Barbecue & Bourbon: A Small-Town American Summer
Hog roasts were a summer tradition when I was growing up in small-town Indiana. My dad was the designated hog roasting expert of our community. Sometimes, I’d get to help pick out the hog at the local butcher shop. He would stay up all night at a friend’s farm, slowly rotating the hog on a spit over an open pit of fire. I would try to stay awake, but the sweet smell of a roasting hog stuffed with potatoes, apples, and his special blend of savory spices always lulled me to sleep as I anticipated the grand feast awaiting us the next day.
Now, I’m a city girl. I love living in Indianapolis because of its small-town sense of community nestled among a big city landscape. Speedway is the part of Indy I love visiting because it reminds me of where I grew up. I was especially thrilled to discover a cozy little family-owned restaurant on Main Street called Barbecue and Bourbon (because honestly, what’s better than smoked meats while sipping on an Old Fashioned cocktail?)
“We do everything old school,” explains Marcia who is the owner along with her husband, David. “We want people to feel like they’re going to Grandma’s kitchen”.
Marcia and David Huff opened the restaurant in 2013 when they started to out-grow their catering business. It all began with a couple of David’s friends who owned hog farms.
“We bought a couple of cookers so we’d get invited to all the parties,” chuckled David. “We did a couple of charity rides and word got out.”
Barbecue and Bourbon is a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that feels like a good ole country kitchen with food that is simply delicious. Most everything is made from scratch with traditional Midwestern and Southern recipes, some being curated from places like an Amish restaurant in Arkansas.
Meats are delivered fresh every morning and smoked out back. I thoroughly enjoyed the rack of ribs with sides of cole slaw, corn bread, and the fried cabbage with a happy marriage of butter, bacon, and spices (David’s dad’s favorite that will never leave the menu!).
Pulled pork and brisket, is of course, a house favorite. David makes his own hot barbecue sauce made from his rub called “Bud’s Rub” utilizing a special blend of seven different types of peppers grown in his garden. Try it if you dare but watch out because it’ll sneak up on you!
Choose from any of their 71 bourbons to enjoy either neat or as a cocktail with your smoked meats, including local-made whiskey from Hotel Tango’s artisan distillery. You can even ask for smoked ice in your bourbon!
If you’re a meat and beer kind of person, they also have six local beers on tap as well as the coldest selection of domestics and imports. It’s a full bar, complete with moonshine on tap! I had the dirty lemonade moonshine cocktail …in the middle of the day.
Don’t tell my dad.
Barbecue and Bourbon
1414 Main Street
Speedway, IN 46224
Amy is a food and beverage writer with a focus on diverse cultures. She loves telling stories and creating experiences as a city guide. Her greatest inspiration is travel: Thailand and Prague are her two favorite places outside of her home in Indianapolis. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city on her bike, trying new restaurants, visiting museums, and of course ... drinking beer!