The Big Q Barbecue - Kansas City, Kansas
The Big Q Barbeque in Kansas City, Kansas is the only surviving restaurant which grew out of Quick's family Barbecue which began in Kansas City, Kansas in 1953. The Big Q was started 1986 by Marvin Quick's son Rusty Quick and son in law Gary Wright. They designed and purpose built the building to house The Big Q. There is a brick oven and only hickory wood is burned. The restaurant is still operated by Rusty Quick today.
The ribs, chicken, sausage and burnt ends all come slathered with a lot of sauce. The sauce appears to be made from tomato paste, rather than ketchup and tastes like tomato paste with just a little seasoning. Rather than using a dry rub in the cooking, Big Q smokes the meat covered with the same sauce. I think the meats have less flavor from the cooking than most Kansas City BBQ. A "spicy" version of the sauce is available, but is still rather mild.
I have tried every smoked meat on the menu and my favorite meat is the chicken. I think the skin on the chicken takes up more flavor from cooking in sauce than the other meats do. I didn't care as much for the ribs, but one of the other members of my family who isn't as big a fan of spice enjoyed them. This is one of the few KC area barbecue restaurants which lets you select a long end or short end, rather than just a slab or serving.
The sausage is very mild, almost like a hot dog.
The sliced meats come with a tiny amount of sauce and they do not throw in extra sauce on the side if you get an order to go. The sliced pork has a delicate flavor and would be swamped by more sauce. The meat is very tender and the thin slices are piled almost two inches thick in the center. The ham and turkey are rather bland. I didn't care much for them in the restaurant, but enjoyed them more at home where I added smoky horseradish sauce.
The burnt end sandwich is a larger sandwich with more of a hoagie style bun and more meat. In terms of flavor and texture, the meat is like cubes of roast beef, rather than what I expect from burnt ends.
The spicy fries are my favorite side. They are waffle style and taste like they could be fresh cut. They are lightly seasoned.
The thick steak fries appear to have been commercially frozen and I think they needed to be much crisper. The BBQ beans taste like the sauce. The slaw has the faintest coating of a sauce which reminds me of marshmallow, but isn't unpleasant.
On some visits to The Big Q Barbecue there has been a server who took our order at the table. On other visits we ordered at the counter and our food was brought to our table. Service was fairly attentive for counter service.
Big Q doesn't offer much in the way of combination meals, so it is hard to try several meats at the same meal without ordering way too much food. Each meal comes with pickle and two slices of dry commercial bread.
The Big Q offers slices of pie from Golden Boy Pie in Overland Park, a commercial baker who provides pies to many restaurants in the region.
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copyright 2021 by Keith Stokes