This month’s tasty talk comes from Nick Silvio, the principal owner and culinary guide star at one of KC’s newest and unpretentiously trendy BBQ joints, Hawg Jaw Que & Brew. It’s located at 900 Swift in North KC [a little east of North Oak Trafficway just after you cross the Heart of America Bridge]. Nick and his brother Sam [of Em Chamas] who share years of restaurant experience in KC, starting with learning the business in their dad’s Pizza place growing up, bought the original Hawg Jaw BBQ in Riverside back in 2015. Nick went to work updating and transforming that location – “changing everything.” They improved the smoking process, extending it to 21 days, contracted with higher quality meat purveyors, and creating a new, exciting menu and bottled micro-brewed beer offerings. In 2017 a better location in NKC opened up and Nick shifted the operation there. What was a popular and award winning venue before began growing even more rapidly!
The “Bossman” as Nick is affectionately known [it’s also the name of the Hawg Jaw bottled sauce made from his recipe], is also a KC firefighter for 15+ years. He feeds his love of cooking by being the chief cook at the fire station, catering to hearty appetites and savoring “the enjoyment that I see in others when they eat my food.” To add to Nick’s busy schedule as a restaurateur and firefighter he is also a husband and father who ekes out as much time as he can to spend with his family and appreciating and sharing experiences with them. Nick’s love of family and his commitment to serving the community are clearly strong influences on his approach to building the Hawg Jaw brand. As a KC Originals member restaurant they are regularly engaged in KCO’s community outreach efforts and Nick says he is “investigating ways to provide food to Kansas City’s many homeless individuals and families.”
Hawg Jaw, in Nick’s view, is a “traditional BBQ dive. You order at the counter and when it’s ready we shout out your name for pick up.” Paper lined baskets and paper plates are the norm. Their 4 house bottled sauces [various degrees of heat, spice and sweetness] are prominently displayed on each table and the healthy portions of smoked meat offerings and comfort food sides are washed down with bottled beers [no draft] or artisan root beers or soda. Their 21day aged smoked beef is the star of course – with Burnt Ends as the top seller- but their menu has some truly unique sandwiches and more. Nick says the “Irish Hawg” sandwich with smoked corned beef and sausage and spicy sauce is one folks either love or hate.” We chose the “Italian Hawg” made with smoked house made Italian sausage from the Silvio family recipe as our featured food item for the newsletter. It’s an unqualified winner in our book!
Another very popular offering at Hawg Jaw is the Smoked Prime Rib Dinner entree. Available every Friday evening in 12,14, or 16 oz portions and accompanied with a loaded baked potato, cole slaw and fountain drink; this modestly priced meal [ranging from $21.95 -25.95] sells out very quickly. We suggest planning ahead to enjoy this feast. Nick suggests that if you want to get a taste not only of Hawg Jaw’s offerings but of the lively arts, music and shopping scene in NKC as well you check out the family-centered “2nd Saturday in Northtown” event that kicks off at 9 AM every 2nd Saturday of the month. It features food, jazz and other musical entertainments, and much more – such as discounts at restaurants like Hawg Jaw.
We asked Nick what else folks ought to know and he quickly rattled off a list: “we do catering, brown bag lunches, you can order on line and pick up or use Postmates delivery service; we can host special events, and you can also purchase our deliciously smoked products by the pound to serve at home.” Whew, sounds like a great full service BBQ joint to us. Of course, Nick reminded us as well that “Hawg Jaw is family owned and operated, every thing made in house – a small place with a very traditional KC feel.” We know by that he means a place where quality food , service and hospitality is Job 1. For more details about Hawg Jaw visit them on the internet at www.hawgjaw.com. Better yet, make the short drive over the bridge and check them out for the total experience!