Chicken Ranch Alfredo or Buffalo Chicken Dip?
Both of these menu items at Springfield’s Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar are two of the most popular choices on the menu. They’re both often imitated but never duplicated by fans of Big Whiskey’s and part owner Paul Sundy says that’s the best form of flattery.
“The funny thing about the chicken dip is that we had it on the menu ten years ago, way before you could do it yourself at your house, and I’ve had a lot of people go, ’well we just can’t make it the way that Whiskey’s does,’” said Sundy.
When pressed for the secret ingredient, Sundy won’t budge. Same with the deliciously rich Chicken Ranch Alfredo — a cheesy pasta dish that has won a number of local awards.
“I don’t want to give away exactly how we do it but there’s ranch, bacon, smoked cheeses and pasta,” added Sundy.
Sitting on a balcony overlooking the main dining area of the first Big Whiskey’s in downtown Springfield, Sundy reflected on what started as a dream over a decade ago and became a thriving dining/bar experience that includes seven stores with franchises on the way.
“I was 24 years old and we were broke and we built everything in here. I could go on and on about stories of running out of time and running out of money, but we just always had that mentality of keep your head down and keep working. And we did.”
The original Big Whiskey’s was established on Park Central East right along Route 66. Sundy says the theme of the original restaurant was designed to pay homage to small-town middle America.
“Springfield’s not a small town but it’s definitely middle America and I think there’s something to be said for where we are at and where we are going,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for what Springfield has provided for not only my family, but our business partners, our employees and people in the community.”
Sundy said he couldn’t imagine anywhere but Springfield being home to Big Whiskey’s.
“When I was younger, I used to say ‘Springfield is big enough to get lost, but not big enough to lose yourself.’ So, I think it has all of the attributes of a big city with, quite frankly, the quaintness of the folks that live inside it.”
Big Whiskey’s is also famous for its selection of wings that includes 14 flavors, steaks, salads and burgers. Oh and, of course, its collection of over 100 whiskeys — one of the fastest trending spirits in the world. On your next visit to Springfield, don’t pass up Big Whiskey’s and the best buffalo chicken dip you’ll ever have.
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