Archive for category BBQ
This past weekend we ate at one of our favorite BBQ places in the city, Oklahoma Joe’s. You may know this place for being the BBQ joint in a gas station with the packed parking lot and almost always has a line out the door.
The people standing in line aren’t crazy, they just know what awaits them at the end. If you have never stood in the line yourself you are truly missing out. Honestly I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone there to buy anything other than BBQ. We got there around 3pm on Saturday so luckily the line wasn’t out the door but it was darn close.
Aside from being an award winning BBQ joint, Oklahoma Joe’s was my grandfather’s favorite BBQ, and in the last couple years my parents and I have realized why. Oklahoma Joe’s isn’t a place to grab a quick pulled pork sandwich while you’re rushing through your lunch break nor is it a place to pick up a slab on the way home for dinner. It’s an experience all on it’s own.
Standing in line with a hundred others waiting for your turn to order you favorite, or if you’re like me you spend that whole time contemplating what you will order and always end up getting the same thing anyways. Then getting up to the window and always being amazed how the workers can take so many orders at once, and get them all right by just yelling it back and forth. Then trying to find a table in the small and crowded sitting area, or piling in with complete strangers who are all brought together by the tradition of Kansas City BBQ.
This visit I happened to notice that the star of one of my favorite shows had been here and left his mark. Anthony Bourdain famed cook, author food critic and star of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” named Oklahoma Joe’s one of the “Top 13 place to eat before you die“, Oklahoma Joe’s made the cut with some of the top restaurants in world.
People may disagree on who has the best BBQ. Here, the brisket (particularly the burnt ends), pulled pork, and ribs are all of a quality that meet the high standards even of Kansas City natives. It’s the best BBQ in Kansas City, which makes it the best BBQ in the world.
Now let’s get to the food. My go to meal is the pulled pork “Carolina Style” (pulled pork with Bubbas sauce and spicy slaw on top) and a pint of spicy slaw.
While this visit I spent my wait in line trying to choose between in and the “Z Man” (Provolone melted on beef brisket with 2 onion rings on top on a Kaiser bun), I once again went with my usual.
My mom ordered beef “Carolina Style” and my dad went with the short end and a couple bags of fries for us to share. Needless to say we were all very full in the end.
I know there is lots of debate about where in Kansas City the best BBQ can be found, but as anyone will tell you it all depends on what type of BBQ you’re looking. There is a reason we are the BBQ capital of the world.
With that being said Oklahoma Joe’s is the hands down winner of the best pulled pork title. The meat is a perfect moist and smokey compliment to the sauce, and when you add the spicy slaw on top it just doesn’t get any better.
Now my dad swears ribs are the best, and Anthony Bourdain agrees with him. The ribs are a perfect blend of smokey flavor and moist pink insides, no sauce needed but if you choose to add it no worries because Oklahoma Joe’s sauce was named the “best sauce on the planet” a well deserved title.
So if you’re in Kansas City head on down to Okie Joe’s, but you better hurry the line may be around the block by now.
BBQ, Barbecue, Bar-B-Cue, however you spell it. The cuisine should bring about strong emotion if you were raised anywhere in the rural south. Where I was raised; there was only two kinds of food served on the picnic table at family reunions, fried catfish (noodled) and BBQ. Yes from a young age I was taught the fine art of real BBQ and corrected if I ever referred to grilling as Barbecuing. Most of the teaching came from the family pit master, my uncle Rick Peters. I have revered this man from a young age for his ingenuity and culinary expertise. He just recently fabricated one of the largest mobile smokers I’ve ever seen (see photos), from which to serve friend and family alike. After many years of hands on training, he has passed down to me the smoking techniques and recipes needed to create great BBQ. So, needless to say I’m born and bred BBQ, and I know a good rib when it hits my taste buds.
I travel ALOT and I can tell you that some of the finest BBQ in our great country is served in Oklahoma. One such establishment is Van’s Pig Stand in Norman, OK (original Van’s is in Shawnee). Occupying a former service station of Highway 77, it has the vintage BBQ look to match the taste. I always order the rib plate and “make it a van” which means, add a side of fries. Throughout my travels, I’ve found this to be an Oklahoma BBQ thing. The ribs never fail to exceed by high BBQ standards by falling off the bone and having just the perfect char on the outside, not to hide the beautiful, pink, flavor filled pork underneath. In addition I could write another whole entry on the sauce itself. It’s the kind of BBQ sauce that is good enough to put on a piece of bread and just eat by itself. It’s has the perfect smokey/spicy mixture. The BBQ served at Van’s pig stand is second to none in the country, trust me I’ve tried it all.
