Monday, June 26, 2017

Johnny's BBQ in Olathe, KS


Tonight I visited Johnny's BBQ in Olathe, KS.  I had planned my official review of their barbecue by visiting the Johnny's in Mission, but a couple people noticed that I said I was completed with Olathe BBQ and mentioned that I hadn't been to Johnny's yet.  I don't mind adding the second location to my list even though it's owned by the same people, so I thought I'd check it out.

Johnny's website is http://johnnysbbqkc.com/ if you want to check it out.

I've had the brisket at Johnny's before, but it's been a while.  At Johnny's you sit wherever you want and you are served by a waitress.  If you want to take your order to go you can order at the counter.  I ordered the sandwich and 1/2 and fries.  It took about five minutes to get my order.  The sandwich is served with their sauce on it, but they don't put a lot on it.  The sauce is pretty sweet and has a bit of a bite to it.  The meat was very tender and flavorful.  It is served on bread slices instead of a bun.  This is the first place I've been to on my quest that's served the sandwich that way.  All of the others have served the meat on a bun.  It was a very good sandwich and probably the best I've had so far.  I had a hunch that would be the case since Johnny's  is a very popular place and well known to have good barbecue.

I wasn't a fan of the fries.  As you might be able to tell in the picture above, they are crispy and were a bit overdone for my taste.

My total bill for a sandwich and fries was $9.84.  I think it's a good bargain considering how big the sandwich is.

For the second time in a row the older couple sitting at the table next to me ordered ribs and the ribs looked very good.  I'll have to try them when I go back.


Best barbecue so far after five stops?  The title would have to go to Johnny's.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brobeck's BBQ in Overland Park, KS


Tonight I went to Brobeck's BBQ in Overland Park off of 107th and Roe.  Brobeck's BBQ is owned by the original owner of Stillwell Smokehouse. They've been open in their current location since November, 2007.  You can check out their website at http://www.brobecksbbq.com.

This is a sit down restaurant.  I walked in and was greeted instantly by a waitress who said I could sit wherever I wanted.  Once I found a table, she quickly came over and gave me a menu.  I noticed that they have smoked chicken wings, so I decided to try those along with the 1/2 pound brisket sandwich.  The waitress offered me a free smoked ham salad appetizer with crackers.  It was pretty good.  There is a picture below.
I had my food within five minutes.  They serve the sandwich dry, which is great.  There are two kinds of sauces at the tables, but they also have a sauce bar with about five additional kinds of sauces you can choose from.  I tried the sandwich without sauce first and found it a bit dry, although the meat had a decent flavor to it.  I tried their main sauce first and it was very good on the sandwich.  I also tried the mustard sauce, which was interesting.  It had a good flavor and was actually pretty good on the meat.  Neither sauce had much of a bite to it.  The sandwich was served warm, not hot.  I found that a bit odd.  By the time I was done with it the temperature of the meat was kind of cold.  It didn't really bother me much though.

I tried the wings and the meat had a great smokey flavor to them.  However, the skin was a bit fatty and they use a standard buffalo wing sauce.  I was a big fan of the smokey meat flavor but not a fan of the skin and the sauce.  Not sure if I'll try them again.
The bill for the sandwich was $7.95 and the wings were $6.95, so I didn't think the prices were bad at all.

There was an older couple sitting next to me and the husband spent the entire time I was there explaining to his wife how the NBA draft lottery works.  She just nodded the entire time like she was interested in what he was saying when she obviously wasn't.  He broke down every KU lottery pick for the last 20 years or so for her.  More information than she wanted, for sure.  I was interested in what was going on over there because she ordered the ribs and the rib plate was huge.  I think she ate two or three of the ribs and was going to take the rest home for leftovers for the next week!  The ribs looked excellent so I want to go back and try them sometime.

I'd recommend this place if you're close by, but I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to make a special trip there.  Maybe the ribs will change my mind!

That's four places down now.  A couple people mentioned that I should try the Johnny's in Olathe off of old 56 highway.  I was planning on trying the Johnny's off of Johnson Drive and I think they're connected.  However, I don't mind adding another place to the list so I think I'll check it out next.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Crazy Good Eats in Olathe, KS

Today I visited Crazy Good Eats on the corner of 151st and Murlen in Olathe around 4:00.  They've been a restaurant for a couple years now and started as a competition barbecue team.  They do catering and have a pretty decent sized restaurant and patio area.

