After grilling/smoking behind their restaurant for months, under the auspices of “events,” Woodpile BBQ Shack finally, formally opened last weekend (just south of Noble Fish). This being said, there is no indoor seating, and the outdoor patio obviously is not suitable for dining in December. So, consider it take-out only. Beer is cheapest at home, anyway!
I’m going to skip any controversial, subjective analyses of their smoked meats. I’ll simply say I found both my burnt ends and brisket to be solid. I lived in Kansas City* for a while and came back as a bit of a bbq snob. But, after years of interacting with bbq folks, I now find bbq snobbery to be the most obnoxious variety of any foodie folly, and I’ve come to disavow it. These unshaven characters are flocking to Woodpile, alongside the Yelpers, crowding the tight counter lobby with tales of custom welded smoking apparatuses and their supreme knowledge of meat thermodynamics. Fortunately, the service is swift.
* (Ironically, I was a vegetarian when I moved to KC, as I had long been boycotting meat since the Cattlemen Association sued my homegirl Oprah, to silence her criticisms of their disgusting practices. Eventually, taste won out over principle).
On to the sides. The cornbread was more like a baked polenta than a fluffy, dark golden edged cornbread cake. Undercooked that eve? I don’t know, but for some reason, I still really loved its moistness and its tangy, corny flavor. YMMV!
The beans weren’t my personal style, though they probably are healthier than what is served at most bbq joints. A multi variety bean medley, without much meat, smoke or charred fatty drippings. Plenty of vinegar, though. Conversely, the collard greens, while decent, were just too rich for me. They seemed to have a ton of bacon grease, fresh garlic hunks and chili syrup. Little Z’s (SCS, on Mack) set the bar too high in this town, when it comes to collard greens. Darn.
Anyway, despite slightly higher prices than I’d hoped for ($20/LB for brisket, $16/LB for pulled pork, a la carte), I’ll be back at least once every six weeks. More often if they offer coupons, which I don’t think they’ll do, because they apparently don’t need to. Which reminds me, be prepared for items to be sold out if you go late. The Woodpile guys’ genuine passion for meat smoking is attracting an enthusiastic following.