RJ’s Bob-B-Que – Lamb Ribs, Pig Tails, Bison, and More!

During a recent road trip to Kansas, I was slowed by an ice storm on my way back.  While passing through Kansas City, I decided to get fuel for both the car and myself before getting back on the treacherous roads.  Since it was Kansas City, the choice was clear.  It’s time to try a new BBQ restaurant.  This time, I tried RJ’s Bob-B-Que.

When you pull up to RJ’s, you will find that it is a shack on a side street.  Once you are inside, it’s a small shack.  The walls are decorated with lots of ribbons and awards from competitions and there are oldies playing in the background. They have so much love for John Wayne that an entire wall is dedicated exclusively to the face of “The Duke!”

Enough about the decor, I was there to check out their “Bob-B-que”.  Their menu will set them apart from most barbecue joints, with interesting features such as lamb ribs and pig tails.  As you all know by now, I’m a very adventurous eater, so I was excited.  I ordered the pig tails, brisket soup, and lamb ribs.

I must admit that any place serving pig tails is going to struggle to impress me after what I’m used to from the Libertine.  They are battered and fried, which reminded me of calamari.  Definitely use the Sriracha that they put on the edge of the bowl to give them some kick.  I prefer them to have a crisper outside; these were much chewier.

pig tailsNext up was the brisket soup.  This reminded me of a creamy minestrone but with brisket.  On a cold day like the one I was experiencing this was a great way to warm back up; a very solid choice.

One of their highly acclaimed dishes is the lamb ribs.  I am a huge pork fan so it was a stretch for me to try this rather than going with what I love.  There is a pretty clear difference between pork and lamb ribs.  These were very tender and yes, “fall off the bone,” but they were also very fatty.  For some reason I couldn’t stop eating the cheesy corn bake.  It is nothing fancy, but it reminds me of something someone would bring to a family gathering.

lamb ribs

RJ’s is not your typical Kansas City barbecue place.  They feature some unique menu items like pig tails, lamb ribs, bison, and many other palatable offerings.  It would not be a place to which I would make a special trip.  There is just too much other barbecue to sample and some old favorites that are too hard to pass up.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  It’s a shack so it’s definitely a 2. You are getting barbecue in a dive, but the service is quick and friendly.  There are plenty of TV’s showing sports, plus it is family friendly.  I think I could do without the golden oldies.  🙂

RJ's Bob-B-Que on Urbanspoon

The Libertine, Clayton, MO – The Return of Chef Josh Galliano

The Libertine in Clayton is a collaboration between husband and wife team Nick and Audra Leudde with James Beard semi-finalist Chef Josh Galliano.  Chef Josh Galliano caught my attention after I moved to St. Louis and started to explore the culinary scene.  I stumbled across his Twitter account and quickly became one of his followers.  Not only did his Tweets about food grab my attention, but his mentions of music seemed to be as if he had access to my iTunes library.  But I digress…

sign

The Libertine opened back in mid-May and I have visited twice.  I already have some favorite dishes.  This post will focus on my most recent visit.

Their menu is divided into vegetables, meat, and seafood.  At the top of each category are smaller items that could be ordered as an appetizer.  The lower part has items that are more the size of entrees.

The cocktail, beer, and wine selection provides plenty of choices.  I have been on a bourbon kick lately and would like to introduce you to Monseigneur Bocephus.  Bocephus and I quickly became friends.

Bochephus

Let’s jump right into the meal with my favorite appetizer, the crispy pig tails.

crispy pig tails

By now you shouldn’t be surprised that I ordered a pork dish.  The pig tails have just the right amount of crunch and are served over polenta.

During my most recent visit I ventured out of my typical carnivore ways and ordered something from the “vegetable” section: the scorched twisted peppers.

twisted peppers

Ok, maybe there is some bacon in the dish 🙂  The first thing you notice is the smokey smell when they arrive.  It had a very earthy flavor.  Enjoyable even for a meat eater like me.

Both times my entree has been the three little birds.  The entree has been slightly different each time, but both were excellent.  From the first visit during their first week of business:

three little birds orginal

 

From early July:

three little birds

The basis of the dish is the same.  It’s a trio of roasted game hen, quail, and chicken.  Some of the vegetables change but it’s always a masterful accompaniment.

For dessert, I left it up to the waiter for a recommendation.  His choice was the “Little Boy Blue Cheese Plate”.

blue cheese

I’ll admit that I wasn’t overly excited at the thought of cheese as a dessert.  I’m a self-proclaimed chocoholic.  This dish was surprising, the jam and cheese were a great combination.

The Libertine has vaulted itself on my “must-do” list.  I’m pretty sure Chef Josh could find a way to serve me cardboard and I would like it.  You can sense the excitement from talking with the staff.  I look forward to working my way through the rest of his menu soon.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  4.  Libertine is a new gem in Clayton.  The service pace is leisurely.  I wouldn’t consider it “a dinner and movie” place but more of focal point for your evening.  You want to go there when you have time to enjoy the unique menu.  The atmosphere is lively but you can enjoy a conversation over dinner.  There is a complementary valet available.

Based on Chef Josh’s musical tastes, will I hear any Propaghandi in the restaurant anytime soon?  What about listening to Ska’s the Limit on Saturday night?

The Libertine on Urbanspoon