This is a restaurant where you order at the counter and they serve you at the counter.  I ordered the 1/3 pound brisket sandwich.  They have a 1/4 pound and 1/2 pound sandwich as well.  My total bill was $7.44.  They have pretty quick service, as I received my sandwich in about a minute or so.  I didn't order fries this time, so I received the sandwich along with two pickles!  The first thing I noticed is that the slices of brisket are much thicker than what you would normally get at other places, as you can hopefully see in the picture.  I really like that.  The sandwich is served without sauce, which I also like.  They called the sandwich "the crazy."  I wouldn't quite call it "crazy."  They call their 1/2 pound sandwich "insane."  I could have eaten two of the "crazy" sandwiches with no problem.

The meat was tender and flavorful.  They have three kinds of sauces in bottles on the tables.  Since I wanted to try all three and didn't order fries, I ate half the sandwich without sauce and split the remaining half into three pieces to try all the sauces.  They have a "hot" sauce, a "thick and sweet" sauce and a "competition style sweet and tangy."  I didn't think the hot sauce was all that hot, but it was good.  The thick and sweet sauce was way too sweet for my taste.  My favorite was the sweet and tangy.  Nothing to write home about, but it was good.

I'll definitely go back to this place to try the ribs and burnt ends sometime.  It is only a few blocks from my house and before I started this adventure I didn't know it existed.  One cool feature of this restaurant is that you can call in your order and pick it up through the drive through.

This is the third barbecue restaurant on my quest and I've finished Olathe except for Joe's KC, but I'm going to visit the original location instead of the one in Olathe.  If I had a craving for brisket and didn't want to drive out of Olathe, I'd probably choose Smokin' Joe's out of the three I've visited so far.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Smokin' Joe's BBQ in Olathe, KS


Decided to try Smokin' Joe's BBQ tonight in Olathe on Santa Fe.  I remember this place way back when I was in high school at Olathe North.  A buddy of mine worked there for a while.  He actually worked at every single restaurant on Santa Fe at one time or another.  But I digress....

They've been around since 1989 and they cater as well.  You can find their menu on their website at  http://www.smokinjoesbbqolathe.com/.  I drive by it all the time but it's been a long time since I've eaten there.  It was around 5:30 on Monday 6/12/2017 when I went.

This is a place where you order at the counter, have a seat, and they bring your food out to you.  They had a special tonight that was free fries with any sandwich.  I ordered the beef brisket sandwich and my total bill was $5.95.  That's half the price I paid the other day at The Rub.

The service was fast.  By the time I got my water at the self serve drink station and sat down she was bringing me my food.  The sandwich came with barbecue sauce on it.  The meat was very warm and tender.  I couldn't detect any kind of rub on the meat.  The meat was tender and juicy, just not very flavorful.  The sauce they use is good.  Doesn't have any bite to it.  Just a standard barbecue sauce.  More like ketchup than barbecue sauce to tell you the truth.  It was good, however.

The fries had no seasoning, but were hot right out of the fryer.  They gave me a lot and I couldn't even finish them all.

I'd recommend this place over The Rub if you want beef brisket.  They also have a special every day of the week, even on weekends, so I think I'll try their other specials in the future.

That's two places down!  Only 67 left to go!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Rub Bar-B-Que in Olathe, KS

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The Rub Bar-B-Que in Olathe, Kansas has been around since 2011.  They started doing competitions in 2008 and have done pretty well at the Lenexa Barbecue battle and the American Royal.  For details, you can read the background on their website at http://therubbarbque.com/about-us/.

I went on Thursday, June 6th at around 5:00.  I walked up to the restaurant and they have smokers and grills all over the outside of the restaurant.  Come to find out that they hold "how to barbecue" classes.  I was the only person in the place and there were three teenagers working behind the counter.  This is a place where you walk up to the counter to order your food and then they give it to you and you seat yourself.  I asked for a brisket sandwich and they had a combo meal which included fries and a drink so I ordered that.  The brisket was held in a stainless steel warming container tightly wrapped in saran wrap in individual servings.  The server grabbed it out of the warmer, unwrapped it and put it on the bun.  They do not put any sauce on the sandwich, which I really like.  The best barbecue can be eaten without the need for any sauce.   The fries were not done when I ordered, but were done by the time I paid and got my drink.  The total was $12.58 with tax.  I sat down and each table has two kinds of sauces to choose from.  One was their regular/original sauce.  The original sauce has a bit of a bite to it so I tried the sweet sauce.  I really like the sweet sauce.  It wasn't too sweet and didn't have a bite at all.

