We all seem to find ourselves in a rut sometimes. Whether it is the clothes we wear, the work we do or the places we go out to eat. Living in Kansas City gives us numerous opportunities to go out for really great BBQ. Literally hundreds of BBQ restaurants are located in the KC metropolitan area. Why is it that we tend to migrate to only 2 of them? When my family goes out for BBQ we tend to go to 2 of the biggest names in KC BBQ Oklahoma Joe’s and Fiorella’s Jacks Stack. We love them both, get great service and terrific food, but what about all of the others? Through Facebook, I got back in touch with a friend from high school. He noticed some of (most of) my posts are related to BBQ. We wanted to meet up for dinner and he suggested a BBQ joint that I had never been to. I did not even know it existed and I drive by the area every day on my way to work. This is not a review of the restaurant, as I did not sample enough off of the menu to give a full review. This is just about the experience of going to a new place and having things that you would normally not have. Eating out of the box and getting out of my rut.
My friend, Mike Anani, and I had been trying to meet up for dinner for well over a month and something always seemed to come up. Finally we found a clear Saturday and made plans. He knew I really liked BBQ and so did he. He actually eats at a lot more BBQ restaurants than I do. He said he had been coming to a new place for a few months and really liked it and wanted to share it with me. Brobeck’s BBQ is the name of the place. Mike said it was in my neck of the woods. My neck of the woods? I had never heard of the place and was very sceptical if I would like it. How could it be any good if I had not heard of it?
Saturday came and I managed to find Brobeck’s. It is not really off the beaten path but is tucked away in the back of a strip mall, hidden from the major road I use to get to work. The parking lot was full. That’s a good sign that the food is good. Mike and I walked in and got one of the last tables available and Mike began to tell me about a Ham Salad appetizer they had there. Ham Salad I thought? Yuck! That sounds like something old people eat. I had never had it before. We ordered some. The waitress who was very very sweet, brought it to the table in a bowl about the size you would use for cereal in the morning. It was a huge portion. The Ham Salad was served with crackers and Brobeck’s very own potato chips that they make at the restaurant. It looked good. So I spread some on the crackers and dove right it. It was fantastic! I did not ask but I think they used BBQ smoked ham in it. It was so good if I could get the recipe, I would make it at home and have it every day for lunch. This was very unexpected. I never wood have thought that I would have liked that.
After the appetizer, the waitress came over to take our dinner order. She explained that they were famous for there ribs. Famous I thought? I have never heard of you but if it is the best thing you make I am all in. I ordered a half slab of spare ribs with beans and fries. The waitress explained that the ribs will come out dry (with no sauce at all) because they are so good you do not need the sauce. This showed me the pitmaster is very proud of his ribs. The waitress stated they had 2 sauces on the table Brobeck’s original which is sweet and tomato based and also Brobeck’s mustard sauce if we chose to use sauce. She continued to say that they had a BBQ sauce bar. Yes a BBQ sauce bar. Brilliant idea. This was a table next to the kitchen loaded with a number of sauces from KC Masterpiece to sauces from many local restaurants including Oklahoma Joe’s and Jack’s Stack. Honestly, even though it is a great idea and I would like to get Draper’s Smokin Sauce on that table, I did not use it because I wanted to try Brobeck’s Original sauce. It was tangy, and sweet with good flavor. Good sauce overall.
Our meals came and my plate was overflowing. Six meaty spare ribs with a serving of beans and a side dish of steak fries. Outstanding. I tried the ribs dry first and the waitress was right, they stood on their own with no sauce. You could taste the smoke and the rub as very mild. Not a lot of heat in the rub. A good solid rib. I tried it with the original sauce and the sauce enhanced the flavor slightly but I preferred the dry rib. What really made the dinner was the amount of meat and the flavor of the rib. Out of the six ribs I could only eat three and took the rest home for lunch the next day. Overall it was an excellent experience for me and I would not hesitate to go back and try other things off of the menu. The Ham Salad was fantastic and I would go there just for that item alone. Maybe get a to go order for lunch during the week. It is really addictive.
I know everyone has a favorite BBQ joint to go to but with all of the great ones out there you may be missing something special just down the road. Something you drive by everyday and would never know it was there if someone would not have told you about it. Look around, slow down and stop and smell the smoke once in a while. Get out of your BBQ rut and try someplace new. You may find a hidden gem or a diamond in the rough.
I would be neglecting my duty if I did not give you some info for Brobeck’s BBQ. Their website address is http://www.brobecksbbq.com/. Their address is 4615 Indian Creek Parkway Overland Park, KS 66207. If you are in KC, check them out.