In early January, we shared that Wood N Hog was opening a new location in Downtown Champaign. The restaurant is now officially open for business.

At Wood N Hog Barbecue in Champaign, two red plastic trays with white paper lining each hold a square Styrofoam container of meat and sauce topped with French fries. One tray has a side of macaroni and cheese; the other tray has a side of fried green tomatoes. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

We stopped in yesterday for lunch during the soft opening and the food was as good as ever. We sampled the delicious turkey tips (a mix of mild and spicy sauces), and the jerk tips, as well as a side of mac and cheese and fried green tomatoes. Those fried green tomatoes are among the best we've ever had — don't skip those. The jerk sauce had a nice, sticky sweet heat to it that definitely sneaks up on you...don't think they're not spicy, the heat is coming. We also sampled the very moist, very yummy caramel cake. It's hard to save room, because everything is so good, so maybe get your fill of meat and sides and then take the cake home for later.

Digital menu boards at Wood N Hog Barbecue. On the left side is a list of menu items and prices. On the right side is a list of daily lunch specials and prices. The menus hang over the register, in front of the open kitchen. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Here at Smile Politely, we're really excited for Wood N Hog and owners Michael McDonald and Okema Battle, and encourage you to head out to support this business. It's easier than ever, too, because there is a free parking lot on the north side of the building; you don't even need to feed the meter.

Caramel cake at Wood N Hog is served in a plastic to-go container. A square piece of yellow cake is topped with a light brown caramel glaze. Some of it drips down the side. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Once everything settles down, say, in another month or so, the restaurant will offer Soul Food Sundays.

As we mentioned in the initial announcement, the Urbana location will remain open, but Champaign Fourth Street location is closed.

Wood N Hog
500 N Walnut
Su-Th 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m to 10 p.m.

Top photo by Jessica Hammie.