A couple of weeks ago, we released an article from a trip in Little Rock, Arkansas, where our schedule was interrupted by Guy Fieri. Most of you will recognize his name as the host of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It got us to wondering how many restaurants in our own hometown this TV icon has visited. It didn’t take much work to find a trail of his trips on the internet, and low and behold, one of our regular BBQ joints was on the list. Johnny’s Hickory House BBQ was featured in April of 2010, which means they had only been open 33 years by the time Guy made his visit.
Slow Cooking Takes Time
Johnny’s BBQ opened for business in 1977 with owner Johnny White at the helm. They smoke their meats with hickory, which is an old Kansas City style barbecue tradition. While they have opened an Olathe location, we have never visited it, since the Shawnee Mission spot is so close to our home. Sitting on the corner of Bradmoor and Martway Streets, their exact address is 5959 Broadmoor St. Walking through the door, we are always intrigued by their vast collection of sauces and rubs that line the walls behind the counter. It’s fun trying to see how many we can recognize, but we didn’t come here to just look at bottles.
Getting Down to Business at Johnny’s BBQ
Many times we will use Johnny’s BBQ as an early dinner or late lunch option when we are shopping in Mission. We find that if we arrive closer to 5:00 we have less of a crowd to deal with. Of course, while the place is fairly empty when we arrive, we always find it filling up by the time we leave. Part of that could be that they have different daily specials each weekday and on Saturday. The menu is filled with delicious options, with a few denoting signature items that were featured on the TV show. We have our standards that we love to fall back on when just enjoying a casual meal. Crystal really likes their turkey, which she got as the main course of a One Meat Dinner. It comes with sides of fries, beans, and slaw, so she had plenty to fill her up. Of course, they also toss in bread and a pickle, so you can make a sandwich out of it.
Getting Sticky with the Ribs
I’m a little more old school barbecue, and not afraid to get my fingers on some good ribs. Johnny’s BBQ always seems to provide a consistent product with just enough pull to keep them on the bone. These tender to the taste sticks of meaty goodness come in short or long ends, full slab, and you can even get baby backs. They are served with bread and a pickle spear, but I decided to toss in a side of rings for some crunch. This ended up being plenty to curb my appetite, while still leaving me some to tease others with the next day at lunchtime.
Giving Away Our Secrets
There are times that I begin writing an article and then wonder if I should keep the place to ourselves. The momentary reluctance is soon washed away with the realization that special places should be shared with others. It’s not like Johnny’s BBQ is hidden away from the view of passerbys, but some of the best treasures are hidden in plain sight. A prime example is the place in Little Rock that we mentioned at the start of this article. Here’s a link to use, if you’d like to read more about The Root Cafe, which we finally got into. The research about Guy Fieri’s visits to Kansas City dredged up some more sites, which we will have to check out for ourselves. Who knows, it may just be the start of a whole series of articles. In the meantime, why not enjoy some delectable barbecue at Johnny’s BBQ.