From the far Eastern stretches of the city

Pork n Pit BBQ

We are back in the saddle again after taking a break and a Memphis road trip.  We decided to venture eastward to Lee’s Summit, MO for our next barbeque exploration.  Our sites were set on Pork N Pit BBQ.  Elwood and his wife met up with my wife and I to get back into the swing of things.  Before heading out, we tried to do our homework a bit so that we have an idea how to best conquer the menu.  I’ll tell you though, Pork N Pit didn’t make it easy for us.  The website we found appears to be something from the early days of the internet, as in straight out of 1992.  We won’t hold that against them though.  The act of even having a website is a plus in our book.

Dining Room

Dining Room

We arrived at about 6:30pm on a Saturday night.  This happened to be roughly ten minutes before the big dinner rush.  We quickly found that the prices posted on their website were no longer accurate to the tune of 16% higher than we anticipated.  Once again, who are we to scoff at the price of great BBQ.  It may just be worth it.  We stood in line for about a minute and received our order about 3 minutes later.  They were ready for the dinner service. Looking around the restaurant, we found the

Table Covering

Table Covering

pig motif throughout the tables, walls, and figurines, adding BBQ charm to the dining room.

We ordered two family packs, including 2 lbs of meat, 4 sides, and one slab of ribs.  At the price of about $58 together, we were told it does not come with any bread to make sandwiches out of the 2lbs of meat. So we begrudgingly ordered a single bun for one dollar so that my wife could make a sandwich.

My thoughts on the food:

We were able to split the 2lbs of meat in to quarter pounds of turkey, brisket, pulled pork, and burnt ends.  We also had a full slab of ribs.  One thing that rang true across all meats was that adding sauce helped.  Those of you who enjoy their smoked meats for the full flavor that the smoke brings out and for the bark created by the rub will understand what we mean by that.

Served in Styrofoam Containers

Served in Styrofoam Containers

Burnt End

Burnt End

Burnt Ends: They were moist and had pretty good smoke flavor.  There wasn’t any real bark to speak of though.  I attribute this to the way they are prepared for service.  All of the meat seems to spend a decent amount of what I can only imagine is a steam bath.

Brisket: This is sliced thick then chopped.  It stayed moist and the beef flavor was there, but it did loose some of the smoke flavor because of the moisture.. There wasn’t much bark to speak of either.  Again, it seemed like it was kept artificially moist a bit too long.

Chopped Turkey

Chopped Turkey

Turkey:  They sliced the turkey thin and then chopped it.  Because of the consistency of the meat, I would really recommend spending the dollar on a bun or just buying this in sandwich form.  It was a bit hard to eat with a fork because it would fall off.  The turkey was actually pretty good.  It took on some smoke that you don’t always notice in turkey.

Pulled Pork:  The pork was decent but not very smokey.  It was quite a bit less watery than the beef or ribs and just seemed like the freshest of all the meat.  Other than that,

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork

there wasn’t much flavor profile to set it apart from places that really cook pork well.

Rib Meat Falling Apart

Rib Meat Falling Apart

Ribs:  I don’t know why they were serving them in this condition.  They were extremely over done.  I understand that some restaurants tout their “Fall off the bone ribs.”  Though it may not be what judges in a competition are looking for, some cooked to this point can still have good flavor and be appealing.  Unfortunately the gelatinous consistency and runny watery substance secreting from the meat as you touched it was about an unappealing as it gets.  It was literally impossible to pick up a rib.  Most of the meat stayed on the platter and you were left with a slimy bone in your hand.  There was a coarse pepper rub with mild smoke flavor.  But once again, I don’t have any idea why they were still serving them, especially considering the price.

Full Slab

Full Slab

Sides:

BBQ Beans

BBQ Beans: They had quite a bit of beef in them for a nice hearty example of BBQ beans.  They were a bit sweet but after a while you started picking up distinct beef and bean flavors.  It was a little unevenly balanced toward the beef flavor.

Mac & Cheese: The cheese was nice and smooth and the noodles were cooked well.  It did not appear to be your typical powdered cheese mix, which was nice.

Garlic Slaw

Garlic Slaw

Garlic Slaw:  I hope you like garlic.  I realize the name gives it away, but this dish is garlicky.  It was a fresh garlic taste but after a few bites you realize it is pretty one dimensional.  There was a light dressing that was hardly noticeable.  The cabbage was fresh and crisp.

