When it comes to BBQ joints in Wichita, Jet Bar-B-Q is almost always in the discussion. Probably because it has been around in several incarnations for around 30 years, making it one of the more established names in BBQ or Barbeque or Bar-B-Que or Barbecue in Wichita. Although you may not have known it, chances are you have probably eaten some of their Q at a catered event around town. That was the case for me until a few days ago. I finally made it down to 3rd and Wabash to check out the actual restaurant and feast on some good Que. What sets Jet apart from the other places is their unique location, an old firehouse. This building allows them to offer a drive thru where one pulls their car into the firehouse garage, follows the yellow line, gives their order and gets the Q and then proceeds to points beyond with car full of smoky delight.
Dine-in customers enter a side door and are quickly met with a small menu and counter at which to order. On the menu are the typical BBQ fare with meat choices of brisket, sirloin, pulled pork, pork ribs, turkey, and hot links. Sandwiches as well as combo platters are offered with traditional side dishes of baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. When visiting a Q place I like to go with the combo platter so I can sample two or three different meats. Unfortunately, they were out of ribs, so I went with the brisket, pulled pork, and beans. There are a few tables inside of the garage area for those brave enough to battle warm temperatures, breezy conditions, and car exhaust. For the price of $7.50 I got a good amount of pork and brisket as well as two pieces of bread, a cup of sauce, and a cup of beans. I was impressed with how moist the pulled pork was after sitting in a warmer for the last couple of hours. Typically pulled pork will dry out quickly, but Jet adds some sauce to keep it moist during service. Although I typically do not like pre-sauced meat, this was good because it was not drenched in sauce and had a subtle hickory flavor. The brisket was tender and moist with a very strong hickory flavor. This was probably some of the smokiest meat I have ever tried and I liked it. The flavors were very simple and let the meat stand out.
Overall I was pleased with my experience at Jet, their less is more approach to BBQ was refreshing. Besides serving good Q, Jet’s unique location makes it a place for anyone who is interested in smoked meats and firehouses to check out. There is plenty of nostalgia throughout the building to entertain you while eating. A certain neon pig sign caught my eye and I immediately began to imagine how great one of those would look in my house.