I decided to try the sandwich without putting sauce on it.  I found the meat to be really dry  The flavor was ok, but there was no distinguishable rub on it.  I'm sure they use a rub, but I couldn't tell what it is.  I took a couple of bites and decided I'd better put some sauce on it so I did.  Much easier to eat with sauce.

The fries were good and had a seasoning that I couldn't quite place.  And they were right out of the fryer, so very hot.

The drink station is free refills, so you can easily refill your drinks.

I was there probably 20 minutes and there were zero customers that came in during that time.  I don't know if they're always that slow or if I got there too early.  I'm afraid the place may not be around too long if they don't have customers, but I guess they've been there six years already, so they must be doing something right.

I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to go there again, but I do want to go try the burnt ends sometime.  Overall, I'd say it's "ok" barbecue.  Maybe a six or seven out of 10.  My first stop on this quest was a bit disappointing.  Hope the stops get better and better from here!

The quest to find the best barbecue in Kansas City

One of the most common conversation starters that people from out of town ask Kansas Citians is "what is the best barbecue in town?"  Opinions differ greatly depending on what cut of meat you like, what sides you like or don't like, and each individual's taste buds.  I am often asked the question and frequently rattle off the most common places in town...Gates, Arthur Bryants, Joe's Kansas City, etc., without really knowing or having a favorite myself.  The reason for my quest is that I want to have a strong opinion myself rather than relying on the opinion of others.

What I found out when I researched all of the barbecue restaurants in Kansas City is there are a LOT!  Especially a lot have opened in the last five to ten years.  Many competition winners have opened their own restaurants in town and you can find a barbecue joint on almost every street corner.  I utilized many different websites to come up with a complete list of all the barbecue restaurants in Kansas City and the surrounding area.  I listed all 69 on a spreadsheet and plan to visit each and every one within a years time.  I'll enter a separate post on each place and give a few details on my experience at each place.

The only rule for the quest is that in order to be on the list, the restaurant has to be a restaurant that specializes in barbecue.  They either have it in their name or they are well known for their barbecue.  I found a couple of websites that had recent posts listing all of the barbecue joints in Kansas City, so I am trusting the lists on those sites.  It is possible I am missing some, but I doubt it.

Here is the list I came up with:

Smokehouse
LC's
BB's Lawnside
Woodyard
Gates
Arthur Bryants
Danny Edwards BLVD BBQ
Q39
Jack Stack
Joe's KC
Slap's BBQ
Smokin Guns
Smokebox KC
Rosedale BBQ
Plowboys
Dickey's
The Stack
Big T's
Back Porch
Three Little Pigs
Winslow's
Pork and Pickle
Hawg Jaw
A little BBQ joint
RJ's bbq
Johnny's
Ricky's Pit BBQ
burnt end
K &M
Brobecks
The Stack
Blind Box
Jon Russell's
Wabash
Roscoe's
Smokey's
Porky's Blazin'
Summit Hickory Pit
Hickory Log
Bee Cee's
BBQ Shack
Smokin' Joe's
Hayward's
Filling Station BBQ
R&J
Zarda
Back Rack
P Moore and Moore
Bates City
Dekes
Ray Rae's
Sneads
Bare Bones
Tender Butts & Smokin Thighs
Oden's Family BBQ
Little Pig BBQ
Bandanas Bar-B-Q
The Rub Barbeque
KC Baby Back Ribs
Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que
Wyandot Bar-B-Q
Crazy Good Eats
PaPa Poleon's
Brickyard BBQ
Quicks Bar-B-Q
Char Bar
Berbiglia’s Roost
Big Q
Fritz’s Meats & Superior Sausage

As a griller, smoker, and barbequer (is that a word?) myself, I know that the most difficult cut of meat to get right is brisket.  My plan is to try the brisket at every of the above restaurants and offer a blog review so that I can remember each location.  I imagine after visiting so many restaurants that certain details may run together, which is why I thought writing a blog about it would be a good idea.

Also, I'm not a professional writer or critic, so keep that in mind when reading.  And thanks for indulging me.