Potato Salad

Potato Salad:  The potatoes were large chunks that were a little dry when bitten, even though they were completely covered in a mustard based sauce. The dressing was

thickly coating the potatoes with a mustardy-creamy mixture of with eggs, pickles, and onions.

Curly Fries:  These were by far the best side dish.  They were fresh cut thin with the

Curley Fries Closeup

peels.  The fries were crisp with a nice seasoning of salt.

Sauce:

They had a nice sauce bar setup to make choosing your condiments easy.  All of their sauces are tomato based.  The hickory sauce was their original.  It was a bit smokey and a little sweet.  It was an average, well balanced sauce.  The hot sauce was next and it was just a little spicier than the original.  It looks pretty close to the hickory in color and texture.  The third was their habenero sauce. It was darker and thicker with a sweet start and a peppery hot finish.  None of their sauces were bad, but they do fall into the “average” category.

Hickory, Spicy, and Habanero Sauce

Hickory, Spicy, and Habanero Sauce

The Hard Data:

Location: 1803 NE Colbern Rd.  Lee’s Summit, MO  64083

Service type: Counter Service

Alcohol Served: Beer Bottles

Website:  http://porknpit.yolasite.com/

Price:

Dinner Plates: $12.75

Family Pack: $28.95

Sandwich: $7.50

Slab: $22.95

Side: $2.49

Ratings:

Category

Jake Rating

Elwood Rating

Meat

6.5/10

6.5/10

Sides

6/10

6/10

Sauce

7/10

7.5/10

Service

7/10

7/10

Value

4.5/10

5/10

Overall Grade

B-

B-

Summary:

Jake’s Take:

I got the feeling by the end of our visit that they were not serving up their best stuff that night.  The meat had a consistent watery moisture that felt artificial.  It was as if they were prolonging the life of it to stretch it just a little further.  The potential is there for a nice quaint BBQ joint because the small building has character.  I would just hope for a better or maybe for consistent product.  The biggest compliant I had leaving Pork N Pit was from the ribs.  They never should have been served and I find it insulting they they are asking a higher price for that slab of gelatin-like substance than some of the best rib joints in America, the top of which is located right here in KC too.  In fact, the prices are quite high for the quality of their entire menu, which is the reason their value score was their lowest category.   Charging $1 per bun with the $28.95 family pack just added insult to injury.

Elwood’s Take

If you are going to charge 12 bucks plus for a sandwich, side and drink, 23 bucks for a slab, and nickel and dime your patrons for bread on a $28 family platter there better be something remarkable about those items or the experience to justify that price.  The problem is, I didn’t find anything remarkable at Pork N Pit.  That is not to say all the food was bad. It wasn’t.  I actually enjoyed the chopped brisket quite a bit and the fries are legitimately really good.  The sauce is just fine and works well with most of the meat.  Like Jake, my major gripe food wise is the ribs.  Ours were awful.  The best way I could describe them is seasoned smoked protein jelly.  They literally disintegrated when we tried to pick them up.  And they were $23.  I think you could visit a couple times and kind of zero in on “your order”.  There are enough items that are decent to good that you could have a really nice meal at Pork N Pit.  The problem is, unless you are very proximate to their location, it just is not worth the effort.  There is too much really good BBQ in this town to drive very far and pay that much for food that is merely okay.

 

Pork N Pit BBQ on Urbanspoon

3 thoughts on “From the far Eastern stretches of the city

  1. I have to totally disagree with just about about everything you said in this piece you wrote ( and i emphasize the word..Piece..as in piece of —— you fill in the blanks.) I will just point out a few of your “lack of food knowledge” comments. 1. Garlic Cole slaw – is intended to have a strong taste of garlic…hence the name “GARLIC COLE SLAW”. I ran restaurants for 20 years, and my favorite “IGNORANT” complaint to this day has always been….”this FISH tastes like FISH” WTF??…..if you order fish…expect…..ummmm fish maybe??? 2. All the sauces are “tomato” based….really? ask ANYONE with ANY bbq sauce recipe knowledge, what goes in that???? 3. You loved the mac n cheese? though it is an excellent product…any real food expert would pick that item out first for OBVIOUS reasons that you cannot see. 4.Complaining about having to pay for a bun ( or anything extra that is not included in a meal ) is absolutely obsurd. Do you think when that bread was delivered to that restaurants back door, it showed up for FREE? If it is not included….expect to pay for it. You talk to any true restaurant owner, or high executive of any successful corporate restaurant chain and the first thing to do to secure your profits is not give out anything for FREE. It is not nickel and diming, its called protecting your PROFITS. Nothing is FREE anymore. You find me anyyy restaurant that gives away items for FREE….and you will find a restaurant that is FAILING financially.

