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Geoff Fisk, Desert Dispatch
Poorky's Wing It cook Chris West poses in front of the local business located in Old Town Barstow. The restaurant offers its customers “that southern taste in the Golden State.”

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Poorky's Wing It


My colleague Geoff Fisk and I were discussing interesting ways to bring more local content to the Desert Dispatch. After several ideas didn’t make the cut, we thought a weekly column featuring a local business or resident would probably garner more interest from our readers.

Geoff and I sat down and brainstormed a few ideas — people and places that caught our interest — and here is our first crack at writing the weekly column.

I began working in Barstow back in August, and one of the first things I noticed was a small place called Poorky’s in Old Town Barstow.

The building may not grab your attention, unless you have an appetite for Southern food. I’d never had actual Southern food but I’d watched programs on the Travel Channel that spotlight the cousine.

I always said to myself, “I’m going to try that place next week.” Next week never came, until Geoff was on board to try Poorky’s Wing It for lunch last week.

As I looked at the menu, I couldn’t make up my mind. There were so many items that had my mouth watering. Then Chris West, the cook, suggested I try “a little bit of everything.”

I ordered a sampler plate that had fried chicken wings, fried shrimp, a piece of fried catfish and fried red snapper. I could have had my choice of wing flavors, such as barbecue, honey teriyaki, mild, hot, or if I was daring enough, the “suicide sauce.” I’m not big into flavored wings, so I just ordered my wings deep-fried.

And oh yeah, I ordered a side of french fries. Sounds horrible to any health-conscious reader, but let me be the first to say that the meal was truly finger-lickin’ good. And I spent less than $11 for a large platter of food.

Unlike me, Geoff knew what he wanted, so he tried the Bacon Phat Burger special.

“The Bacon Phat burger, as it turns out, is everything you want in a burger,” Geoff said. “Poorky’s has so many things on the menu that sound good, so it was a tough decision.

“I brought the burger back to the office and it was hot and fresh. Big, but not overly huge, the Bacon Phat Burger is a freshly-cooked ground beef patty with just the right amount of everything.”

So I asked West, what makes a Phat Burger that good?

“We use 100 percent pure lean ground beef that is cooked fresh to order,” West said. “We never freeze our patties. ... Here we like to keep it simple, we serve our burger on a wheat bun, sharp cheddar cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce and tomatoes.”

The burger is so popular in town, Tuesdays are considered “Phat Tuesdays” from noon to 3 p.m., when the Phat Burger is just $2.

Barstow resident Rudy Jenkins said he’s been coming every Tuesday for several months, because the burger is “excellent.”

If burgers aren’t your thing and you want to try some real Cajun-style food in California, Jenkins recommends trying their deep-fried chicken gizzards.

As the building reads Poorky’s Wing It aims to offer, “that Southern taste in the Golden State.”

On my most recent trip to Poorky’s Wing It, I had a Louisiana Hot Link sandwich served on a wheat bun, and it was tasty. I’m going to have to make a trip soon and finally try a Bacon Phat Burger or an order of chicken and waffles.

Boy, is my mouth watering.

Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or

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