After much anticipation following the announcement earlier this year, Caitlin Steininger and Kelly Trush of Cooking with Caitlin, along with their business partner and friend Karen Klaus, have debuted Station Family + BBQ. Housed in Wyoming’s 1908-built former fire station (previously occupied by Sturkey’s Restaurant) just a mile from CWC The Restaurant, the barbecue joint opens today following Steininger’s appearance (and sadly, early elimination) on Bravo’s Top Chef.
The trio bills the menu, created by Steininger, as “Cincinnati-style barbecue,” and if you’re not sure what that means, that’s sort of the point, Trush says. “I think people think of Montgomery Inn [barbecue sauce]. But otherwise, is there really a Cincinnati style?” Being untethered to a definition gives them leeway to experiment and define their own take on classic dishes.
The menu is based around standard smoky, hearty meats like wings, brisket, and pulled pork, but with surprises like smoked salmon dressed with squash butter and Cincinnati sausage, which Trush says is Steininger’s hat tip to Cincinnati chili. The pork links, made by the adjacent Wyoming Meat Market and filled with the familiar chili warming spices, are topped with a Carolina gold sauce, fusing the regional influence of the mustard-based sauce and Cincinnati’s German-heritage pork-production roots. It’s a must-try that will—like its hot-dog–topping predecessor—linger in your memory and inspire many sudden cravings.
Where other barbecue joints take a sweet-or-spicy approach to their sauce selection, Station lets diners pick by region. In addition to the South Carolina gold sauce, they serve a tomato-based classic BBQ, a mayo-based “kissed with horseradish” Alabama white sauce (trust us, you want to drizzle this on the brisket), and a vinegary North Carolina sauce that brings the heat with crushed red pepper.
Sides like the super-creamy macaroni and cheese, the caramelized onion potato gratin, and an über-cinnamony homemade applesauce will transport you to grandma’s house, where others will make you wish she cooked this way. For instance, the menu’s two takes on spoonbread: fried spoonbread balls drizzled with hot honey; and the spoonbread sundae, an inventive dessert interpretation of what’s typically considered a savory dish, tops creamy cornbread with a scoop of vanilla icing, drizzled with honey. Both are out-of-this-world good.
When deciding on the restaurant’s theme, the historic and spacious building at the town center’s Village Green was a huge influence. “It all started with the building, and we kind of backed into the idea,” says Trush. “We just felt like [it] lent itself to [barbecue], but also we wanted to make it super casual, family friendly, and it just seemed like barbecue was a good medium for that.”
Station Family + BBQ, 400 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, (513) 679-6790, cincystation.com
Dinner Tues–Thurs. Brunch, lunch, and dinner Friday and Saturday.