Jane and Michael Stern warn in their Roadfood review for Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ in Hutchinson, Kansas, that this is the type of barbecue parlor that only makes a certain amount of food everyday and when they run out, they close. The first time I tried to visit, the friendly voice on the other end of the phone said they were getting slammed and they expected to be out of food by early afternoon. Being hours away and knowing it wasn't possible to be there by then, I went elsewhere. The next time I was in central Kansas, I made sure to get to Roy's much earlier in the day and was rewarded with an excellent barbecue meal.
The meats available include ribs, beef brisket, turkey, ham, pork, Polish sausage, and hot links. It is possible to order any of these meats in a sandwich, but we recommend one of the combination dinner plates, where you can pick two, three, or even four meats, depending on your appetite.
The moist brisket is chopped into rugged little chunks with big beefy flavor. The ribs are sliced wide and thick with delicious crusty edges. We would rather they weren't so heavily sauced, but the dark, sweet sauce complements the ribs. Of all the meats offered, our favorite is the juicy, fatty hot links, which provide a serious bite. Immediately after we ordered those, the man cutting all the meat grabbed a couple of sausages out of the tray and yelled, "We're out of hot links!"
All dinners come with thick, buttery Texas toast and a visit to the small salad bar. The interesting item here is the Italian slaw, a mixture of cabbage, onion, green pepper, and Italian dressing. The side dish we most enjoyed were the sweet baked beans, loaded with barbecue sauce.
They have three small dining rooms, but most customers were getting their orders to go. As we ate our meals, we watched the lunchtime line grow until it was well out the door. If you plan to eat at Roy's, our advice is to get there early!