Sunday, July 29, 2018
Kim's BBQ Shack (Kirbyville, MO)
I made a last-minute itinerary change for the drive home. My original route had me going through Fayetteville, Arkansas to visit Penguin Ed's Bar-B-Que, but some additional research led me to believe that their dry brisket might be something closer akin to beef jerky. I like a good challenge and a bit of adventure, but this trip was also meant to be fun, and dried up brisket is not fun. So, I changed course and headed toward Kim's BBQ Shack outside of Branson in Kirbyville, Missouri.
Kim's isn't so much a "shack" as much as it is a quaint small town restaurant. The place was full at 12:30pm, likely an after-church rush. You don't find much Sunday barbecue in small towns, so I was grateful for this one. There wasn't a ton of charm or ambiance here, but the patrons looked happy, which is all you can ask for really.
It was almost certainly more food than I needed, and probably more than I was capable of consuming (the menu does say "Feeds 2-3"), but I really wanted to try their Shack Sampler. On the other hand, my cooler for leftovers was already nearly full. This time my brain persevered over my stomach, and I settled for their two-meat combo platter with pork and brisket, plus a small helping of ribs. Catfish was also a possible meat option, and although I was tempted, I stuck to the 'que. The combo comes with fries, slaw, and baked beans which was just fine by me.
The slaw was bright and crisp with a light dressing that, though sweet, allowed the veggies to shine. Conversely, my fries were of the standard frozen variety. I did at least appreciate that they were hot and fried to order. The beans were above average, semi-sweet and semi-spicy. The real star amongst the side dishes was Kim's pre-buttered honey roll. Absolutely amazing. It had a crispness to it that I found reminiscent of a fresh fried doughnut.
At first glance, it was hard to distinguish the beef from the pork, as both were shredded pretty finely. I eventually identified one as brisket and moved on. It was smoky, but dry and not very tender. It certainly could have used more salt, too. There wasn't much to the brisket, so I didn't feel compelled to eat much either.
Their pulled pork was decidedly better. It was both smoked and seasoned nicely, and the few pieces of bark I found mixed in were even better. The pork was also juicy and tender. It had plenty of flavor without any sauce whatsoever.
To be honest, the ribs didn't look that great. The light brown crust showed a high fat content to the meat, and not the tasty, well-rendered kind. The meat was at least juicy and not overcooked, so that's a plus. A moderate smokiness was also appreciated, but there wasn't much seasoning beyond the smoke. Actually, the sweet tomatoey sauce provided most of the other flavors here.
If Kim's had a plate that was all pork and rolls, I'd be down for that. The rest was a little underwhelming. The place is probably closer to two-and-a-half stars, but I generally round up.
Kim's BBQ Shack
7930 E Highway 76
Kirbyville, MO 65679