVE
LEAWOOD, KS 66211

Saturday afternoon lunch had to be taken back to the hotel to accommodate the wifes class. I placed my order online, and followed the curbside delivery instructions when I got there. The staff was very friendly and made sure I had everything I wanted before I drove off. Our hotel was about a mile away so it was roughly 10 minutes from receiving my order to unpacking it in the hotel room.

I ordered brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs, with beans and dirty rice. That plate of ribs is probably the best looking plate of ribs I have received at a restaurant. They would get a perfect appearance score from me if it was a contest entry. The taste backed up the appearance, delicious! Tender, good seasoning, the sauce complimented the rub. I have to give ribs to Joes. The brisket was good, but sliced very thin. Shaved brisket is not as good as a properly sliced portion. So I have to give brisket to Q39. Their slice was the perfect thickness, and tenderness. The chicken was very good at both places, honestly there was no winner here. They both turn out a fantastic chicken. Joes pulled pork was good, good flavor, tenderness, and good moisture. Sausage at both places were very good. The sides I would say go to Joes this time. The wife tried Joes gumbo for the first time and enjoyed it. She spent some time in Louisiana so she is very particular when it comes to cajun food.

Overall both places are worth eating at. I will give the nod to the original locations for both places. Not necessarily because the food is so much better, but the mystic of their original locations. The line at Joes gas station location, the atmosphere of Q39 midtown somehow add to the meal. I am sure I will be back to all of them in the future, and will enjoy every bite. I will leave to the menus below, please check these places out when you are in the Overland Park/Leawood area and let me know your thoughts. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0818/5843/files/restaurant_menu_7.12.21.pdf?v=1626104554 https://q39kc.com/menus/#dinner

The Traveling BBQer

B and C bbq, Wichita KS

Continuing on the Wichita barbecue trail I stopped for lunch at one the most popular spots in town, B and C bbq. B and C is located in Wichitas old town area, on 3rd and Washington. The building itself has a great barbecue vibe. You can smell the smoke in the air as you walk up. In the past the only option was the all you can eat buffet, covid has changed that somewhat. The all you can eat option has returned to the menu, along with some new options. Also In the past you were able to serve yourself, covid restrictions still prevent that but the all you can eat option is the only way to go in my opinion.

I arrived a few minutes before they opened the doors, and there were several people waiting for the doors to be unlocked. I paid and proceeded to the back to the buffet line. They only had chopped brisket available at the time, so I got that, hot links, and they had a sweet glazed spare ribs that day I thought sounded good. the two sides I chose were potato salad, and pasta salad. I am not a fan of potato salad in general, but B and Cs wasn’t bad. The pasta salad was much more to my liking. The sweet glazed ribs were the star of the show for me on this trip. They were perfectly tender, and delicious. The glaze had the right of sweet, with a little spice to balance it out. I do not know if they have them all the time, just on certain days, or what but if you go and they are available get them you will not be disappointed. The hot links are among my favorite around town, Great flavor, with a spicy kick, Some “hot links” forget the hot part, these are very good. The chopped brisket was good, but forgettable. A quality offering, but nothing that makes you crave a return trip. The sweet glazed ribs on the other hand, those have crossed my mind a few times since last eating them. I hope on my next trip to B and C they are available.

Those sticky sweet glazed ribs were delicious

Speaking of a return trip, will I make one? Absolutely. B and C is fine barbecue spot. The all you can eat buffet was better precovid when you could serve yourself and only have to wait in the buffet line one time, but it is still the best deal in Wichita for barbecue. If you are in Wichita put B and C on your list of places to try. Get out and enjoy some barbecue, The Traveling BBQer.

When Pigs Fly BBQ, Wichita KS

When Pigs Fly Bar-B-Que is one of the top rated barbecue spots in Wichita, and one I frequent semi regularly. My day job requires travel all over town, and anytime I am in the area around lunch I try to stop at When Pigs Fly. They are located on Wichitas west side, Central and ridge area. There are a couple of other BBQ options in at the area, but if you can only get to one, When Pigs Fly is the place to go. The service and food have always been top notch.

Brisket and sausage. Beans and corn for sides.

I always get some brisket when I am there. I have had fatty and lean (point, and flat) on multiple occasions and it has always been good. The brisket is moist and tender. I like that you get sliced brisket. Sliced brisket requires more skill. You could take the easy way and cook it til it is ready to shred and throw a mound a plate and call it a day, but sliced brisket requires knowledge, and a feel for the meat. You need to cook it just long enough to get it maximum tenderness, but not too long it falls apart. The brisket comes with a decent bark, and good flavor. Both smoke and their rub. This particular trip I got fatty brisket, and jalapeƱo cheddar sausage with baked beans and cream corn. They have two sauces on the table to choose, a regular and a spicy. I like them both, the regular a bit more. The jalapeƱo cheddar sausage is very good. I like it the with regular sauce. the sides are great complements to meats. Some barbecue spots need the sides to bring the meal up notch, When Pigs Fly does not. The meats are good enough on their own to make the meal memorable.

I am always looking out for my next chance to stop in for lunch, and maybe next time I will try a different meat to accompany my brisket. When Pigs Fly is a standout in the Wichita barbecue scene in my opinion. Good people serving good food. Please check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts. I will leave a link to their menu. https://www.whenpigsflywichita.com/menus

The Traveling BBQer.

Wichita Kansas barbecue

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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