Restaraunt Review Thread

Erronius

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The premise is simple: review restaurants that you've been to. Local or not, high-end or dives, formal dining or eating at a food truck in pajamas and flip-flops, it doesn't matter. This is a thread for advertising your area's awesome foods, talking about how an old favorite place has gone downhill, or putting out the word on a little known spot you found in your home town. Please, though, try to keep it to places that you've actually recently gone to and taking pictures is encouraged.



I had meant to review a lot of places in and around Kansas City this summer but I didn't have as much time as I thought that I might. So here are a couple places:

WOODYARD BBQ

A buddy of mine loves watching a lot of cable shows, and if he has a chance to catch something about local BBQ then every time we talk about getting BBQ locally, he mentions places he's seen on TV. A perfect example of this isDiners, Drive-Ins and Dives.This has actually been a recurring issue as we'll try one of these places and I'll be less than impressed. So when he mentioned trying this place out because of the rave reviews he got from Guy Fieri, I kind of had a hunch about what we were in for.



There were 4 of us and we all ordered a variety of BBQ staples, but I didn't take pics of every dish because A) Ashley only ordered a sandwich that looked average, and B) our orders were spread out over far too long a period of time and I just ended up drinking beer for a while. I'll start with the ribs that my buddy ordered first:

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One thing you can say about them is that they were moist. That said, they didn't have much flavor (at least to me). And KC isn't a dry rub BBQ area, so I'd have a hard time comparing them to ribs from, say, Texas. They looked good, they were moist, but after I was given a rib to help placate me after getting my meal and grousing about it, they weren't the kind of ribs that I like. That said they were the best thing I think that was ordered by us. And I had not watched the excerpt from Guy's show at the time, but after having watched it I wonder if their not removing the silverskin may have been why they were juicy but lacking any strong flavor.

Myself I picked up the 4-meat platter with brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends and "frankwurst":

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First, the pulled pork: like the ribs, it was juicy but it was lacking the deep smoked BBQ type flavor I was kind of expecting. Same with the sliced brisket: juicy, moist, but lacking. Now anyone who has seen really good smoke rings might look at that brisket and wonder wtf is going on. There's hardly any smoke ring to it, or bark for that matter. But it wasn't terrible. Next comes the Frankwurst, which was IMHO the best meat on the platter which is a God damned shame. Good crisp casing, good flavor, and it seemed to be more done than any of the rest of the meats. The remaining two items though were terrible: the beans and the burnt ends. The beans themselves tasted like the old style baked beans from a can with a little extra flavor, but not enough to mask the taste of canned beans. If it wasn't made from canned beans then they are to be commended for coming up with a close approximation from scratch. But hands down the worst thing on the platter was what they tried passing off as burnt ends: THEY WEREN'T BURNT ENDS AT ALL.

Now burnt ends are a Kansas City thing for the most part, but when we order burnt ends we actually expect to get...wait for it...wait for it...BURNT ENDS. Now some places run out of burnt ends early and they'll just tell you "NOPE" when you order. Other places just chop up random brisket (not remotely burnt), douse it in sauce and hope it passes muster. Needless to say, I was terribly disappointed. Also as you can see from the pick the portion size was kinda "meh". Best part of the meal for us was getting shakes at the Sonic down the road afterwards and going to a movie.

We also had a debate about whether or not BBQ places should have french fries. We were split 50/50 on it; I prefer french fries but it's a tossup. This place had potato wedges, which as our friend Ashley said just wasn't the same thing. This just made me want to go to Arthur Bryant's, as they do really good friesANDburnt ends.


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THE GOLDEN OX

This place is kind of a local tradition, and it sits down where the KC stockyards used to sit. I'd mentioned this place to a few people before, and I've been meaning to drag people out for their Thursday night all you can eat Prime Rib special. Yes, you heard right, all you can eat Prime Rib. And the price was cheap, too, like $30 iirc or just under. So I put out feelers and even though lots of people backed out, I said the hell with it and went with one friend and met up with Quse from the forums. Then after we got there, had a couple drinks and moved to a table, we went to put in our order. What do we want you ask? Why, the Thursday night all you can eat prime rib, of course.

Unfortunately the waitress informed us that theyno longer did the all you can eat special.So now I must mourn our ritual of eating 2-3 monstrous prime ribs and going into a food coma when we get home (my friend Pat claimed that I did 4 once in a sitting, but I don't remember; I was probably near death at the time).

So I felt bad for bringing people out for a special and then finding out that the special didn't even exist anymore. Thing is, it was one of those things that they never advertised to begin with. So my friend Pat and I got the "large" Prime Rib cut, and Quse I believe got a steak (but I don't remember what cut precisely). The Prime Rib, for those wondering:

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The large Prime Rib runs $36 and comes with a couple choices of sides. If you are a seafood fan they make a good lobster bisque but I passed on that (I'm from KCK and I grew up with Red Lobster being the best local seafood for the most part, if that tells you anything).