    Pork N Pit BBQ has one the BEST reputations and product not only in Lee’s Summit, but the enite Kansas City area. They have droves of loyal fans to prove it. But this is just my opinion….and the opinion of the thousands of customers they serve weekly.

    • Dustin,

      First off, I would like to thank you for taking the time to comment on our review. Barbeque is one of those deeply personal topics that can turn best friends into enemies for a moment of sheer madness and then walk away friends again. It sounds like you are taking this review to heart and defending your favorite restaurant. I’m glad you are passionate about it.

      Please let me take a moment to address some of your concerns in our piece of —- review. I promise I don’t hold your opinion against you. This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time that people have disagreed with the way we describe our experience at a particular restaurant. We were actually pretty excited to try Pork N Pit because we have had several personal referrals telling us to give them a try. As a reminder, we do not announce ourselves before or after our visit and we always pay for every meal.

      For starters, I hope you don’t think all of our descriptions of the meat, sides, and sauces were criticism or “Lack of knowledge comments.” They are not. If you haven’t read deeper into our other reviews, they are a component of each restaurant review on this site. They are merely descriptions of the items with some occasional commentary.

      1. Garlic coleslaw. Our review was a simple (and what we believe to be accurate) description of the slaw. It was not a critique of it as bad or good. From your experience, is the garlic slaw different from our description? As a side note using your analogy, if I were served fish at a restaurant and it only tasted like fish, I would likely order something different next time because my taste buds long for fish that has delicious seasoning to complement it.

      2. All of the sauces are tomato. Again this was an accurate description of the sauces served at Pork N Pit. We described each of the three in a bit more detail about taste and texture, but yes they are all tomato based. As you probably know, some sauces are vinegar, mustard, or even mayonnaise based. It was merely a description, not a critique of the type of ingredients they chose to use in their style of sauce. I hope this was just a misunderstanding of our intent to describe the sauces.

      3. We loved the Mac & Cheese. I’m sorry, but I think you may be reading a bit more into our two sentence description of this side dish than we intended. It was simply a nod to the kitchen staff for making it with real cheese and not having the “Boxed” feel to it. Believe it or not, out of town visitors from some of the more southern BBQ areas will probably be looking at Mac & Cheese as a serious side dish. In the land of soul food and southern BBQ cuisine, restaurants live and die by their Mac & Cheese recipes. We’ve learned not to take for granted any dish that is served at a BBQ restaurant here or otherwise.

      4. Complaining about paying for a bun. Yes, I am absolutely complaining about paying additional for a bun, or even a slice of standard white bread. In a way, it is what the bread represents. This customer feels like he was not getting a good value because of the absence of bread to complete an otherwise nice assortment of food. At the premium price of $28.95 for the family meal, I would firmly stand my ground saying that it should have some form of bread included. If the price needs to be raised again to accommodate this, then maybe they should reevaluate their menu pricing. I would like to point out that all of the meats were served chopped and in tubs, allowing you to easily make sandwiches with them but making it difficult to consume by fork alone because finely chopped meat falls right off it. Additionally, to add to your comment that nothing is free (unless the restaurant is not profitable), Pork N Pit graciously hosts a sauce and condiment bar for their customers to dress and add toppings to their sandwiches. They do not charge extra for this. Finally, I would like to add that out of the 19 barbeque restaurants to date that we have visited in KC, Pork N Pit is the only one to charge extra for bread with a family meal or large dinner plate.

      However Dustin, you may have hit the nail on the head when mentioning profit margins and restaurants that are failing financially. I hope this isn’t the case with Pork N Pit because it is hard to find restaurants in Lee’s Summit that are not big corporate chains. You didn’t mention the parts of our review that were glowingly negative. I’m not sure why you didn’t though. Maybe you have had a similar experience with their ribs or some of the meat? I will stand by our review with both feet firm about the condition of the ribs we received. If Pork N Pit is willing to put their reputation on the line by allowing that type of product to leave their kitchen, they just might be hurting financially. It was clear that this slab should have been deposited directly in the trash can, but that would have cost them money and a loss of potential profit. I guess you’ve gotta pay the bills somehow.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read our blog and for commenting. If you have been to any of the other restaurants on our list, we would love to hear about your experience in the comment sections.

      Thanks,
      Jake

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