Monday, August 22, 2011

Squealers BBQ

Hubby and I have been in the mood for barbecue lately, and now that we have started trying them, we are hoping to go to several in the near future so that we can compare them without forgetting them.  Squealers has been on the list for quite awhile, and recommended a lot, so we thought we would start there.  Several people told me the original location in Mooresville is the best, but is quite a hike for us, so we just went with the one out on West 86th Street.

So we ate a lot of stuff, and I will get to it, but man, the fried biscuits?  Freakin’ awesome.  Seriously, I have been thinking about those biscuits ever since.  They are super light and fluffy inside and fried just right to be a little crispy on the outside.  A teeny bit of sweetness, but not much.  I called them extremely tender, but not as sweet, doughnuts.  I want to go back just for them.
Ok, let's get to the real reason we were at Squealers-- the barbecue.  I ordered the pick 2 sampler platter ($15.50) with their “award winning” pulled pork and the “jumbo” chicken wings.  You also get your choice of 2 sides.  I chose mac and cheese and the Amish potato salad.  Oh, and you get two of those biscuits with apple butter.  Have I mentioned how much I like those things?  They also give you several choices for barbecue sauce. I went with mixed (“smoky sweet” + “smokin’ hot”) on my pork and just the sweet on the wings.  Anyway, my favorite thing meat-wise was definitely the pulled pork.  They give you quite a healthy portion of it and top it with some sauce.  If I had eaten all of it I probably would’ve wanted more sauce, but had enough for the amount of it I ended up eating.  The pork is pretty tender, although not the most tender I have had, and had a moderate smoky flavor on its own.  What I really liked was taking a little bit of it and piling it on a little piece of one of those biscuits.  I thought the sauce was really nice with smoky flavor and a bit of spice, but not too much.  The wings on the other hand were a write-off.  I ate only one just because I needed to taste it, but they were small, dry and blah.  Where they come up with “jumbo” as a descriptor, I do not know.  I do really enjoy barbecue chicken in general and would be interested to try the half smoked chicken and see if it was better.  I really enjoyed the pork, but was not so in love that I wouldn’t venture in another direction next time.  I found the sides kind of average-- I really didn’t like the potato salad and the mac and cheese was fine, but not amazing (although of our sides, it is one I might order again). I am not exactly sure how “Amish” potato salad traditionally made, but after some research, I have found nothing but disagreement on the subject.  This one clearly included a lot of sugar and tasted like it was probably made with a recipe similar to this, although I don’t think it had as many ingredients as this, it seemed mostly just like potatoes and celery in the dressing.  (On the bright side though, while I was looking around, I found this recipe for warm goat cheese potato salad which sounds quite delicious.) The mac and cheese was nice and cheesy, and certainly seemed homemade with actual cheese, and not “cheese product.”
Hubby, on the other hand, had some pretty amazing ribs.  He is the barbecue rib lover in our house and that is his go to item in a barbecue joint.  He ordered the ½ slab of baby back rib dinner ($16.20 with up charge for onion rings).  He got onion rings and cole slaw for his sides.  He declared that these were the best ribs in Indy, and after having a bite of them I agreed.  I wouldn’t exactly call them “fall off the bone” tender because you did actually have to pick them up and bite the meat off, but it came right off the bone when you did.  Absolutely no resistance.  They had a wonderfully smoky taste and were nice and “wet” in the mixed sauce.  The cole slaw, again was too sweet for both of us.  It actually tasted sort of similar to the potato salad (and look at the picture—it looks like mashed potatoes).  The onion rings were good—your basic onion rings, as hubby said, there are really no bad onion rings, only better onion rings, and these were somewhere in the middle. 
We also tried one of the cherry cobblers for dessert (not that we needed one more bit of food). Our server told us they made the cobblers there and they were only $1.95 with an extra $1 for ice cream.  It was okay.  The cherries were from a can and there was so much ice cream on top that the cobbler topping got lost and soft.  I would ask for the ice cream on the side if I got another one.  The service was friendly and efficient and our server checked back several times to make sure we didn’t need more sauce.  The interior is pretty much what you expect—casual.  There are several booths and regular tables.  They also have a full bar.
Hubby really wants to go back to Squealers and get some more ribs, and I want to go back for the biscuits.  But for now, we are setting out to try some other places first and compare them.  Who really has the best barbecue in Indy?  And do any other places do the fried biscuits?  I would love to compare them too!
5515 West 86th Street (another location in Mooresville)
Indy 46268

Squealer's Award Winning Barbecue on Urbanspoon


  1. I generally have to be in the mood to enjoy bbq. I didn't care for Squealers but some friends talked me into trying Famous Dave's (86th & Michigan) and it was awesome.

    My favorite was the rib tips and the mac-n-cheese. Their mac has jalepenos and corn in it. I could order it by the bucket...good stuff.

    Since I'm not the biggest fan of bbq, I haven't tried any place other than a few chains. Dave's has been my favorite though.

  2. I've been trying to make the bbq rounds and do some comparisons of the pulled pork at each locale. After eating at about 5 places ( a couple of reviews forthcoming) now Squealers is still at the top of my list. I found the fried biscuits to be awesome as well

  3. I've heard good things about Black Diamond BBQ on Binford. If you look at the pictures of their foor on the website, you can see they have a "smoke ring" on their food, so they must be doing something right.

  4. Have you tried the new City Barbeque on the south side? We are big fans, though our favorite is Full Moon in Birmingham, Alabama :)

  5. Hank's Smoked Briskets off MLK, a bit S of 38th St. Takeout/counter service only... but I'd say it is the best in town.

    I'm a supporter of GT South's (I believe their only location is now the original - off 71st near Binford/Graham Rd)... I like their ribs, pulled pork... and I'm a sucker for the beef manhattan, which is made with smoked brisket.

    Black Diamond is also quite good. Have yet to try Bender's. And I miss Hogheads in Broad Ripple QUITE a lot (they also had fried biscuits - mmmm)

  6. You might try Big Hoffa's in Westfield. Consistently good barbecue.

  7. Haven't been there in a while but remember liking the Smokehouse on Shelby. They have fried biscuits and their website says their meats are smoked in house. Nice atmosphere, too.

  8. Squealers does have good product. However it depends on how long they have stored it in the freezer after cooking. Looking at the pictures of your meals be happy you got such a hefty serving of sides. It is usually about half that. As for the serve saying they make their own cobbler they do not. All they do is take out of the box and put in oven to bake. As i said the food is good just depends on how fresh it is and who they have in the kitchen. Thanks Brad.

  9. I'm a real BBQ fiend and I've found Squealers to be a little "hot and cold." I do think I've gotten better quality in Mooresville than 86th. I've had to send ribs back several times because they sent out dried out jerky. The manager has always been polite and "comped" us along with sending out really good replacements. Problem is, some folks won't say anything. They won't eat the dried out jerky, and they won't come back.

    I've never liked their "Amish" cole slaw/potato salad which is drowning in Mayo and tastes just like it came off the Sysco truck. The very best side is the BBQ Beans. Peppers, along with chopped Q and some of that spicy sauce. The bad thing is the serving size is tiny.

    I would say a big bowl of the Brunswick Stew and a basket of fried biscuits would be an awesome winter meal!

  10. Next time you make it in you have to try the brisket, it's the best meat on their menu.