The Golden Ox does good steaks, but the downside is the price. You can easily do $50+ per person, and some people just don't like certain things about the place, whether it's the decor, waitstaff, the food itself, the location, etc. But if you like good steaks then it isn't bad place to try out. Also they've been pushing a new set of drink and sandwich/burger specials over the old specials (that they prob lost money on) but I haven't gone down to try those yet, might do that soon.
 

Silence_sl

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@Woodyard...looks like TV dinner stuff. Probably store bought pickles. Beans are probably canned, too. I'm not a rib guru, but the first rack I smoked came out looking 9000000x better than those. Also, lol @ the pulled pork.

You should have called the police.
 

Falstaff

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Yeah the Woodyard stuff looks pathetic. I could tell just by the pictures that you would say they had no smoke flavor and I'm about as amateur as it comes when talking about barbecue
 

Joeboo

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I've lived in KC my entire life (30+ years) and I've eaten at about every BBQ joint in town, and Woodyard wouldn't be in my top 20. My experience actually wasn't as bad as the one sounded above, but it wasn't memorable whatsoever. Pretty generic. That might get a pass in most cities, but not in KC. I might as well have been eating at a Rib Crib or Famous Dave's, Woodyard had nothing unique whatsoever to stand out from the pack.

My personal favorite BBQ in KC is Smokehouse BBQ. They aren't the absolute best at any one thing(some places are known for their ribs(Arthur Bryant's), or burnt ends(LCs), or pulled pork(Oklahoma Joes), Beans(Jackstack)or whatever) but they are solid across every possibly type of BBQ. They have very good burnt ends, brisket, ribs(both beef and pork), BBQ sausage, BBQ chicken(whole pieces & wings), and their beans are damn good(huge chunks of brisket in their beans). I wouldn't say that any 1 of those things is the absolute best in KC, but they're easily top 10 in all of those things, so it's a great place to go with a group of people who all want different things.

http://www.smokehousebbq.com/

Bonus points because their mascot looks like an insane cannibal pig, and I have a friend who has an irrational fear of pigs and she's terrified everytime we go to Smokehouse, she has to shield her eyes from looking up at the sign as we walk in with the crazy looking pig on it, lol.
 

Deathwing

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A restaurant getting a good "review" from the Moldy Tomato is more the reason not to go. It's not a review, it's an advertisement. They just didn't have the cash to pay for a bigger spot on a different Food Network show.

Those burnt ends look horrible. Looks like someone dumped some stew meat on your plate.
 

Erronius

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What kind of blows my mind about Woodyard is that there are a number of other BBQ places only a few minutes away. There is Quicks right down the street, Rosedale and Danny Edwards are both over on Southwest Blvd, RJ's isn't far over on Lamar and there is that one Johny's location over by Johnson drive and Metcalf (and I've prob forgotten several other places nearby). The local area is thick with BBQ so I was kinda surprised that they could thrive with all the local competition, after I left unimpressed.

Johnny's is another BBQ place that I thought was just "meh", and Fieri had them featured as well. The only place that he's had on his show that anyone has told me was worth trying wasSmokin Guns BBQover on Swift in NKC, told to me by someone who competes in BBQ locally. I need to go buy my books for fall tomorrow off of Front st anyways, so maybe I'll head down there and try them out while I'm in the general area.
 

Falstaff

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Sometimes those places on DDD and other shows end up cashing in and selling after the show airs and then the quality just goes downhill because some mongoloid with no restaurant experience and a lot of money thought they would just have a cash cow.
 

Tarrant

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I've had the chance to talk with people who have been featured on Triple D and I was told that once Guy goes to their place their popularity sky rockets and many times those owners end up selling while the place is blowing up. Someone buys it and then cruises for a bit living off the hype that DDD gave it until it does back down because now under new ownership the food sucks or suffered pretty badly.

It's fairly common after doing some of my own research into it so that may be why you were never impressed with any places you've been to that have been on the show.

On that same note I went to a place in Duluth, MN that was on there and it was amazing, still under it's original ownership. I'll post something about it later when not at work.
 

Burnesto

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Terry's Turf Club in Cincinnati is still really damn good in case anyone has ever considered going there.

It did not fall victim to the DDD popularity.
 

Alex

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Terry's Turf Club in Cincinnati is still really damn good in case anyone has ever considered going there.

It did not fall victim to the DDD popularity.
This. The filet mignon chili (sounds like a travesty, I know) is the best chili I've ever had. I make sure to stop by there every Cincinnati trip.
 

