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Skinny Kenny’s BBQ (Portage)

February 7, 2022

  • 6005 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 888-2777
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a while since I’ve done an actual Southwest Michigan blog post (with the exception of Crumbl Cookies). We’ve just been on the road a lot on weekends and I don’t eat out a lot during the week.

I’ve been wanting to get to the new Skinny Kenny’s BBQ in Portage for a while though. I was a big fan when they opened up a brick and mortar store in Mattawan but that one is kind of out there. I don’t go to Mattawan very often.

I tried on a Monday not too long ago…but Skinny Kenny’s is closed on Monday’s. I finally had a chance to drive to Portage from Downtown Kalamazoo on one of my lunch breaks. We were having a pretty slow day and I was really in the mood for BBQ.

Skinny Kenny’s BBQ in Portage is on the corner of Westnedge and Milham where the Schlotzky’s (or more recently Wings Heaven) used to be right next to a Little Caesars. There’s a pretty good size parking lot there but it’s a little hard to get in and out of if you have to cross traffic. It’s best to turn on Milham if you’re coming from the north and get in that way.

The layout of the restaurant is pretty similar if you at there when it was a Wing Heaven. There’s an order counter right as you walk in. The menu is on the wall behind the cash registers. The TV monitors above the counter show pictures of happy customers.

The rest of the space is a large, open dining room. I don’t know if Wing Heaven ever put tables in this space. It was pretty deep in to COVID the few times I was there so there were no tables. Skinny Kenny’s really filled in that space to make a space you still feel distanced from other people but there are enough tables to make the space fell much more full.

The menu at Skinny Kenny’s is BBQ…duh. They started as a food truck and that shows in a lot of their menu items. They have some pretty creative combinations that were put together with walking and eating in mind although that’s not something you have to do anymore.

I ordered the Monster Bowl. This food truck favorite is two slices of cornbread topped with Spicy Mac and meat. I picked the Brisket which added a $4 up charge. We all expect BBQ is going to be expensive but that’s fine as long as it’s also delicious and filling. This bowl was both. The brisket was chopped up in to little pieces which made it easier to eat with a fork full of a a cream, spicy mac and cheese. I can usually go either way on cornbread but it being used as a base layer here really made for a delicious addition. It was pretty simple to get a piece of cornbread, some mac, and a good helping of brisket in each bite.

The Monster Bowl could have been enough of a meal but I wanted to try something else too. I ordered the Cheesy Hash. I was a little skeptical when I looked at this in the to-go container because the potatoes all looked pretty floppy. I like crispy hash browns although I see how that’s not totally possible in a dish like this. I gave it a go anyway and really liked what I was putting in my mouth. The potatoes did have a little bit of crunch to them around the edges and the cheese just pulled it all together. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right? These cheesy hash browns were quite tasty.

My bill for lunch, without a drink, was close to $25. …but as I mentioned earlier, we don’t expect BBQ to be a cheap meal…especially with the price of meat right now. It could have been cheaper had I not picked brisket as my meat choice, but I just love brisket so darn much.

Skinny Kenny’s just opened a new location in Oshtemo Township this past weekend. They’ve shut down the Mattawan shop and moved up Red Arrow Highway/Stadium Drive to the space previously occupied by Feed the World Cafe and Chau House. This location is much closer to home for us so I have a feeling we’ll be regulars…especially because they’re adding ice cream.

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