A new restaurant has opened at 550 N Rock Road in the former Dempsey’s Burger Pub space. It’s been described as ‘upscale barbecue’ so we stopped by on opening day to check out Crutch BBQ.
550 N Rock Road
Wichita, Kansas 67206
Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Monday
(Hours will be limited during opening weekend)
At the start, Crutch BBQ will only be carryout which makes sense with everything going on in the world. Their menu consists of ribs, brisket, pork, turkey, sausage, burnt ends and “crutchwiches” which are essentially sandwiches.
On our visit, we ordered a half pound of burnt ends, the Joyland crutchwich and a side of Bama slaw.
The Joyland crutchwich consisted of pulled pork, Bama slaw and Crutch BBQ sauce. To begin, I really loved the form fitting bun. Those are my favorite buns. It collapsed down well but not to the point it soaked through to the burger. Overall, it was a delicious sandwich with tender pork, a light coating of slaw that wasn’t heavy on the sauce and a blanket of sauce that was mild and slightly sweet. We shared the sandwich at home and were both very satisfied.
What I was even more satisfied with though was the burnt ends. It was super tender and contained a healthy dose of fat (I know that’s an oxymoron). I would have liked a little more bark on it but that all comes down to personal preference as all foods do.
We were mixed on the Bama slaw. One of us love a good creamy slaw while the other person felt it was too heavy on the sauce.
I read that they had four sauces to choose from: a Kansas City-style served mild or hot, Alabama White, and North Carolina-style. I asked for all of their sauces and would have gladly paid extra if there was a cost. But when I received my order, all that came in my bag was a mild and hot sauce. The mild had a nice sweet tangy kick to it while the hot was even better. I loved the heat it packed that didn’t linger long on your taste buds.
For what we had, we enjoyed thoroughly and that’s all you can ask for.
Where the big debate comes for Crutch BBQ will be the price. I’m no BBQ purist so I’m not really sure what “upscale barbecue” is or consist of. At face value, BBQ to me all feels all very basic at the forefront. Places all have their methods of cooking and sources for their meat. What makes one place upscale and would the average diner like myself even notice the difference? What I do know is compared to other popular BBQ places around town, the prices at Crutch BBQ were a bit higher. For example, sandwiches there were between $9-13 with no sides. That was the highest in Wichita BBQ restaurants. Some competitors charged that price but it came with a side. Sides also came in between $3-6. The average price in Wichita was hovering around the $2.50-3 range.
I’ve always preached that price is all relative to how much satisfaction you get from the food. If you love the food, the price could easily be justifiable. I’d gladly pay $40 for a steak if I loved it. I’d be happy to pay $6-10 for a burger if it was awesome. So, ultimately that will be up to you to decide if the prices at Crutch BBQ are equal to the satisfaction you’d get.
While I enjoyed the food at Crutch BBQ, I’m not entirely sure my satisfaction level was more than what I’d get at other local BBQ spots for less money. But even with that, I’d still go back to try other meats I missed out on like their ribs.
Here’s their menu:
To nominate your restaurant or event to be considered for a review, please email us with your restaurant information. We are always open to suggestions.
Want to help support the continuing content of Wichita By E.B.?
If you’re a business owner and would like to be featured or partner up for a highlight, visit here.