Q L’s BBQ – A Muncie Legend

Returning to Muncie after 23 years in Dallas, one of the first items on my agenda was to relive those fond food memories of QL’s BBQ.

My hometown of Muncie, Indiana, brings to mind 3 specific foods, elephant ear (pork tenderloin) sandwiches, Pizza King pizza (namely the “Royal Feast”) and QL’s BBQ.

Upon returning to Muncie after 23 years in Dallas, the first items on my agenda were to relive those fond food memories starting with Pizza King. Their recipe hasn’t changed one iota throughout the years but the prices sure have! With Pizza King’s modern day menu prices, it doesn’t take too long to get your fill of the “Royal Feast”. Then there is always the breaded tenderloin sandwich. Burkies’ drive-in is about the only place remaining from days of yore and though they’ve recently gone through a change of ownership, they still hold firm in their standing in the triumvirate of Muncie eateries. Then there’s QL’s BBQ.

Working with the local Mission kitchen for the needy over the last several months, I suggested QL’s to the food manager for a function which was to be locally catered. Ribs, chicken and pulled pork were the varieties selected for the occasion, featuring 3 sauces: hot, medium and mild. When the food arrived the meats needed to be reheated, the mac and cheese was dried out and the sauces all seemed to be indentical in that they were all thin, runny and flavorless. I was very disappointed and didn’t believe my recommendations will be too highly valued in the future as a result. Also, the prices were over and above the quality received.

Then a few months ago, the County Health Board shut down the legendary outfit for a multitude of gross violations. It seems that with the passing of QL’s originator a couple of years ago, the family members left in charge allowed the business to decline. When the granddaughter interviewed the media, she stated that she had no knowledge of how bad the situation had become and vowed that she would apply all of her efforts into correcting, repairing, revitalizing and reopening the establishment as a credit to her grandfather and his dreams.

QL’s is now re-opened and is not only above par according County Health Board standards, but has even excelled in quality – “it’s better than it ever was!”

What started as a cinder block building, built block by block with each and every paycheck from QL Steven’s factory job at GM, has now risen like a phoenix out of the ashes! Kudos to Tamica for keeping her grandfather’s memory alive and kicking!

Yowza, yowza, yowza!

Steve D.

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