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Monday, January 13, 2014

Squealers, a place in Indianapolis for ribs and ribbing

Our server Ken can handle a lot

Editor's note: Barbecued Adventures will be relaunched in early 2014 with new posts about barbecue, pitmasters and related travel. This post dates back to May 11, 2011. Thank you for reading and place come back often.   

Here in Indiana, there’s a tradition, “Hoosier Hospitality.” At Squealers Barbecue on the northwest side of Indianapolis, you’ll find it epitomized in our server Ken, who is pictured to your right.

From the moment my wife and I sat down, we realized that the wit and wisdom of Ken would only add to our dining experience. We’ve been big fans of Squealers since they opened their first location in Mooresville, Ind., in 2001.

We have frequented Squealers even more since they established a second location within minutes of my mother’s home in 2004, but usually our pleasure has been limited to what’s been on the plate.

Like many other places, Squealers is the result of people who have left their mark on the competitive BBQ circuit. The father and son team of Ron and Jeff Yater hit the circuit in the mid-1990s and quickly found a following. In 1999, they competed and sold their meats and sauces in about 25 cities, and I learned of them through their participation at Rib America’s festival in Indy.

They’ve continued to compete at events all over the country and their sauce in particular has frequently been honored at the National Barbeque Association Expo.

Clearly, their specialty is pork ribs and Squealers offers both Baby Back and St. Louis style ribs. A popular choice for our family has been their "Barbeque Nachos," which highlight their pulled pork and some gooey cheddar jack cheese.

This was the senior portion!
It’s also nice that they honor older folks like my mother with very ample portions on their senior menu. This is her pulled pork plate and she was happy to go home with leftovers.

On this visit we also were joined by my wife’s sister and a friend of Mom’s. Let’s just say that Ken is a charmer (although Mrs. Ken need not worry).

Because of our recent travels to Texas, I opted to try the beef brisket, and agreed to help my wife with her full rack of baby backs.

As their name would suggest, Squealers is best when the meat of choice is pork. Everyone raved about the ribs and pulled pork and I likely will steer back in that direction of the menu next time (When you’ve had brisket in Texas, the bar is set very high).

Sides such as the Amish-style potato salad and coleslaw are real pleasers and the Brunswick Stew is pretty good too.

At the outset of this article, I mentioned our server, Ken. While we’ve enjoyed the service and recommendations of many kind folks in the service industry, he set himself apart through his jokes, stories and kindness. He also can carry the weight of a lot of barbecue on his shoulders.

Until we come in again, stay well Ken. Tell the family I said they should play your sports video games with you more often.

Location we visited:
5515 W. 86th St.
Indianapolis, Indiana

Squealer's Award Winning Barbecue on Urbanspoon

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