Kevin's BBQ Joints

Kevin's BBQ Joints Blog

Rod Gray – My Favorite BBQ Joints – Volume 9

I was going to write up a wonderful bio on this week’s contributor to ‘My Favorite BBQ Joints’, but I don’t believe I could sum up Rod Gray and his accomplishments as well as he did himself. So from Rod, “It is only natural that one of the country’s top barbeque teams hails from Kansas City – the city best known for its barbeque. Rod & Sheri Gray, finishing the 2009 season as the best team in barbecue, began competing as Pellet Envy in 2001.

In addition to being the pit masters of a national championship barbeque team, Rod & Sheri cater, teach, and promote barbeque as America’s cuisine. Their passion for barbeque and outdoor cooking is obvious, they have competed in over 250 events all across the country in the last nine years. In that time, Pellet Envy has won over 60 championships and has ended each season as a top nationally ranked team eight straight years. Additionally, Rod and Sheri Gray have been invited to compete in the Jack Daniel’s World Championship five times in the team’s short career.”

I’m extremely honored to share with you Rod Gray’s Favorite BBQ Joints:

“As a full time barbecue pitmaster, I travel the country cooking, competing and teaching barbecue. Just last year, Pellet Envy traveled over 55,000 miles, all by truck. That’s a lot of pavement, but it gives me the chance to stop at some of the best barbecue joints in the country. Here are a few of my favorites:

Oklahoma Joe’s – Kansas City, KS – As Slaughterhouse Five, Jeff and Joy Stehney were part of one of the most successful competition barbecue teams in the country. How does that translate to their now fifteen year old restaurants? Quite well. I’ve never had a bad meal in Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue. Jeff delivers near competition quality barbecue to his customers day in and day out at two locations in the KC metro area. When I’m in town and craving barbecue, the Z-man sandwich and an order of fries are my standard order. Oh, and if you’re wondering, Oklahoma Joe’s had the best french fries I’ve eaten ANYWHERE. And did I mention that Anthony Bourdain named this place one of the thirteen places to eat before you die? That’s sayin’ something right there.

Photo of Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ – Olathe, KS via Lesley Zellers

When you live in Kansas City, you can’t have only one favorite barbecue joint. That’s why I also recommend Danny Edward’s Boulevard BBQ and Wyandotte BBQ. Danny Edwards has perfected brisket and Wyandotte BBQ serves the best chopped beef sandwiches in all of Kansas City, and that’s sayin’ something.

Danny Edwards photo courtesy of KC Lunch Spots

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BBQ Video – Daisy May’s BBQ – Beef Ribs – New York, NY

There aren’t that many videos online of Daisy May’s BBQ in New York, but here’s one that I’ve gone to time and time again because, well, it just looks so incredibly delicious. This is a clip from Michael Symon’s (Lola Bistro, Roast Detroit, B Spot Burgers, Lolita Restaurant, and Iron Chef America fame) visit to Daisy May’s in search of their dinosaur sized beef ribs for the show Best Thing I Ever Ate.

For those that don’t know, Daisy May’s BBQ is owned by Adam Perry Lang. Here’s a link to their restaurant menu. Here’s a little more info on him from my book review a while back.

Photo of Daisy May’s BBQ ribs courtesy of
Have you been to Daisy May’s BBQ? Have you had the beef ribs?

Check out Daisy May’s BBQ yourself here:

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Draper’s BBQ – Sauce and Rub Review

I have a number of BBQ friends who feel that good BBQ doesn’t need sauce. I tend to ride the fence on this one because good BBQ sauce can definitely enhance your BBQ experience, however if the BBQ is good enough, of course I’d been fine without sauce. So that being said, I’m was excited to find out from Shane Draper that I won a contest for Draper’s BBQ as they randomly choose people who like or comment on their facebook page to win a gift package of their sauce and rub.

Here’s a photo of the rub (note it’s about 1/3 depleted):

I show the rub first as my father-in-law immediately used it on steaks the first day I had it and since then he’s used it on everything from roasts to chicken. He has told me on more than one occasion that this is the best rub he’s every used. I tend to agree it’s among the top I’ve ever used as it really enhances the flavor of meat instead of altering it to taste just like rub.

On to the sauce:

I’ve tried it on pulled pork (photos below) and on pork ribs. It has a nice spicy kick without being overpowering and has a slight sweetness. I’d give it a 3 1/2 to 4 out of 5 stars (haven’t given any sauce a 5 yet) and would definitely be a sauce I’d purchase in the future.


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Lockhart Smokehouse – Dallas, Texas

There’s a new player on the Texas BBQ block that has jumped into the ranks of contenders in quick fashion and surprisingly it’s not in the Texas city you’d expect when you hear it’s name. Lockhart Smokehouse opened this February in Dallas in the Bishop Arts District.

This is a joint venture between Jill Grobowsky Bergus, the step-granddaughter of the legendary Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt, who ran Kreuz Market for over 40 years in Lockhart Texas (as a matter of fact Edgar’s grandson and owner of Kreuz Market, Keith Schmidt, is consulting for Lockhart Smokehouse to insure the quality of their BBQ)…

…and Pit Master Tim McLaughlin who combines his St. Louis upbringing and culinary experience, with his love for Texas BBQ. Lockhart Smokehouse is the only place in the DFW area you can get Kreuz Market Sausage and just like the original joint in the Lockhart, the meat is served on butcher paper. The brisket, sausage, ribs, prime rib other meats are smoked low and slow over Texas post oak.

