We can always count on one thing happening when we release a restaurant article in Kansas City. It will create a lot of conversation among the KC Foodies, which almost always results in a list of more restaurants to add to our “Need To Visit” list. Such was the case for Blind Box BBQ, which was mentioned by a few readers after we posted a previous barbecue article. We made plans to drop in to what we thought was a newer KC BBQ joint. Located at 13214 West 62nd Terrace, in Shawnee, this place has actually been open for around three years. It goes to show that Kansas City is such a haven for foodies that even an old restaurant blogger can’t keep up with all of the places.
What is Blind Box BBQ?
The name of the restaurant is derived from the BBQ competition circuit. A blind box is usually a Styrofoam container that is used to deliver a barbecue teams entry. Since they all look the same on the outside, it leaves the judges only the inside appearance and the products within to rate the overall presentation. While flavor, smoke ring, and texture are key, presentation still impacts the final scoring during competitions like the American Royal BBQ. Blind Box BBQ understands the importance of making a dish look visually appealing to the customer. Upon entering the restaurant, we found it to have a laid back atmosphere. A decent sized bar area shows off an impressive collection of whiskeys and various spirits. Blind Box touts their cocktail prowess, but we will leave that test for another visit. We are here to check out the ‘cue.
Starting At The Top
When we visit a restaurant in a destination city, we know it may be our only stop we ever make. This creates a slight angst to select the best dishes to represent the restaurant’s true vibe. An advantage to stopping in a Kansas City eatery is that we will have the chance to make additional visits with more ease, since it is our hometown. With no preconceived notions about Blind Box BBQ, we decided to start at the top of the menu, which meant dining from the appetizer section. We have had a lot of success with this approach, since it will allow us to get a better sampling of the flavors of a restaurant. Our server agreed on our approach, but suggested we include a side of their Cheesy Corn Bake. She told us it was their most popular side, so how could we pass it up? We have had hit-or-miss luck with cheesy corn at barbecue joints, but this one was spot-on. Not too runny and plenty of flavor. A winner in both of our books.
The Butcher Block seemed like a great way to sample a variety of their meats. It varies at times, but ours had two versions of ribs, sausage, and beef brisket. This was accompanied by some smoked Gouda and a Cabernet wine infused cheese. Toss in some fresh fruit and nestle it on a bed of kale and you have a dish that is a visual beauty. The manager came out and brought us a sampling of four of their sauces to test with our dinner. We chatted for a bit, and he filled us in on some of the history of the restaurant. It was obvious from his enthusiasm that he is Gung-Ho behind the mission of the business.
This is one of the reasons we love visiting locally owned restaurants. The staff seem to usually be more invested in the success of the business, which reflects in a better overall experience for diners. Blind Box BBQ has found a way to set the standard a notch higher than your average ‘cue joint. Everything seems well designed to maximize the pleasure of the customer. This is probably why the place was hopping on a Tuesday evening. By the way, the charcuterie board was so pretty that we just had to include a second shot. We polished off everything, except the kale. It was all so delicious and we found our favorites. Crystal loved the wine cheese, while I was partial to the smoked Gouda. The ribs had such good flavor and texture that I couldn’t stop eating them. We had concentrated so much on the board that we ended up leaving the cheesy corn for the end. Even slightly cooled it was still delightful. Way to hit it out of the park!
Return Visit Assured
With so little of the menu explored, we know that there will have to be some return visits to Blind Box BBQ. So many of their sandwiches sound flavorful, but we both are eyeing their burgers. The idea that they are smoked prior to being grilled sounds quite intriguing. The manager mentioned one is even infused with some smoked pork belly, which we are betting makes it really juicy. With their cheesy corn under our belt, we will now be able to focus on some of their other sides, like the Bourbon Baked Beans. Be prepared to see more picture perfect presentations on our social media feeds. Perhaps it would be best if you drop by and test them out for yourself. Then you can tease us with your own amazing captures. Let us know what you think of Blind Box BBQ in the comments section below. Thanks!