Bang Bang

Smokin' Guns BBQ

We have been looking forward to trying out world championship barbeque from Smokin’ Guns BBQ since we started this blog.  We have heard nothing but good things and decided Saturday would be a good for good barbeque.  Okay, we can use that excuse any night, so just go with it.  Smokin’ Guns is nestled right in the middle of an industrial area just north of the Missouri River.  Phil and Linda Hopkins opened the restaurant in 2003 after competing in barbeque competitions since 1997.  Their greatest achievement to date came in 1999 when they won the title of Grand Champions in the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbeque Contest.

Smokin Gun Trophies

We were there at about 5:30 for dinner service.  Walking in, we first noticed the impressive trophy display along the front of the restaurant.  There were a few tables available and just one person in line.  This would later change, but it gave us plenty of time to decide what selection of food to order.  Elwood’s wife and daughter joined him and my wife accompanied me.  We decided that each family would order the big gun combo platter. This gives us the most variety of options on the menu.  They come with 4 ribs, 3 options of

Big Gun Combo Platter with ribs, steak fries, ham, sausage, and pulled pork

meat and three sides.  Elwood ordered first with pulled pork, ham, and sausage for the meat options.  He ordered steak fries, slaw,and baked beans for the sides.  Next I ordered turkey, burnt ends, and brisket.  The sides were sweet potato fries, potato casserole, and broccoli casserole.

Big Gun Combo Platter with ribs, turkey, burnt ends, and sweet potato waffle fries.

Unfortunately, I found out as I ordered that burnt ends count as two meat options, so we had to cut one.  Sadly, we cut the brisket so my wife could have the turkey that she thinks is the only meat she likes.  I do regret this.

The walls in the 50 or so seat restaurant are covered in competition ribbons and pictures of their family competing.  It gives you a feeling of a great dive with the expectation of wonderful food. There is also a nice signed poster of Guy Fieri from his visit with Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives behind the counter where you order.  Once you place the order, you can find your table and a sever will bring the food to you.  We had ours within about five minutes.  At the table, you will find salt, pepper, Smokin’ Guns Seasoning (which is awesome), and their original sauce.  I recommend you ask for the spicy sauce as well.  It won’t be on the table.  As we ate, we noticed more and more people in the restaurant.  It would appear

Smokin Guns Ribbon Wall

that they have a decent dinner rush from 6-6:30 because a line quickly formed and all tables were taken.

Salt, Pepper, Rub






My thoughts on the food:

Ribs: Served dry with light smoke aroma.  They are tender and need no sauce.  Ours were a bit dry, but of all the meats I think these were the champion because from the first bite till the last, they were full of flavor.  The seasoning complements their meats without being too sweet or spicy.  The four ribs on each platter were the perfect amount for us.

Pulled Pork: The pork was hand pulled and moist.  The smoke flavor was slightly present, but not very distinct.  It is served dry and I really enjoyed this mixed with the original and spicy sauce.  The texture was everything I would expect in pulled pork, finely shredded with some larger pieces that showcased the flavor of their rub. Though it could be eaten without sauce, I liked the compliment of the two.

Sausage: They are Italian sausage links that are cut about a 1/4 inch thick.  They are not really smoky and have no rub.  They were moist with mild flavor, however Elwood and I agree that they really aren’t our favorite.  Neither of us really care for fennel very much and these had a strong presence.  If you do enjoy fennel, you will likely love them.

Sliced Turkey

Turkey: This took us by surprise.  It was real turkey.  They sliced this directly from the turkey breast.  Unlike most restaurants who thinly slice deli turkey, this was the real deal.  It was moist and had good flavor.

Ham: While it was moist and well cooked, there was nothing that made the ham stand out.  We think we have come to the conclusion that we need to stop ordering ham.  To us, it almost always tastes about the same and we probably couldn’t tell one restaurant from the next based on the ham alone.


