Springfield’s no stranger to barbecue places, and at Dine on our Dime, we thought we’d sampled them all. Reader Larry Dotson’s favorite, Whole Hog Café, was a new one to us, so we had to check it out and see if it held up to other Springfield favorites.
Larry discovered the Whole Hog Café when it first opened. “I’ll give any new barbecue place a try,” he says. He wondered, though, how a barbecue place located so close to Rib Crib and Buckingham’s could make it. When he tasted the restaurant’s ribs, though, he knew he’d found a winner. “They’re the best ribs in Springfield.” And Whole Hog has the décor to prove it, too. “Other restaurants maybe have a few trophies,” he explains, but Whole Hog is literally covered in trophies and banners. To Larry, that shows the restaurant is good and has staying power.
In addition, he enjoys Whole Hog’s laid-back atmosphere and clean presentation. “I look back in their kitchen, and I can see that it’s pretty clean,” he says.
When he visits with his singles group, he’ll often get the entire slab of ribs with no sides. “I eat every one of them,” he says of the huge plate of ribs. “None of them ever goes home.”
Tonight, though, he chooses the half-slab meal, with baked beans and a brownie as his sides ($9.99). Though Whole Hog has six sauces for guests to find their perfect flavor, Larry chooses to eat his ribs with the sauce they come with. The ribs don’t need any additional flavor. He loves the ribs’ tender, smoky flavor. “They fall off the bone; they taste so good,” he says.
Larry says that ribs aren’t cooked properly if he has to fight to get the meat off the bone. That’s never the case with Whole Hog’s meat.
I’ll eat barbecue any day of the week. The smoky meats and succulent flavors can’t be beat, and Springfield really is the place to find great barbecue.
I decide to try the burnt ends meal ($8.99) with burnt end cheesy corn and baked home fries with cheese sauce. My sides alone sound like a great meal, and they are.