After visiting Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City, Woodyard BBQ would be my next stop during my short trip. I thoroughly enjoyed Oklahoma Joe’s, so Woodyard would have a tough standard to live up to.
Early on in my life, BBQ was pulled pork from North Carolina when I was there on a work trip, something I thoroughly disliked. Why take a perfectly good animal and shred it up like that when you could smoke it for hours on the bone and create bliss?
Enter Texas BBQ, where Black’s is my favorite and most anything in Lockhart will beat most of the rest. Oklahoma Joe’s stood up well to Texas.
I’ll cut to the punchline early. Woodyard BBQ is not as good as Oklahoma Joe’s. I got there first thing in the morning, waiting for them to open up. The location is actually a fully functioning, wait for it, wood yard. There were plenty of stacks of wood to be purchased for home or commercial use.
There are a few separate spots to dine, a small inside dining area, a covered patio and an open patio. That means there’s probably 100 seats collectively and plenty of spaces to sit on a bench or lean up against a wall with a plate of BBQ.
I placed my order at the counter and was one of only two customers there when the restaurant opened. The guy who ordered in front of me ordered a turkey sandwich. Really? I placed my order and then ended up sitting outside, fairly close to the smokers. The guy tending to the smokers was nice enough to let me snap a few pics of him loading and unloading the ribs and boy, did they look good. He told me he’s been there for almost 10 years and his brother owns the restaurant. It’s obvious he knows his way around the smoker.
I wanted to try the brisket and ribs, as those are usually staples for me. But, I also really love chicken wings. Fried, grilled, pretty much any way you can make them. I don’t recall ever having smoked wings, so those had to get added to my plate.
So, how was the food?
The brisket was sliced thinly, just like at Oklahoma Joe’s. This baffles me. It doesn’t hold temperature at all, and lukewarm (or cold) brisket just isn’t that appealing. It was the right amount of fatty and lean, but fatty brisket just sucks when it’s cold
I thought the ribs were good, but not as good as Oklahoma Joe’s. They were tender and had good smoke flavor, but probably needed (gasp) sauce.
The chicken wings were outstanding. Good smoke flavor, very tender and juicy (which is hard to do when smoking something as thin as a chicken wing). I devoured the wings, making quick work of them.
I barely touched the brisket and ate a decent amount of the ribs. I left 30 minutes later and there still wasn’t much of a crowd which surprised me just a bit.
I would absolutely return for the wings, maybe for the ribs and definitely not for the brisket.
I ended my short trek through Kansas City BBQ feeling pretty satisfied with what I found. I wouldn’t hold Woodyard up to Texas standards, but their wings were badass. And, Oklahoma Joe’s is on my list for any time I can make an excuse to stop in Kansas City again.