Joeboo

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What kind of blows my mind about Woodyard is that there are a number of other BBQ places only a few minutes away. There is Quicks right down the street, Rosedale and Danny Edwards are both over on Southwest Blvd, RJ's isn't far over on Lamar and there is that one Johny's location over by Johnson drive and Metcalf (and I've prob forgotten several other places nearby). The local area is thick with BBQ so I was kinda surprised that they could thrive with all the local competition, after I left unimpressed.

Johnny's is another BBQ place that I thought was just "meh", and Fieri had them featured as well. The only place that he's had on his show that anyone has told me was worth trying wasSmokin Guns BBQover on Swift in NKC, told to me by someone who competes in BBQ locally. I need to go buy my books for fall tomorrow off of Front st anyways, so maybe I'll head down there and try them out while I'm in the general area.
If you go to Smokin Guns, get the turkey sandwhich. Seriously. I'm not a big fan of turkey and under normal circumstances it would be the last thing I would ever order at a BBQ restaurant, but their turkey is freaking incredible. The most moist and flavorful turkey I've ever had in my life. It's possibly the best turkey on Earth. I lived about 10 minutes from Smokin Guns for several years, and ate there about once a week. Probably 100+ times, and I've never had anything besides the turkey sandwhich. That's how good it is, I always meant to try something different but I just couldn't do it.
 

Deathwing

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This. The filet mignon chili (sounds like a travesty, I know) is the best chili I've ever had. I make sure to stop by there every Cincinnati trip.
Do I understand you correctly that some place is using tenderloin to make chili?

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Himeo

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When I was growing up, my family ate here at least once a month or so. For family birthdays, we always went here. It was our "secret" spot in Riverside.

It's Southwest (Think Texmex with an Arizona / Cali influence), and it's delicious. The food doesn't look very good in this review, but the flavor. My fucking Jesus, the flavor.


They have the best salsa in the world. It's food cocaine. Seriously, if you've never tried their salsa you don't know what salsa should taste like. And the flour tortillas. My GOD. The flour tortillas are cooked fresh a dozen feet from your table and served fresh. Soooo good. For chips, they take their homemade corn tortillas and deep fry them. If you need a reason to go there the chips + salsa + tortillas are all you need. It's the holy trinity.

The rest of the food on the menu is pretty good. The alambres (sp?) are the best. Jumbo shrimp filled with jalapeno cheese and wrapped in bacon. Dip those bad boys in the garlic sauce and you're in food heaven. Whenever I go with my family we order steak taco salads, or combo #1 or combo # 2. The rest of the menu is pretty much unknown to me. Don't fuck with the daily specials, go with what I've suggested and you'll love it.
 

Tarrant

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If you ever happen to be in Duluth MN, I highly recommend "At Saras Table Chester Creek Cafe". All the food they bring in to cook is bought locally, I went there for breakfast and got their cranberry wild rice french toast with oatmeal stout syrup. I don't have enough awesome things to say about this dish. I'm always a huge fan of places that buy local and fresh that morning. Highly recommended


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Gravel

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Speaking of DDD, I saw that they featuredHodad's(Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA) for a second episode of the show. I've only been once, but I had Double Cheeseburger. It was definitely better than fast food, but certainly not anything special. So basically good, but not the best burger I had (the best in San Diego being atThe Marble Room- bonus is the waitresses all wear lingerie). The fries were pretty crap.

If you're ever in Memphis, I can recommendGus's World Famous Fried Chicken. It's in a kind of shady looking neighborhood (which is all of Memphis), and it's a very divey looking place. I'm not sure if it's been featured on DDD or any other shows, but holy fuck is the fried chicken delicious. Fried chicken is one of those things where you just kind of assume they all taste about the same. As long as it's not dry, the flavors are all pretty similar for the most part. But they do something to the chicken there. I don't know what it is, but I'm getting hungry thinking about it (edit: Apparently it was on an episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate).
 

Deathwing

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If you ever happen to be in Duluth MN, I highly recommend "At Saras Table Chester Creek Cafe". All the food they bring in to cook is bought locally, I went there for breakfast and got their cranberry wild rice french toast with oatmeal stout syrup. I don't have enough awesome things to say about this dish. I'm always a huge fan of places that buy local and fresh that morning. Highly recommended


rrr_img_39611.jpg
It probably still tastes good, but you really shouldn't put enough egg batter on french toast that it hangs off the edges like that. It might interfere with proper cooking of the custard inside while simultaneously browning the outside.

Ugh, read your post again. Cranberry wild rice bread? Chunks of cranberry and rice? In french toast?
frown.png
Bad texture all over the place.
 

Tarrant

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Negative, it's all blended awesomly and it's been featured on more then one show. It's like morning sex in your mouth. Delicious.