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Woodyard Bar-B-Que

3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, KS - (913) 236-6666
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/1/2007 1:05:00 PM
The Woodyard started as a woodyard, selling hickory, cherry, pecan and applewood logs to local barbecue parlors. Today, you can still buy wood that is ideal for smoking meats, but you also can come for some of the best barbecue in this barbecue-crazed area.

The air all around the friendly country wood-frame house is redolent of smoke; in fact the smoker is right out on an open-air patio (there's indoor seating, too). It is that smoke that gives a glow to the gentle-textured baby back rib meat that pulls from the bone in big, juicy ribbons with only the slightest pressure. The most smoke flavor can be savored in the Woodyard's burnt ends, available in a sandwich or, the day I visited, as the topping for chili. What a great idea! The chili is a multi-bean brew, fairly mild; and the big pile of meat atop it is a kaleidoscope of pieces that range from velvet-soft to crisp or chewy, some pieces fairly vibrating with smoke, others in which the smoke was only a distant echo. In conjunction with the chili, no extra barbecue sauce is required. But I found that in my burnt-end sandwich, a judicial application of the hotter of Woodyard's two sauces was an ideal exclamation point for the meat.

For those less extreme in their barbecue lust, the pulled pork here is nothing short of breathtaking, just-right smoky and so full of juice and flavor that sauce seems superfluous.

After a multicourse smokehouse meal, the pitmaster invited me to sample one of the "hot legs" he was cooking (like wings, but infinitely meatier). Next time, I'm going for a full order. Another next-time-must-try: the Friday special of pecan smoked salmon.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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A Texan might accuse the Woodyard pitmaster of making an end run around the Lone Star bean prohibition, but we think the combination of mild bean chili and burnt ends atop it is inspired. This is not always on the menu, but if it is when you visit, I highly recommend it.
"A Texan might accuse the Woodyard pitmaster of making an end run around the Lone Star bean prohibition, but we think the combination of mild bean chili and burnt ends atop it is inspired. This is not always on the menu, but if it is when you visit, I highly recommend it."
Michael Stern





Here is a burnt-end sandwich that I got to go. Unfortunately I forgot to get a fork to go with it, so it became finger food.
"Here is a burnt-end sandwich that I got to go. Unfortunately I forgot to get a fork to go with it, so it became finger food."
Michael Stern


The Ultimate: 2 baby backs, house sausage, brisket, and a drumstick.
"The Ultimate: 2 baby backs, house sausage, brisket, and a drumstick."
Rob


Everything you need to dress up your chili -- including Fritos -- is arrayed on a table near the door to the patio. Nice as these looked, I ate mine au naturel.
"Everything you need to dress up your chili -- including Fritos -- is arrayed on a table near the door to the patio. Nice as these looked, I ate mine au naturel."
Michael Stern


Pitmaster at work. You can sit on the patio and gawk at all the meat cooking. The center smoker used to be a trailer smoker before they bricked it in seven years ago.
"Pitmaster at work. You can sit on the patio and gawk at all the meat cooking. The center smoker used to be a trailer smoker before they bricked it in seven years ago."
Rob


The ambience of this rustic barbecue is delightful. If you dine outside, sweet smoke from the pit will waft across the table.
"The ambience of this rustic barbecue is delightful. If you dine outside, sweet smoke from the pit will waft across the table."
Michael Stern


If you've got a pit of your own, the Woodyard has the logs you need.
"If you've got a pit of your own, the Woodyard has the logs you need."
Michael Stern


A line-up of their endearing hand-painted signs.
"A line-up of their endearing hand-painted signs."
Rob



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