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BBQ Joints > