Porky Butts Barbeque Exceeds Expectations in Omaha
The only thing easy about the restaurant business is failure. For every five new restaurants that open in the U.S. this week, three will be gone within three years. That’s a sixty percent failure rate, and our guess is that it’s even higher with barbecue joints. In barbecue, the waste is high, the profit margins are slim, and the hours are long. Yet new barbecue joints seem to be opening and closing all over the midwest and Omaha is no different. In the past 6 months Omaha has lost one barbeque restaurant and gained two. Fat Shack, widely considered to be Omaha’s local favorite, closed. But every loss feeds a new hope in your heart. This year, hope came in a pair. Barbecue hounds ran to Smokin’ Barrel to get brisket, and to Porky Butts to find out whether they deserved to be awarded countless trophies and checks including the coveted American Royal. No gas allowed here, both places slow-cook their barbecue with hardwood only. Good meat, good smoke. Nail those things, you don’t need a whole lot else in Omaha. Gimmicks, bells, whistles—how nice, no thanks, they won’t work in the midwest. Sauce—if any—is an enhancement and a personal preference so we typically leave the bottles alone and focus on the meat and the occasional side dish.
Things are different now, of course. Barbecue is different than it used to be. On most days, you can get a decent piece of brisket or pork sandwich, throughout the Omaha metro area. Not to be mistaken, this isn’t Kansas City or Austin but things are looking up in Omaha. In fact, there has never been a better time to eat barbecue in Omaha, and there has never been a better time to get out there and appreciate a growing number of food trucks, caterers and restaurants offering a variety of interpretations of BBQ.
On Monday, in strip mall in northwest Omaha, Porky Butts BBQ quietly opened to the public and we were glad to be there. Blane Hunter and the Porky Butts BBQ team have worked their tails off to open their first restaurant. Porky Butts went BIG! Go BIG or go home. Right? Guests will immediately be surprised at the large footprint of the restaurant but may overlook some simple yet unique design elements throughout which create depth and a more inviting dining experience. This restaurant was built with you in mind! Whether you’re a business person grabbing a quick lunch, a couple on a date, or a family grabbing dinner together on the weekend Porky Butts has you covered. They’ll even have a to-go station for take out orders in the near future.
Porky Butts was ready for an influx of BBQ fanatics. They were well staffed and we were taken care of throughout our dining experience. Fast, friendly and helpful. That’s all a person wants, right?
So, how was the food? This is where it gets tricky……….it was terrific. We ordered their signature TANK sandwich, brisket sandwiches, pork sandwiches, pork ribs, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread. The average foodie will be more than pleased with the service and the food. It’s far above average for the Omaha area. Porky Butts BBQ has done extremely well on the barbeque circuit. That doesn’t always translate to a retail space. We’ve visited hundreds of restaurants and interviewed some of the best pit-masters that have ever lived. If there is one thing we’ve learned is that competition bbq rarely translates to retail. And, why would it? If you are expecting award winning barbecue, then you probably need to take a road trip to Austin and visit Franklin’s or La Barbecue or the Salt Lick. If you are expecting really good barbecue at a reasonable price in a great looking and comfortable restaurant, then you’re in luck.
Porky Butts BBQ will quickly grow in popularity. Our only concern is the sheer size of the restaurant. If they can manage the footprint and continue to build their customer base, they will be a long-term success in Omaha.
Porky Butts BBQ exceeded our overall expectations and was terrific experience. Great folks, beautiful restaurant and really good barbeque.
Address: 15475 Ruggles St, Omaha, NE 68116