In the summer of 2011, Bite Me BBQ was a little Goddard restaurant with a reputation for pretty good ’cue.
A year later, it’s a cavernous downtown Wichita restaurant developing a new reputation for pretty good ’cue.
Owner Coleman Lockett (who’s allowed to joyously shout “BITE ME!” every time he answers the phone) relocated his 8-year-old business to 132 N. St. Francis in April. He’ll celebrate his official grand opening with a party on Saturday featuring local band Rain.
So far, the restaurant is drawing good lunch crowds, but like many downtown restaurants, it’s struggling to find evening diners. Recently, Lockett obtained a permit to begin offering live music and has been doing so on weekend evenings. Mead Street Blues plays there at 7 p.m. Friday.
We also ordered the rib dinner, which featured three giant ribs and two sides for $10.99. (A half slab is available for $9.75, or a full slab is $19, but neither come with sides.) The ribs were served dry fall-off-the-bone tender with a nice salty/smoky rub. The flavor was so good, sauce wasn’t necessary, which for me was a good thing. I may be in the minority, but I prefer my barbecue sauce more vinegar-y than sweet. Both of Bite Me’s sauces — a spicy version and a “wimpy” version provided in bottles on the table — are super sweet. Lockett said he’s had requests from several diners for the “Carolina”-style sauce I crave and is something he’s considering for the future.
The pulled pork in the pulled pork sandwich ($8.49) had an unusual flavor and was somewhat dry, but it was served on a buttery toasted ciabatta bun, which was a nice touch. We also ordered BBQ nachos ($6.99) as an appetizer and couldn’t stop eating them. They were a messy affair and came in a basket piled with pulled pork, chopped brisket, barbecue sauce, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos. In this case, the sweetness of the sauce played nicely off the saltiness of the chips and cheese.
We also opted to sample the deep-fried lobster as an appetizer. At $14.99, it was the most expensive thing we ordered, but we can’t strongly recommend it. The bits of lobster came in a batter that tasted slightly of the Kansas State Fair and came with a big bowl of melted butter on the side. (Some sort of zesty Ranch or remoulade would have been better.) The bites weren’t bad, but they weren’t really worth the price tag.