I strongly approve of any restaurant that incorporates anything pig/pork related into its name. Such a noble and delicious creature is sure to attract attention to any dining establishment. That was one of the reasons I have had the newer BBQ place When Pigs Fly on my radar for quite some time now. This westside eatery is located on the southeast corner of Central and Ridge Road. A long haul from the safe confines of northeast Wichita, but one that I will definitely be making more regularly for their Cue. After spending some time working at Pig In Pig Out, the manager/pitmaster decided to branch out on his own and opened WPF in late 2010.
After getting out of my car I was immediately met with the aroma of smoke wood, probably Oak or Hickory, wafting along in the strong south wind. Always a good sign when going to a BBQ place. Inside, the space is appropriately adorned with swine related accent pieces and artwork, that coupled with the plaid tablecloths creates a comfortable and homey environment. On the menu you will find the typical BBQ fare as well as one of their specialties, loaded baked potatoes. The spuds are topped with meat, cheese, and other goodies.
On my first visit to a BBQ place I like to order the 2 or 3 meat combo dinners, so I can get a sample of the big three of Cue: Brisket, Pork Butt, and Ribs. WPF only offers a 1 or 2 meat dinner so I opted for brisket and ribs. Anyone can smoke good pulled pork, but good ribs and especially brisket are art forms that can be difficult to master. For my side dishes I went with baked beans and some steamed corn on the cob. After ordering at the counter I found my way to one of the many tables that are available to dine-in customers. Each table is properly equipped with two very essential BBQ eating components, a large bottle of sauce and a napkin dispenser.
The portions sizes of meat and sides were decent for the $9.50 price tag, although the plate was kind of small for the amount of food placed upon it. The corn was about what I thought it would be, just regular steamed corn, which was fine. The beans on the other hand were very good. I prefer sweet BBQ beans and these did not disappoint. There was also a hint of chili powder to give them some bite. The only thing that would have made them better would have been some pieces of brisket or pork. The brisket looked very similar to what is served at Pig In and Pig Out, nice thick-cut tender pieces of meat. It had a mild smokey flavor and was moist. It was not the most flavorful brisket I have had, but it was certainly solid. The only thing left to sample were the spare ribs. With the dinner combo I received 3 plump, delicious ribs. They were perfectly cooked, which means they weren’t fall off the bone. Like the brisket they had a well balanced smokey flavor and the salty rub was great. After having these ribs I can safely say they are the best I have had in Wichita so far. The only sauce on the table was a typical sweet style sauce, although I think they might have a hotter sauce upon request.
In the world of Wichita BBQ I would have to say that Pig In and When Pigs Fly are tied at the top of my list right now. The ribs at WPF are top notch and I have tried my fair share of ribs(Top Ribs: Oklahoma Joe’s and The Salt Lick). WPF is definitely a good place to try if you are in the mood for some tasty Cue.