Historian James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “The American Dream.” In 1931, he wrote its definition as, “…that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. …”
“Cowboy” Richard Riddle firmly believes in the American Dream. He was born in Georgia and raised in Austin and Houston. In his youth, Richard learned entrepreneurship by helping his father, Rufus Riddle, sell barbecue ribs they’d cooked on a barrel-grill in an old garage.
His mother, Anna B. Riddle, was first to move to Springfield to care for the family of a Wittenberg University professor. Richard and other members of the Riddle family relocated here when he was in elementary school.
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In 1971, he graduated from Central State University. Two years later, he received his Master’s in Social Work/Mental Health from the University of Pittsburgh. His degrees led him to become a Substance Abuse Coordinator; he originated the Opioid Treatment Program at the Dayton Department of Veteran Affairs. In 2016, he retired after more than 37 years of service.
After saving money for many years, he opened his carryout BBQ rib restaurant in what used to be a garage built in the 1930s on Wittenberg Avenue. That same location is now being reconditioned, and will celebrate its grand reopening with fanfare on June 1.
Riddle’s barbecue beef and pork ribs are marinated in the company’s seasoning mix and then rest for 12 hours. Afterwards, they’re slow-cooked for tenderness in a smoker over in-direct heat for another 12 hours before serving.
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Other menu favorites are Bourbon Chicken, Burgers, Iron-skillet-cooked Catfish, Cedar-planked Smoked Salmon, Perch, Talapia, Trout, “Money-Cut” Pulled-Pork, Pulled-Beef Brisket, and Wings at Riddle’s Ribs/Texas Cowboy Barbeque.
- Beverages: Bottled Water-$1; I.P.C. Root Beer-$1; Soda Pop-$1 (can)/$2 (twenty-four oz. bottle).
- Sandwiches: Hot Dog-$2; Polish, or Italian Sausage-$4; "Morning Star " Vegan Burger-$5; Texas Cowboys Hamburger-$5; Pulled Pork-$7; Brisket-$8.
- Sides: Aunt Ellen's Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Cheesy Corn, Cole Slaw,
- Grilled Vegetables, Mac & Cheese, Southern Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Up-town Green Beans-$3; New Orleans Red Beans & Rice (is two sides)-$6.
- "Monthly Specials": Texas Red-Eye Chili-$7; Texas-Famous Chicken Fried Steak (w/two sides)-$8.
- Ribs (Beef, or Pork w/two sides): Half Slab-$12; Whole Slab-$22.
- Dinners (w/two sides): Fish w/French Fries-$10; Boubon Chicken w/Red Rice &
- Beans-$12; Texas Brisket-$12; Texas Pork Chop-$12.
- Desserts: Homemade Cakes, Cobblers, and Pies-$3 (slice)/$10 (whole).
- Mobile Unit, parked in the Family Dollar store lot at the corner of North Limestone Street and McCreight Avenue in Springfield, until June 1. Every day, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weather permitting).
- 502 S. Wittenberg Ave. in Springfield, beginning June 1: Every day, Lunch — noon to 3 p.m.; Dinner — 6-11 p.m.
- Riddle's Ribs/Texas Cowboy Barbeque will have its South Wittenberg Avenue "Grand Reopening" on June 1 at noon.
- Riddle's is a cash-only business. First Responders, Military Personnel, and Seniors will be honored with a 10 percent discount.
- The owner will be reinstating his food delivery service, with a $12 minimum order, beginning June 1.
- Buffets, catering packages, deli platters, and smoked meats are also offered — ask "Cowboy" Richard Riddle for details.
Look for local restaurant profiles by Glenn and Kim Creyts every other week in “Life.” For inquiries regarding this column, and “Restaurant Profile” ideas and suggestions for future columns, please contact Glenn and Kim via e-mail: email@example.com.