Saturday, July 29, 2017

The BBQ Shack in Paola, KS

Today I drove south to Paola, KS to check out The BBQ Shack.  They were featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives television show in 2007.  They made "the list" of Kansas City barbecue places when I did my initial research so I decided to make sure they were on my list of places to visit.  Their website is if you want to check it out.

This is a restaurant where you seat yourself and a waiter or waitress waits on you.  I decided to sit at the bar.  I was greeted by a very nice female bartender and given a menu.  She asked what I wanted to drink and I asked for water.  She came out with a small pitcher of water and a straw and no glass or cup.  Then she walked away.  I was a little perplexed at first but then I looked around and saw that they serve all of their drinks in small pitchers.  Other patrons had their straws stuck in their pitchers drinking directly from it.

This was my drink.
I noticed that they serve two kinds of barbecue sauce, a Sweet Fire sauce and their Original sauce.  I ordered a brisket sandwich with no side and they had my order ready within a couple of minutes.  The sandwich is served on a bun with no sauce on it, so I give them positive points for that.  However, the brisket was a bit chewy and bland.  I wouldn't say it was dry, but I wouldn't say it was real juicy either.  I took a few bites and then decided to try it with the sauce.  The sandwich went down a lot better with sauce.  The Original sauce was good; not sweet or spicy.  The Sweet Fire sauce was exactly what it says.  Sweet and spicy hot!

The bill for the sandwich and chips was $8.84.  I visited around noon on a Saturday and the place was pretty packed and still had very fast service.  This might be the only barbecue place in Paola, so if you're in the area I'd recommend it.  It's right off of 169 highway near Miola lake.

This is the 9th restaurant on my journey.  I've got a ways to go before I hit them all, but I think I'm going at the right pace.  Till next time....

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Berbiglia's Roost in Overland Park, KS

After 50 years in the food business, Gary Berbiglia decided to come out of retirement and open a restaurant that I would describe as a cross between Stroud's and Jack Stack. Gary was co-owner of two legendary restaurants in the Kansas City area, Joe's Barn Restaurant and Arthur Bryant's Barbecue. Begbiglia's opened a little over a year ago.  Their website is if you want to check it out.

Berbiglia's is on the east side of Metcalf near 87th.  I visited around 5:00 on a Tuesday.  It was a bit awkward because there were no customers in the place and as I pulled up I was wondering if they were open because the parking lot was empty.  They had a neon "Open" sign in the window so I figured they must be open and I went inside.

This is a sit down restaurant where the host seats you and you order off the menu.  I decided to sit at the bar and since they were so slow I was served by three different people.  They were obviously trying to impress their only customer at the time.  The entire time I was there, only one party of three came in to eat.  Makes me wonder how this place is making it.

I ordered the brisket sandwich with coleslaw.   By the time they brought my dinner roll my sandwich was being served.  It took less than two minutes to get my food.  The sandwich is served with no sauce on it, so extra points for that!  They have two different kinds of sauces and the bartender recommended I mix both of them and put them on the sandwich.  The first kind is their Heat N Hot sauce and the other is the Roost Original.  Before I tried the sauce I had to try the sandwich dry.  The meat was flavorful with a crispy bark.  The meat was a bit dry after a few bites, but I could have finished the sandwich without sauce so it wasn't TOO dry.  I put sauce on half the sandwich and tried both at the same time as recommended.  It was pretty good.  The Heat N Hot sauce on its own was of course a bit spicy but was pretty good.  I am a big fan of the original sauce.  It has only a slight kick to it but was not sweet at all.  I'm not a big fan of sweet sauces, so that's why I liked this one.

The sandwich with a side is $11.95.  A bit more pricey than what I've gotten at other places, but only by a couple dollars.  I'm going to go back sometime to try the fried chicken, since that is really their signature dish.  All in all it was another successful visit and I'd recommend it.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wyandot BBQ in Kansas City, KS

I'm so happy I found Wyandot BBQ in Kansas City, KS.  I had never eaten there before but had heard of it.  First of all, I'm not sure why it's spelled Wyandot and not Wyandotte.  The only thing I can figure is that it's named after the Wyandot Indians.  Either that or the owner's last name is Wyandot.  I found it strange that it's located in Wyandotte county and spelled that way.  Anyone know?

Their smoker outside was going when I pulled up around 1:30 on a Friday.  The restaurant is on the north side of State 84th street near Schlitterbahn.  I drove by it the first time without realizing it was there.  After I pulled a U-Turn I saw it.  If you look up the definition of "shack" in the dictionary, you might see a picture of this place.  I had a feeling I was in for a treat and I was right!

At Wyandot BBQ, you order and pay at the counter and seat yourself.  They do have a counter you can sit at as well as tables. I got my food really quickly. Both the sandwich and fries come wrapped as you can see in the photo above. The sandwich is served on bread with sauce on it. The beef is shredded, not sliced.  This is the first place I've visited that serves their brisket sandwich shredded or pulled.

The meat was very tender, hot and flavorful. Since the beef was shredded, it makes for a messy sandwich.  It was so good that I didn't mind at all.  The meat was so juicy that the bread became soggy. The sauce has a small bite to it but it's not overwhelming.

The fries were hot but they had no seasoning on them. I ate them with barbecue sauce.  They provided ketchup and barbecue sauce on your serving tray.

They were not busy during this time of day, but there were a few customers and a few more that came in and ordered to go. They have a drink station but no barbecue station.  They only provide one kind of sauce with your order.

This is a great hole-in-the-wall barbecue place.  Next time I'll order the sandwich on a bun instead of on bread because the bread got too soggy, making the sandwich fall apart.  After I ordered I realized that you have a choice of bread or bun even though she didn't offer me a choice when I ordered.

Definitely try this place if you haven't tried it before!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jon Russell's Barbecue - Overland Park

Jon Russell's Barbeque is on the northwest corner of 135th and Quivira in Overland Park.  They've been around since 1994 on the competition barbecue circuit and their restaurant opened in 2012.  I first heard about this place on the radio when a local radio host asked people to call in with their favorite barbecue places and two or three people mentioned this place.  I had never heard of it before then, but I realized that it's about a mile from my house so I decided to visit a few months back and tried the burnt ends, which are excellent.  This visit it was time to try the brisket.

I visited the restaurant a little after 5:00 on a Thursday.  At Jon Russell's you order your food at the counter and then find a table and they bring your food to you.  I ordered the smoked brisket that they call the "Super B" with fries.  The price was $9.64.  They brought the food out in about 10 minutes.  The fries were hot right out of the fryer and had a flavorful seasoning on them.  The brisket is served on a bun with a little bit of their sauce on it.  The meat was hot and tender but a bit bland tasting and chewy.  Overall a good, but not great, sandwich.  I tried two of their sauces with the fries.  They have a "smoking ghost" sauce that was much more sweet than spicy and a "regular" sauce that is ok, but nothing to write home about.  They also have a drink station for free pop and water refills and they have a self serve sauce station.

I'll definitely go back to this place for the burnt ends.  I hear the ribs are good as well, so I'll probably try those next time.

This is the 6th stop on my tour.  I'll have to pick up the pace a bit to make up for the last week I was on vacation.