I know, this is a blues blog, with well over a hundred posts pointing you in the direction of the good blues cds as they come out. Well, this time out I want to say a few things in praise of a couple of great BBQ places. Thanks to my son Chris & his fiance Erin, I recently was able to eat dinner at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas. Now I knew it was a Saturday night, and I knew Oklahoma Joe's was famous for their BBQ and they drew crowds that meant everybody has to wait to get in. It was 9 degrees out there with a strong wind! But God smiled on us, and we were seated in less than 20 minutes! And OMG, the BBQ was superlative. I had a plate of ribs with BBQ beans and spicy cole slaw on the side, and wow, for nearly an hour I was absolutely transported to BBQ nirvana. On the way home I proclaimed it one of the top 3 BBQ experiences I have ever had.
Now, this is not my first rodeo. I was raised in Missouri, and I've been eating BBQ and loving it for over 30 years. I am a certified BBQ judge (in KCBS, MBN, GBA, NBBQA) in four different associations for over 5 years. I have eaten some extraordinary BBQ in my life. And Oklahoma Joe's was truly that--extraordinary. Extraordinary that they could pump out the BBQ this good for this many people every day for month after month. I've always believed that excellence should be rewarded, in blues or in BBQ, and the guys at Oklahoma Joe's do a VERY excellent BBQ. If you are ever within 100 miles of Kansas City you really ought to get there around mealtime.
I came back from Kansas City and settled back into Decatur Georgia, and thought "Ok, that was great. I won't get to eat BBQ that good again anytime soon." Well, within 10 days I was able to go to the Big Shanty in Kennesaw, Georgia. Guess what? I was treated to another great plate of great BBQ!! (The websites for both these places are at the end of the review) I met my friend Jarrod at the Big Shanty and I was loaded down with another plate of ribs. This time the sides were Brunswick stew and green beans. And wow, those ribs were really good!! I had been to the Big Shanty once before, with the Atlanta BBQ Club, and I thought it was pretty good, but that day it was so much better than i remembered it! Those ribs were cooked perfectly, the sauce was awesome--every part of being great was there in these ribs. Like Oklahoma Joe's the Big Shanty makes great food every day. The Brunswick stew might have been the best I ever had anywhere. And the ribs were nearly as good as Oklahoma Joe's.
A couple of fantastic meals. Check them out if you are ever in the neighborhood--you will not be disappointed.
(Oh, and for those of you who might be keeping track--the other 2 Top BBQ Experiences I ever had were at Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee and at Craig's in DuVall's Bluff, Arkansas. Most marvelous meals.)