Men Wielding Fire Reno
Being a huge bbq nut, I was wondering if anyone has tried this new addition to the Reno food scene. I am directing this especially to the esteemed Mr. Timko, who has tasted my own personal bbq and knows my taste.
Is that actually the name of the place? Where is it? and, most importantly, have you tried it? Inquiring minds need to know as traveling to Reno in next week or so.
Hi, Andy. MWF is in the corner location previously used by La Famiglia, at 180 E. First St., at Lake Street.
We haven't tried it yet, and may not for a while, since we thought their food from their trucks was just OK, not great. If we were downtown, we'd probably go to Pho 777 instead, or perhaps try Pho Country on Virginia, which Steve liked.
For BBQ, we'll probably give the new Famous Dave's a try, once they open.
Hmm. Just looked at their online menu. As soon as I read "smothered" in BBQ sauce for the pulled pork they lost my vote. I'll wait for someone else to try it. Grilling is one of Bob's and my specialities so it tends not to be something we eat out for.
Okay, I checked out Men Wielding Fire as a special request for RevAndy. And I have short review just for him: You’d call the ribs meat Jello.
Now here’s a review for everyone else. They only offer what they call St. Louis-style ribs. You can get them wet, meaning with the sauce, or dry, with the sauce on the side. I ordered the latter especially to get a sense of the texture of the meat for RevAndy.
For me and for most people, I think the texture of the meat would be fine. It’s soft from slow cooking. Not too soggy though. The taste was fine. A little smokiness. Generally good flavor.
There is a major red flag, though. When I dipped the ribs in the sauce on the side and tasted it, an Indian buffet instantly came to mind. A co-owner of the store confirmed they use a cumin/curry flavor to make their sauce. I want to give it a second chance before saying I don’t like it. They are definitely making something distinctive. And I hate it when restaurants go the corporate food route and make food as inoffensive as possible to appeal to the broadest group of people.
But that flavor isn’t one I look for when I try barbecue. I’d prefer the cumin/curry flavor is in the background like Mick Jagger playing the rhythm guitar while a molasses or vinegar or tomato flavor has the Keith Richards role.
They have a bottle of dipping sauce made by someone else on the table people can use. It was pretty sweet, or maybe it just seemed that way in contrast to the house sauce. But it was good .
The ribs came with cowboy beans and cornbread. The cornbread has actual kernels of corn in it. It was good. The beans had a nice zip to the sauce but didn’t seem special. I also got a side of grilled asparagus, which was fresh and not overcooked. I liked that a lot.
Now I wouldn’t normally get dessert, but since I was doing this for the Chowhound community, I bit the bullet and ordered something called chocolate decadence. It was obviously freshly made with lots of nice, rich chocolate flavors. It was a winner.
Service was good. I was there in mid afternoon so it was slow. They were playing a Lynyrd Skynyrd greatest hits CD I think.
They also offer steaks. I asked the waitress if the steaks were dry aged. She came back and told me they were wet aged. I don't tknow what that means. I'd like to try the tri tip and pulled pork.
Men Wielding Fire
180 E. 1st St
Reno, NV 89501
It was good of you to sacrifice yourself on the chocolate decadence for the edification of the Chowhound community, Steve, though I seem to remember that you also sacrificed yourself for the brownie sundae at Sezmu, too. (grin)
670 Mount Rose St, Reno, NV 89509
Steve, I knew I could count on you. It doesn't sound like my kind of bbq. Fyi, that falling off the bone consistency of the meat doesn't come from slow cooking. My ribs are smoked low and slow for about 4 hours and have some fight to them, as you know. Meat jello comes from either boiling the meat before smoking, or wrapping them in aluminum foil for a few hours during the cooking process, so as to steam the meat. Neither of these techniques is used in what would be considered the rib capitals of Memphis, KC, or Texas. Thanks for taking one for the team. Should your new title be Chowhound Martyr?
On the topic of BBQ, I must say my absolute favorite is Carolina's BBQ (off Glendale). Have you had the pleasure? It's a complete hole in the wall - as some of the best BBQ places are - so don't go expecting anything ambiance-wise. But I'll ask you to trust me on this one... the pork is extremely good and they serve (the pulled pork) dry so you can add whichever of the three sauces offered at your table you'd like in whatever quantity you prefer. (My favorite is the Carolina-style, but all sauces are worth sampling.) They specifically cater to the construction guy on his lunch, but plenty of businessmen and women go there as well. Get a large sweet tea and also try to coleslaw and fried pickles. This is a real hidden gem in Reno! (I'm curious to know what others think too.)
We've been going there for years and really like their food, though haven't been recently. Try their mustard-based sauce (you may have to ask for it at the counter).
Oddly enough, we've never gotten around to trying their Friday night fish fry - an old Carolina tradition:
Every Friday at 5pm - Fried Catfish, Beer Battered Cod, Hand Dipped Onion Rings, Coleslaw, Hushpuppies & Fries.
Maybe this would be worth a chowdown outing.
We just had lunch here today and it was great! Really. We shared the sampler which was two ribs, four wings (different heat levels offered), two large fried chicken strips and four small pieces of fried catfish. Also terrific fries, a little zip to them and nice and crunchy. I believe it was $12.95. Everything was cooked just right. Even the cornmeal dusted pieces of fish, which when they first arrived, I feared were overcooked were just right. Clearly someone in their kitchen knows their way around the fryer. We are uncomfortably full and brought some of the fries home to reheat. They have about five of their own sauces on the table along with Tabasco and one other. I intend to work my way through the menu. For this former Southern gal, this was the real deal. Oh, and they have beer and wine.
I made a follow-up visit to Men Wielding Fire with my sister. I wanted to try the steak, but it was only 4:30 p.m. and they don’t serve steaks until 5 p.m.
I got tri-tip. My sister got pulled porked. We were both disappointed with the dishes. After the tri tip arrived, I optimistically tried to cut it with a fork. I had to use the knife and I was seriously sawing at one point. It was really tough tri tip. The flavor was meh.
My sister didn’t like her pulled pork. I tried a forkful. It tasted fairly generic. The sauce was sweet.
The barbecue dishes mandatorily come with cowboy beans and cornbread. Neither of ate our beans. They just tasted bad. The cornbread was okay.
I again bit the bullet and sacrificed myself to order another dessert. I got the Snickers cheesecake. It was quite tasty and the best part of the meal. I still want to try the non-barbecue section of the menu. So far the only consistent winner has been the desserts.
My club was a bit dry, but hubbie's burger was awesome! Like the sampler idea - need to try that next time.