Van’s (as Norman locals call it) also holds a special place in my heart. It’s sentimental value came about after countless mid-day lunch meetings with my then girlfriend and now wife, Cassi Peters (the Okie Foodie!). Over a plate of ribs and smoked sausage we discussed our days events, trials and tribulations. Van’s tasty dishes clang to mine and Cassi’s stomachs through mid-term tests and over time football games at Memorial stadium. For these reasons, nothing comes close to Van’s Pig Stand for me!
There once was a day that the Okie Foodie did not like BBQ. There once was a day the Okie Foodie was not very smart… At one point in my life I would complain profusely every time I would be with someone and they would want to eat BBQ. I turned my nose up like I was too good for the succulent, smoked meat, and then Roy’s BBQ in Chickasha came into my life.
It was 2002 and I was a senior at Marlow High School. I was heading to a football scrimmage and happened to be riding with a fellow cheerleader, the high school football coach’s wife, and her family. I remember one fella in the car suggested that we stop in Chickasha at Roy’s BBQ since we were passing through. I sat in the back of their Suburban loathing the fact that I was going to have to put BBQ in my super hungry belly. I of course pretended I was excited to eat at this place to be polite…even though I had never even heard of it. We pulled up to this shack off of Highway 81 in Chickasha, and I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous to go in. The place did not quite look like your typical restaurant with the cinder block walls and its neon sign on top, but since I wasn’t running the show I was stuck. We walked in and sat ourselves in one of the gingham checked tablecloth covered tables and I looked at the menu with dismay. All they had was ribs, brisket, chopped pork, and chopped beef. I did not know what I was going to do as I was NOT a fan of BBQ. Usually when I was dragged into a BBQ setting, I figured brisket could be covered in enough sauce that I could at least pretend to like it. So I got my food, and literally MY LIFE WAS CHANGED. I suddenly had the most perfectly moist beef brisket in my mouth, with the perfect spicy vinegar BBQ sauce, topped off with the most amazing cole slaw and potato salad I had ever had, all complemented by Roy’s signature waffle fries. I was hooked at this point. I was OFFICIALLY a BBQ fan. This single meal at a shack in Chickasha changed my foodie life.
My sweet dear husband Joe Bob and I have our relationship based on a few things: our love of music, our obsession with OU football, and our passion for eating great BBQ. We travel the state and the country in search of BBQ even with our honeymoon spent in Memphis, TN touring the city’s fine BBQ establishments. I like to think of myself as a southern BBQ fan. As many of you know out there, there are four locations of distinct BBQ: Memphis, South Carolina, Kansas City, and Texas. I personally would like to add a fifth location of great BBQ and that is Oklahoma. We cook beef and pork equally great and have sauces here in our state that are a little on the spicy side with a strong vinegar flavor. I personally favor this flavor as opposed to a sweet Kansas City sauce or a mustard based South Carolina sauce.
Joe and I are the perfect balance of a BBQ couple. I prefer beef brisket and he prefers pork ribs. At every BBQ restaurant we get to try the food full circle. I love the brisket at Roy’s. It is perfectly moist without being greasy and is complemented perfectly with their spicy BBQ sauce and some onions and pickles. I always get the half order and find that this is plenty of food for me. I get their cole slaw, which has more of a salty, spicy flavor than normal cole slaw and their potato salad. Joe always gets their pork ribs that have so much flavor and have the perfect fall off the bone, greasy consistency. He complements his pork with baked beans which are not sweet, but have a more salty flavor and potato salad. They also bring out the perfect amount of white bread to eat with your meal.
Every time we drive through Chickasha, we make sure to stop by Roy’s for some of the best BBQ in Oklahoma. This place is usually packed. They are closed on Mondays and they kind of close when they want in the evening. You seat yourself and they do quite a few of to-go orders. This place is a true Oklahoma staple restaurant. It is a great BBQ experience that you wouldn’t quite expect here in the Sooner state. You have to pinch yourself to realize that you are not in the deep south. This is absolutely one of my top 5 restaurants of all time.