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Kansas City – Big Q Bar•B•Q

If you’re looking for a “hole in the wall” BBQ joint around Kansas City, consider trying “Big Q Bar-B-Q” in the Maple Hill area. It’s a bit off the beaten path (2117 S 34th St, Kansas City, KS 66106) but is not far from either Hwy 69 or I-635 and isn’t all that hard to find. I don’t think you’ll ever have to fight crowds to get into the place because it’s not in a high traffic area, but the owners must be doing something right because they just celebrated 30 years of business back in 2015!

 

Unlike some BBQ places, you do get table service at Big Q. It’s a nice place that was clean and I found the server to be friendly and helpful. I had the pork shoulder (sliced) and pork ribs the time I went, along with waffle fries and beans. The ribs were meaty and had good flavor. The beans were excellent and had plenty of meat in them, and the waffle fries were crispy and fresh. The house BBQ sauce had good flavor and would go well with any of their meats I think.

The pork shoulder quality was great. I thought the meat was nicely cooked and had a pleasant texture. It was served “wet” with a sauce on it (not the regular BBQ sauce they serve though) that I didn’t particularly love, but it was still pretty good. From what I understand, the rest of the meats are served “dry” so you can add the sauce on your own, which means I need to go back and try more things there!

Overall I found eating at Big Q to be a pleasant experience, and I would like to get back to and try it again during peak hours. It has a nice sunroom on the west side of the building that a large part of the dining area is under and I found it to be especially nice on a cold but sunny January day. The menu has everything you could want without being overloaded or confusing. If this place was in a busier part of town it might be more popular, but it perhaps would lose its “BBQ Joint” charm if more people knew about it, so we’ll just let it be our secret!

Until next time,

Mike

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Kansas City – The Sundry

The Sundry, part grocery store, part restaurant, located at 1706 Baltimore Avenue near downtown Kansas City, bills itself as “the modern expression of a time proven tradition: the local grocery.”  They ask customers to “drop in for a tasty bite or shop for later. Discover something new or take home a familiar favorite.”

The Sundry is a new business providing locally grown and produced upscale goods and services to the Kansas City area. They have an eclectic mix of hard to find products and a changing variety of menu items inspired by different regions around the world. One day you might get Carolina inspired barbecue and the next day Brazilian style foods.  One thing that you will find at the Sundry every day is pork. In fact, they source their pork, as well as many of their other products, from a 4-state radius around Kansas City.

During my visit, I picked up some chocolate made locally fresh in Kansas City and purchased a shredded pork meal served on a large roll. The store also had an ample supply of locally ground pork and fresh bacon.  Some of their other fine swine meal options include one of my favorites, the Cuban. Which is described on their website as “Of The Earth Farm roasted pork & house cured ham, house-made half sour pickles, swiss cheese & dijon mustard on a Le Monde Bakery baguette.”  Another menu option is described as “Of The Earth Farm Berkshire pork sausage with house made sauerkraut on house made focaccia.” Sounds delicious!

Additionally, the store offers classes like making your own cheeses and making your own bacon. How can you not want to be a straight A student in classes like these?!

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange

The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange, located at 1924 Main in Kansas City is, in my opinion, one of the coolest restaurants in the Kansas City area. The beautiful restaurant is in the lobby in a once very posh twenties era hotel. It’s been said that even famous gangster Al Capone was there at one time. My cousins and I ventured in just as the restaurant opened at 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. Since the place was fairly empty at this time of day, we got exceptionally phenomenal one-on-one service from the staff. Our server was obviously very passionate about the place and she shared with us many fascinating details of the historic location.

We learned that The Rieger Pork Soup takes as long as three days to create, as the flavorful pork confit takes a tremendous amount of time, skill and love to produce. Any meal that takes this much time to create is worth savoring! Some of the other pork menu items include a mini pork tenderloin, and Carolina style pork sliders served on a plank.

The Reiger Hotel is also a great place for libations. In fact, they have their own brand of locally produced “Kansas City whiskey.  The basement of the historic building houses the very trendy and upscale Manifesto, a speakeasy style establishment.

I would recommend making date night reservations to both Manifesto and The Regier Hotel Grill and Exchange.  Try the pork. I don’t believe you will go home disappointed.

Until next time,

Chris

Wichita – Pig In Pig Out BBQ

In a big city with a small number of barbecue restaurants, only a few really stand out. Pig In Pig Out BBQ located at 1003 East 13th Street
in Wichita, KS is one of the good ones!

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One of the reasons that this place is so good is because they are constantly honing their craft on the competition barbecue circuit, competing regularly in Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned contests. In fact, they have been competing since 1993, and opened the doors to their restaurant in 1996.  Competition team owned barbecue restaurants are somewhat of a rarity outside of Kansas City, so finding one in Wichita is a real treat. You can see from their décor that they have had their share of successes, and as a contest judge, I can attest that Pig In Pig Out BBQ is above average. On my last visit I had delicious ribs and pulled pork.

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They are open Tuesday – Friday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm,
and Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, and according to their website have been voted the best in Wichita. They are certainly one of my top picks in Wichita. Are they the best? I would encourage you to check them out and decide for yourself.

Until next time,

Chris