Rib Kings serves up flavor

Birmingham residents Darrel and Wendy Pickett opened the Wing Kings restaurant near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Valleydale Road a few months ago. (Reporter Photo/ Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

For many years, Birmingham residents Wendy and Darrel Pickett routinely were volunteered to handle the food for any large gathering of family members or friends.

“People would always ask us to do dinner parties, weddings, everything. We would get asked to do whole hams and turkeys sometimes,” Wendy Pickett said with a laugh. “Everyone would say ‘We can’t get our food to taste like Darrel’s.”

At the time, the Picketts were both involved in the hair-styling industry. Wendy served as a stylist, and Darrel sold hair products to many area salons and barber shops.

After years of honing their cooking and food-management skills by keeping their friends and family members fed, the Picketts decided to make it their full-time jobs a few months ago by opening Rib Kings near the intersection of U.S. 31 and Valleydale Road in Pelham.

The restaurant is located near the Pelham Rite Aid pharmacy and the Zapata Mexican restaurant.

For the past few months, Rib Kings has been serving up slow-cooked ribs, the “King’s bakers” loaded baked potatoes, smoked corn, pulled pork, beef briskets and tilapia fish. The restaurant also offers banana pudding, sweet potato pies, family meals and salads.

Wendy Pickett serves as the restaurant’s manager while her husband mans the kitchen as the Rib Kings chef.

“Everything we make is homemade,” Pickett said, noting the restaurant shucks its own corn and prepares nearly everything on the menu from scratch. “Our ribs are tender, and the meat just falls off the bone. Everyone who comes in is treated like royalty.”

Pickett said she and her husband decided to open the restaurant near Pelham’s northern city limits because of the area’s growth over the past several years.

“We decided to open the restaurant in a great area. Pelham is where it’s at,” she said with a laugh.

Rib Kings is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and on Sundays and Mondays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. To learn more about Rib Kings, and to view a full menu, visit Ribkings.com.