Friday, January 20, 2012

Schloegels Woodyard Bar-B-Que

Have you ever had a last-minute change of plans turn out to better than any careful plans you've made before? We did. We actually visited Schloegel's Woodyard Bar-B-Que at the last-minute. (We discovered that our two remaining listed destinations on this leg of our crawl were not open late on Mondays.)

Schloegel's main business, the woodyard, sells wood for smoking. The restaurant is actually a side business that developed out of demand. That demands hints that something very right is happening. More details about the history of this four-generation family business can be found at

As we climbed the entry steps to the patio, Dennis noted another right-on detail: One of the steps was built around an existing tree rather than cutting it down as the patio was added or expanded. We appreciate a not-only down-to-earth but also we're-down-with-earth approach.

Tree appreciation.
Here are our orders combined:
  • baby back ribs, smoked with the membrane on, served unsauced;
  • burnt ends, chopped and lean;
  • a smoked sausage, slightly reminiscent of bratwurst, which they call "specwurst", sliced;
  • pecan-smoked salmon sandwich on ciabatta with a lemon-infused dill cream;
  • cheesy corn;
  • pulled pork with RO*TEL;
  • coleslaw;
  • brisket;
  • baked beans;
  • and sauces
  • (and I'd like to note the red cream soda which I got for myself).

Here are our orders combined.

The baby back ribs were smoked with the membrane on and were served without sauce. We all agreed that we question the benefit of wrestling off that membrane before smoking. We were delighted that we could taste these smoked ribs without the sauce. They needed nothing. Their appearance, texture, and flavor were as good as Smokin' Guns'.

Baby back ribs, smoked with the membrane on, served unsauced.

The burnt ends were chopped. We were glad to find another place which serves them chopped. (This experience helped confirm that our last encounter with chopped burnt ends was less pleasant because of the fat content, not because of the chopping.) These burnt ends were lean and flavorful.

Burnt ends, chopped, lean and flavorful.

Dennis, who is a wizard at divining the source of flavors, thought that the smoked sausage had a bratwurst-like quality. He's right--our host, Paul, explained that they prepare the sausage by taking bratwurst and combining it with their smoked bacon. They call it "specwurst". It took a slight lead over Smokin' Guns'.

Smoked sausage, slightly reminiscent of bratwurst, which they call specwurst, sliced

The pecan-smoked salmon sandwich was served on ciabatta bread with a side of lemon-infused dill cream "sauce". It was more of a cream than a sauce and was quite good. Cary noted that the salmon was, in his opinion, properly cooked, instead of the wetter, slightly-undercooked style commonly accepted (perhaps to avoid claims of dryness). We enjoyed this detour from standard BBQ fare.

Pecan-smoked (and properly-dry, according to Cary's tastes) salmon sandwich on ciabatta w/ lemon-infused dill cream.

The pulled pork puzzled us. Mixed into the meat were what appeared to be diced tomatoes and peppers or onions. Sure enough, Paul told us that they mix in RO*TEL for a unique flavor. I liked it; but we all agreed that it didn't seem very smoky or BBQ-compatible. It seemed like a combination in search of another venue, not a BBQ ground-breaker.

Pulled pork w/RO*TEL.

The brisket was great, with an excellent texture and smoky flavor. The appearance and texture were as good as Smokin' Guns' but with more flavor.

 Brisket with great texture and flavor.

The sides we got were coleslaw, cheesy corn, & baked beans, along with regular and spicy sauce.

The sides we got: coleslaw, cheesy corn, & baked beans, along with regular and spicy sauce.

We were especially glad to find, and enjoy, the cheesy corn.

Cheesy corn.

We were utterly delighted by this experience in the dark-yet-mild Winter.

Dennis, Cary, Robert, and 4 generations of Schloegel.

Our host, Paul, was very helpful. Not only did he explain how the specwurst and pulled pork were made, he discussed the fact that they use a non-offset smoker, which is hotter, better for chicken. They smoke it right out on the patio, where guests have seating when the weather suits them.

The patio at night and the smoker and prep area.

They usually change up the wood as they smoke a batch--Oak to start, Pecan for the bulk of time, Cherry to finish. Paul, and a friendly family of avid Woodyard BBQ fans, really helped to make the experience fully-enjoyable with conversation.

Paul was great for talk about the Woodyard and BBQ in general.

So, you should definately consider checking out Schloegel's Woodyard Bar-B-Que, 3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kansas 66106.

3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kansas 66106.

Blogging off for now,

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