A barbecue restaurant is coming to Midland.
Matt Henning hopes to open his My 4 Sons BBQ in February if all goes as planned.
He’ll open in the space vacated last year by Midland Eatery at 9823 Portland Ave. E., which is across the street from Bar Bistro.
He’ll operate the restaurant with his wife Brenda.
They operated two Figaro’s Pizza franchises around 2000 to 2003, but this is their first solo project and one they’re creating from scratch. Henning has traveled extensively and studied a wide range of barbecues. He has used that research to develop his own style of barbecue. He’s smoked meats on an amateur basis for family and friends, but this is his first foray into professional barbecue.
The restaurant is named for their four boys, ages 9 to 22.
Henning said all four of the Henning children have some role in the restaurant, whether that’s social media or taste testing. The two older children are in college; the other two are still at home.
The dining room will see a minor makeover with a new bar and seating. The old brick building will have seating for about 30.
Call Henning’s style of barbecue a pick-and-choose collection of Texas, Carolina and Kansas City styles. No, that’s not some kind of weird Northwest barbecue fusion. It’s more or less Henning plucking barbecue he likes from a number of genres and combining them into one menu.
He described his brisket as Texas-style with a salt-and-pepper-rub and smoked low-and-slow over hickory in an indoor pellet smoker. All meats will be cooked over hickory.
His ribs draw inspiration from Missouri. Those will be spareribs cut into the St. Louis shape, rubbed with a house rub and sugar. He calls them Kansas City-style, but they won’t be covered in sauce. He’ll serve sauce on the side for all his meats.
He’ll also turn the rib trimmings into rib tips as an occasional weekend special.
Carolina-style pulled pork is another offering, plus smoked pulled chicken.
Meat will be available as combination meals or plates, or by the pound.
The family plans to serve a house-made coleslaw with a sweetened mayonnaise dressing and house-made pickle chips, pickled with a spicy dill brine, with all meals.
Other sides include three variations on smoked macaroni and cheese available on a rotating basis, plus smoked barbecue beans, sweet cornbread muffins, baked potato salad with sour cream, cheese and bacon, or a house salad. Brenda’s homemade brownies will be offered for dessert. The restaurant has applied for a liquor license to serve beer and wine.
Henning intends to keep prices affordable with combination meals (with two sides) starting at $7.99 for pulled pork or pulled chicken; a three-bone rib dinner with the sides will be $11.99 and a brisket plate will be around $13.99.
Ribs also can be purchased a la carte, $11.99 for a half rack and $19.99 for a full rack.
In addition to meat-by-the-pound ($12.99 to $18.99), the pulled pork, chicken and brisket will be served on a bun and probably will start around $7 to $9.
Henning intends opening hours to be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
ANOTHER BARBECUE UPDATE
Austin transplant Gary Parker, who moved here 20 years ago with his wife Cindi Parker, is still working on his barbecue restaurant in Gig Harbor called BBQ2U. When it opens at 4814 Point Fosdick Drive NW, it will have a menu inspired by Central Texas barbecue spots (think: Franklin’s) with meat smoked over oak or mesquite.
My 4 Sons BBQ
Where: 9823 Portland Ave. E., Tacoma; facebook.com/My4SonsBBQ
Opening: February, if all goes as planned.