One type of eatery I long for, which happens to be lacking in Titletown, is a good Barbeque spot. A few establishments advertise meat from a spit but, for one reason or another, I haven’t felt compelled to return. That is, until now. Inspired by Kansas City styled joints, this place has got style, flavor and a good helping of hospitality sweltering in the heart of Packerland. This restaurant, named after the owner’s child, Parker John, definitely says down home Bar-B-que!
It was Heidi’s suggestion and treat, which was an excellent decision. I may not be from the south, but I do love barbeque. Doesn’t everybody? Why are they so hard to find in Green Bay? Maybe it’s incredibly tough for Germans, Polish and Belgians to transfer from Brats, liverwurst and boo-yah. Whatever the case, this family owned Wisconsin business nailed the atmosphere, service, and flavors necessary to bring homestyle southern barbeque to the frigid Norse.
I feel I should mention they also serve pizza, fried fish and other midwestern favorites, but so does everyone else in Green Bay. The actual draw, the thing that really motivated me to try this place, was the fact that they look like a genuine barbeque joint.
Here’s our all you can eat experience at ‘Parker John’s BBQ & Pizza’
It’s the Twelfth of November, and Heidi is treating me. That’s because, seeing how I worked on Veteran’s Day, I missed the free meals that many local restaurants offer. Heidi feels obliged to celebrate my service to my country, and she has the perfect place in mind.
When we roll up, I’m delighted. Its a barbeque place that actually looks like an appealing BBQ shack . You know, there’s a wood and brick exterior that’s accented with fun neon signing. However, we’re not the only ones craving some savory pork lathered in delectable sauces. There happens to be a wait, about a twenty minute wait.
I’m guessing this happens from time to time. I make this assumption because there’s both indoor and outdoor benches placed near the entrance. It’s a rather mild November night, so Heidi and I discuss today’s events outside – delighting in this eatery’s rustic shell. We pass the time quite easily and, at right about twenty minutes, I receive a text that informs me our table is ready.
When we enter, I’m given a choice of high table or booth. I opt for a booth, and the hostess leads me to a cozy spot tucked in the corner. I love this particular spot, although there is really no bad table in this intimate joint. We’re surrounded by agricultural signing, and other agrestic fine points. Blues and country music wafts to my eardrums over the calm din of conversations.
When we’re presented our menus, things get really interesting. There’s so many good choices. With the beers on tap, I’m thrilled to see most of them are from local breweries. I reward Parker John’s for supporting Northeastern Wisconsin businesses, and order a Wi Bien from Badger State Brewing Co.
Heidi, on the other hand, is ordering a drink that would probably be better explained as an appetizer. It’s a Bloody Mary, and it comes with a beef stick, cheese curd, Brussels sprout, celery stick….I might be leaving some things out…oh yeah, a plate with two chicken wings and a beer chaser, there might actually be more. The cost is nine dollars, that’s actually not bad. And if you want to up the ante, there’s a Bloody Mary for twenty-five bucks. That would probably conclude your ordering right there, “I’ll have a Bloody Mary, and the check please!”
However, there happens to be many other stellar selections on this menu. And seeing how I’m at a BBQ Joint, I’m going to order BBQ stuff. There’s Beef Brisket, St. Louis Style Ribs, combo platters and more. Besides that, there’s a full page of Pizzas and all you can eat specials.
The all you can eat specials include Wednesday Night Wings, a Friday Fish Platter and a for Thursday night, Thursday happens to be this evening, one that kicks some serious tail; all you can eat ribs! This particular dish comes with your choice of two sides, and a great piece of honey cornbread. I’m all in!
When we get our trays, I devour absolutely everything and get a second healthy rack of ribs. I feel obliged to test all five barbecue sauces offered. From delicious Kansas City sauce to sweet and spicy pineapple habanero, at least four are sheer winners. After every bone is licked clean, my gut is about to burst. Seriously, I can actually feel my stomach wall expanding.
When we leave, and head out into the cold night, I thank Heidi more than once. She knows me a little I guess. Well, I think she’s got my taste buds and stomach down pat at least. Parker John’s BBQ & Pizza won’t be a nightly occurrence, but it’s one hell of a treat!