Burnt Ends:  They are served dry, but are far from it.  The burnt ends were so moist and

Up close Burnt end

tender that they fell apart when you touched them with your fork.  Some burnt ends can be fatty, but I was surprised to find how lean these were.  They had a perfect smoke ring, though only a light smoke flavor, and the savory taste of the beef really stands out.

Sides: We enjoyed both types of fries.  The steak fries were crispy but not amazing and the sweep potato waffle fries had a light crisp on the outside with a softer sweet inside.  They were served without seasoning, which is great because I totally loved adding their bbq rub to them.  It was a perfect compliment.  The baked beans were a brown sugary sweet with nice bbq flavor.  There were chunks of beef throughout.  The broccoli casserole was cheesy with rice and a crispy onion topping.  We agreed it wasn’t our favorite but it had good texture.  The slaw was a vinegar tangy style and a bit sweet.  Finally, the potato casserole was a flavor explosion that had me coming back for more.  They were hand cut potatoes

Potato and Broccoli Casserole

that were buttery and with a light amount of cheese mixed through.  The potatoes may have been sauteed before baked to get this type of flavor and consistency.  It was topped with crunchy cornflakes.

Smokin' Gun's Sauces


Waiting at the table was the original Smokin’ Guns sauce and ketchup.  Needless to say, the ketchup bottle was practically full and never got touched.  You need to ask for the spicy sauce and it is worth it.  Both sauces have a slightly different consistency and color.  We decided the best way to describe the original sauce is “balanced.”  It was not too runny like a vinegar based sauce, but not too thick either.  It was not too sweet or too spicy, which complimented the meat as well as the the fries just perfectly.  I caught my wife taking a spoonful of sauce by itself on several occasions.  The spicy sauce began fruity sweet but give it just a second and you will feel the heat as it finishes  It is noticeably darker and a bit thicker than the original and the bold flavor makes this a sauce you definitely need to try.  Mixing a bit of the spicy into the original is also an interesting combination that kicks up the flavor a bit without getting the full heat of the spicy.

The Hard Data:

Location: 1218 Swift St. North Kansas City, MO 64116

Service Type: Counter order, food served to table

Alcohol Served: Bottled Beer – Bud Light, Coors Light, Boulevard Wheat



Sandwich: $5.25 – $7.25

Plate: $10.55 – $21.95

Slab: $12.45 – $21.95

Sides: $1.65 – $2.65 (can get quart and gallon quantities as well)

Desserts: $1.95



Jake Rating

Elwood Rating
















Overall Grade




Jake’s Take:

Being that Smokin’ Guns is in North Kansas City, it is really a destination restaurant for the majority of the southern metro area.  Because of this, I have always wanted to take the drive, but never found the time or willpower to drive past some of my other favorite bbq restaurants to step into the unknown.  I would definitely go back.  The main reason I want to go back sooner rather than later is to take a stab at the brisket.  With all of our careful planning in line, the beef was unfortunately left out.  I’m also looking forward to smoking my next meat at home using the Smokin’ Guns rub.  If you haven’t ventured into this restaurant, do yourself a favor and give it a try.  The restaurant itself gives you a small town feel and provides a great value when I can feed my myself, wife, and daughter on one platter for $23.40.

Elwood’s Take:

I pretty much echo everything Jake said.  This was just an all around really good dining experience.  The attention to little details like setting a shaker of their rub on the table and serving all the meat dry so the guest can season and sauce to taste show great thought about the dining experience.  I am guessing it is that attention to detail that has made the Smokin’ Guns crew so successful on the competition BBQ scene.  To me, the burnt ends were the star meat (and I am picky about burnt ends), but it was all tasty.  I’d love to go back and try the brisket and see if the consistency of the experience is as great as I am thinking it will be.
Smokin' Guns BBQ on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Bang Bang

  1. Pingback: The Other KC Area BBQ Restaurant with a Gas Station Attached | No Bull BBQ – A Kansas City BBQ Blog

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