Rhodies Smokin' BBQ

By Bob Lyon

It's not often that a top-flight BBQ joint opens within 15 minutes from where you live.  When I read about Rhodies in our local Issaquah Press, I just had to find out, since nothing like that has happened after I became reporter emeritus for the National Barbecue News.  I got my first floor BBQ buddy Andy Ballasiotes and his Lexus lined up and pursued a BBQ lunch at my expense last week.

Owner/operator Kenny Rogers has a two-man-show going there at this time.  After establishing my credentials with six past issues of National Barbecue News, I ordered a $20 sampler plate (something not on the menu).  Andy asked for half a rack of ribs.  My sampler plate included both pulled pork and brisket.  I asked for part of a slice of brisket, which came with a bit of burned end.

The pulled pork is just what it should be, flavorful throughout because extra rub is worked in after pulling.  The half rack of full-sized spare ribs is a steal at $19.99.  The bean side dish is excellent.  The slaw fits the menu description: lightly dressed and crisp.  It may be awaiting a super new seasoning.  The barbecue sauce is so good that it doesn't need hot or extra hot versions.

When I checked with Kenny Rogers about a Kansas City style brisket sandwich ala Arthur Bryant's (brisket slices, white bread and barbecue sauce for the eater to form), he said the two-man operation made him as cook unable to slice brisket upon demand when they were the slightest busy.

Kenny's pit is a commercial electric Cookshack.  His wood is hickory.  The menu states that chicken and ribs get three hours of smoke, the pork butts and brisket 14 hours.  I took home a rib for my wife to sample.  We're going to return for a half rack of ribs – just the right amount for folks our age.  I'm also going to recommend at the next meeting of the Leisure Committee at our Timber Ridge Retirement home that we schedule an outing to Rhodies.

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