Wednesday, March 9, 2011


                Thus ends the initial leg (with us blogging about it) of the KC bit by bit Pitcrawl and the unanimous result is that we continue to love Kansas City BBQ.  Zarda-Q started out our trip blowing us out of the water, Johnnies and Smoke’n Babes held form while only the Shack really disappointed.  We chose to wrap up our first section of the Pitcrawl with Oklahoma Joes because all of us but one had already been there before and knew that it was a strong choice to finish.  To officially put an end to the first leg we returned to Zarda Q and spent a gift certificate that was given to us.  Once again the food was delicious and we all had a good time. 
Going to restaurants isn’t the only thing that we did as a group during the time of our first leg of the Pitcrawl.  We also had a chicken cookout with 5 completely different recipes (for entire birds) as well as a Super Bowl get together that included brisket, pulled pork, chicken thighs, burnt ends and a football game without a team to root for.  Our Superbowl party was something that everyone else should be particularly jealous of.  Let me just put it this way; I had enough left over food given to me from our Superbowl party that I was able to feed all of my office mates.  The only guy newer than me was informed he needed to step his game up if he wanted to succeed with our company.
                While I do suggest that others make a similar group with their friends, I have to warn you that unless there is excessive exercise included in your daily routine you will gain weight.  In order to make sure that we got a fair sampling of each restaurant’s menu we generally spent $15-20 per person per meal so that we tried an array of menu items.  Hopefully through reading these blogs you can see that we are trying to be fair and unbiased with our reviews regardless as to what the general regional consensus is to the quality of each restaurant.
                Moving forward we have 5 new restaurants picked for our next leg of the Pitcrawl.  They were originally Wyandotte BBQ, R and J’s BBQ, LC's, BB's Lawnside BBQ and Smokin Guns.  Because BB’s Lawnside, Smokin Guns and LCs are all a bit further away from where we live and will probably have to be day trips for us, we have switched BB’s Lawnside to Biemer’s here in town (Lawrence) to try and speed up the time it takes us to make it through this leg of the trip. 
                Anyways, we hope y’all have enjoyed reading our reviews as we try and become the most extensive review site for Kansas City BBQ.  If you have suggestions as to where we should go or great recipes for sauces that we should try we would love to hear from you.  I would like to thank both Zarda-Q and Smoke’n Babes for posting links to our site from their facebook pages (after we had written the reviews—there was no coercion in the review writing process.)  Also, I feel that it is important to thank the reddit Kansas City Community for checking out our website, my friend posted us up there and the response was great and we all appreciate the comments.  So far, according to the IP addresses we have had visitors from the United States, Canada, Estonia, Russia, Iran, Japan, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Ukraine.  Hopefully, we will continue to grow as a reference site as we continue to go to more and more restaurants. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oklahoma Joe's

Us Pit Crawlers went to Oklahoma Joe’s for our last stop on this round of our never ending BBQ crawl. I had never been there before this meal, but had been told by friends, newspapers, Zagat, and Anthony Bourdain, that Oklahoma Joe’s is one of the best BBQ restaurants in the world. This could have been extended to include the universe since our visit. Of this I’m not sure.
 Normally I agree with most things that Mr. Bourdain has done on his show, I mean, he has eaten the still-beating heart of a cobra, which is a big deal. But I feel like the hype ruined it for me.
 Based on these reviews I expected the meat and sauce to be so good that my heart would stop after one bite. And that would be convenient because Oklahoma Joe’s is one of the 13 places to eat before you die.
 However, this is what I have decided: The experience of going to Oklahoma Joe’s is a 10. The food at Oklahoma Joes is a 9, but it is billed as a 12. And these are the questions, and problems I face while writing this review. Do I think the food is great at Oklahoma Joes? Yes. Do I think that all I ate was as good as other KC BBQ stops? No. 
I ordered the Z-Man Sandwich, BBQ Beans, French Fries, and the Smoked Chicken Gumbo. It was an impressive amount of food. What was really incredible is that it was ready as soon as I made it to the cashier. About three minutes after placing my order with the first worker on the BBQ assembly line.

The Z-Man Sandwich is a breathtaking wonder and a credit to the sandwich form. The pairing of provolone and brisket may sound strange and cacophonic, but they go together perfectly with the onion rings. This was the best brisket sandwich I have ever had. The meat was cooked perfectly. The onion rings were lightly battered and crispy, waiting for me to drop some of that award winning sauce on top of them. The provolone was melted and a perfect complement to this monster. The price was equally as satisfying. Buying this sandwich at 6 bones is a steal.
The BBQ beans were definitely BBQ beans, but didn’t stand apart from other restaurants. I am however partial to the beans served by the BBQ wizards at Zarda Bar-B-Q, and think that nothing compares to those beans.
The French Fries were crispy, delicious, and perfect for what I use them for at a BBQ restaurant which is using them as sauce testers.
Now the Smoked Chicken Gumbo was a game changer. This side is unique and well made. It had a slow building spicy kick that left me sweating slightly. The chicken was present and accounted for and I think that this side in conjunction with the Z-Man Sandwich made my visit. I think that, in the fashion of Zarda’s beans, Oklahoma Joes should package and sell their gumbo at grocery stores.
Other Pit Crawlers had these things to say. The Sausage is basically a bratwurst, and we wouldn’t recommend ordering it. If it was served at a ball game or during a backyard drink off, then it would be great. It’s just not what one would expect from one of the 13 places to eat before you die. The Pulled Pork and Ribs however are some of the best you can get your saucy hands on.  
In summation, Oklahoma Joe’s is a great place to eat. If you go you have to get the Z-Man Sandwich, Pulled Pork or Ribs, and the Smoked Chicken Gumbo. The atmosphere is great, the food is great. If you do as Public Enemy says and "Don't Believe the Hype,” then you will have a meaty and rewarding eating experience.