One non BBQ aspect of their business that they are doing it correctly is taking tons of great photography that highlight their food. It’s good and all to show photos of people hanging out in your BBQ joint, but when it comes down to it, we want to see what the food looks like. Your website and facebook pages should be overflowing with BBQ photos that make us want to crawl through the computer screen into your joint. Here is a group of mouthwatering photos along with additional information about Jill and Tim below:

Special BBQ Plate:

Their brisket:


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Can You Name This BBQ Joint?

A friend of mine sent over a link to this BBQ joint below taken by Harry Sandler Productions:

It doesn’t appear that Mr. Sandler knows it’s name so I’m hoping someone in the BBQ community might. I know it’s on Route 17 as he says, “”Last year I took Route 17 from Virginia to Florida and back north again. I find Route 17 to be similar to Route 66 with all the old business venues that have been let go over the years.” Do you know of this place? Regardless, it’s a great looking photo with a classic ‘off the beaten path’ BBQ Joint.

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2011 Masters Golf Tournament – 3 Nearby BBQ Joints

It’s hard to believe, but the premier golf major, the 2011 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia is upon us. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets for the tournament which starts tomorrow, here are three BBQ joints that you can stop at after a long day walking the course.

BBQ Barn

Photo courtesy of Cooking with Little Buddy

Sconyers Bar-B-Que

Sticky Fingers

There isn’t a huge number to choose from (and one is a chain), but the next decent BBQ joint is 27 miles away so hopefully these will help you if you’re in need of a BBQ fix. Let me know if you visited any of these.

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5 Great BBQ Joint Pics

This week’s set of photos is a nice mix of BBQ joints from across the country. Enjoy and let me know if you’ve been to any of these joints.

Chester’s Barbecue – New London, CT

Fette Sau – Brooklyn, NY via Village Voice – Fork in the Road

Bourbon BBQ Hickory Smokehouse – Wyckoff, NJ

The Germantown Commissary – Germantown, TN via

The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint – Ocean Springs, MS

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Alltop – BBQ Section – My Blog Made the Cut

I’ve been a big fan of Guy Kawasaki for a long time and find myself linking off of his tweets to his site Alltop which is incredibly chalk full of stories on countless subjects. About a month ago I was lucky enough to make the list for the BBQ section of Alltop. You can see it here. They have a collection of top BBQ blogs with links to the (5) most recent stories by those blogs. It’s definitely worth bookmarking. Let me know what you think?

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Kansas City Barbecue Company – North Hollywood, CA – Review

It scares me a little when a BBQ joint in California uses a BBQ region (especially Kansas City) in their name. It puts the expectations too high to begin with. Calling yourself the Kansas City Barbecue Company means that your BBQ joint should be just like stepping off the pavement in North Hollywood outside and entering Arthur Bryant’s BBQ, Gates BBQ, or Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ inside. Was this the case?

Kansas City Barbecue Company is tucked into the corner of a mini mall that houses the usual ‘only in California’ stores and is just east of Vineland on Magnolia. It’s broken up into a small restaurant where you order up at the counter and they bring you your meal and a separate bar area to the left that you can eat at barrel shaped tables or stools at the bar (they have a selection of over 70 beers from around the world).

I went there last Sunday with two good friends (one of which is the Notorious P.I.G. who blogs for me from time to time) for a meat feast. We ordered a brisket plate, a sliced pork plate, a baby back rib plate, and a side of burnt ends. Sides were fries (sweet and non-sweet potatoes), slaw, macaroni salad, and beans. They had craft beers and I had Shiner Bock. Here are some pics:

Brisket plate:

Here’s a semi-blurry pic of the sliced pork:

Here’s a close up of the sweet potato fries:

So how was it? I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 flames. The best thing we tasted was the sliced pork, followed by the brisket, and ribs. The sides didn’t have any true punch of flavor and nothing I would crave enough to come back for. The burnt ends, which I was really longing to have, were MUCH different than I’ve sampled in Kansas City (or at RUB (Righteous-Urban-Barbecue) in Las Vegas when it was there).

Here’s a photo of the burnt ends:

Here’s a photo of RUB’s burnt ends:

Photo of RUB (Righteous Urban Barbecue) courtesy of

As you can see, there’s a big difference here as I was under the impression that burnt ends are the trimmings from brisket, not something minced and covered in sauce. I would not recommend the burnt ends.

All in all, I’ve had worse (much worse), but we didn’t leave saying that we’d like to hit them up again in the near future. There’s a certain bar that’s not been hit BBQ-wise in my head and with quality BBQ joints that are cropping up all over I would not choose this one again. You’ll get a decent meal and won’t leave hungry, but I think they should step up their game to at least get us coming back.

If you want to try it for yourself you can here:

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Kansas City BBQ Company on Urbanspoon

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BBQ Video – Meyer Elgin’s Smokehouse – Elgin, TX

Meyer Elgin’s Smokehouse in Elgin, Texas has been a featured player in the BBQ joint world since they opened in the late seventies. They are primarily known for their sausage, but from the reviews I’ve recently read, they serve up some really good BBQ as well.

To me, what makes a great BBQ joint video, is one that gives you the look and feel of the joint with a nice dash of local flavor. This one, from WeAreAustin, has all of that.

If this made you hungry enough to want them to ship you some sausage and/or barbecue you can here

Photo of Meyer Elgin’s Sausage courtesy of

Have you been to Meyer Elgin’s before? How did you like it? What’s your favorite sausage?

Follow them on facebook here
Follow them on twitter here

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