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Restaurant Review: Official Bar-B-Q

Tanya Tandoc

I love smoked meat, and Wichita has some of the finest pitmasters (and mistresses) around. My husband discovered Official Bar-B-Que a few months ago, while walking our ancient pug down the block.

Official Bar-B-Que is housed in a tiny trailer, right on the corner of Hydraulic and Waterman. Olive’s nose led him to one of the best brisket sandwiches that he has ever had. He was so excited about it that he even saved me a bite.

Credit Tanya Tandoc / KMUW
Maples and his mother

It was divine-- tender meat, spicy sauce, with a gently smoky taste and a wonderful red bark (the outside of smoked meat that is red and the hallmark of great ‘que).

On the night of the fabulous Shocker game, we both walked over and got a sampler platter, with tender smoked turkey, juicy ribs, that tender brisket, and hot and mild sauce, served with the traditional white bread for sopping up the juices, sauce and fat.

The ribs were great, tender and juicy, with a good pork flavor and a fairly delicate rub that didn’t overpower the meat. The brisket was as good as always, also dripping juice and flavor.

The turkey was so tender, dark meat from legs and thighs, and was my favorite of all. We cheered our boys on to win and I’m sure the barbecue helped!

Official is run by one very busy man, Kris Maples, who not only works his smoker and grill, but officiates youth sports games at night. He’s super friendly, and gave me a big hug the first time we met. He makes pulled pork and chicken, too, as well as fried fish, which I have not tried but smelled fabulous.

His hours begin at 11 am and go to 4:30, Monday through Friday, but he will extend his hours after game season. He only makes what he can sell, and sometimes things run out. So if you go, get there early.

Official Bar-B-Q

316-871-8977 for call-ahead orders and to find out what's available