Barbecue is a large factor in my earliest food memories of Evansville. I don’t recall eating any barbecue in Iowa, from where we moved. My father made a type of loose meat Sloppy Joe sandwich — called a Maid-Rite — but it wasn’t a Sloppy Joe and it wasn’t barbecue. When we visited my grandmother in Evansville, we nearly always were treated to barbecue and pie at Wolf’s Bar-B-Q.
We moved to Evansville, close to Washington Square Mall, in 1971. On more than a few Saturdays, my sisters and I walked to the mall with our mom to shop and enjoy lunch at Mac’s Famous Barbecue. (On the way home we drank frothy drinks from Orange Julius, which was in the mall next to Mac’s.) On the 6 o’clock news, wacky weathercaster Marcia Yockey hawked Hesmer Food’s barbecue in a jar (as well as their chips and other foods); when my schoolteacher father came home from his second job as a manager at Jerry’s Food Markets, sometimes it was with a jar of Big “B” Pit Cooked Pork Barbecue in hand. My family had plenty of fresh meals, we just didn’t shy away from processed meats for dinner, and in Evansville, we had Big “B.” We still do — on your grocer’s shelves, at Farm Boy Food Service, and as a private label barbecue sauce at well-known establishments throughout the region.
For the annual Flavors magazine inside this issue, we present our take on Evansville’s brand of barbecue, “Into the Pit,” (page 54). You are sure to see some of your favorite barbecue in this roundup, which also includes our newer barbecue joints. Clearly the demand for smoked meat is strong in the River City. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!
As always, I look forward to hearing from you!
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor
Favorite Page of the Issue, 40
Among the best perks of my job is touring homes we’d like to feature. To ensure we have a full pipeline of homes to share, we resort to covert methods – we leave postcards in mailboxes of homes we would like to see: “Hi! We’d like to talk to you about your home!” After watching the renovation of a Downtown home, the Scotsman, I asked Creative Director Heather Gray if she’d drop off a card. A few days later we received an invitation to tour the home from its owner Philip Alvey who was thrilled to share his story.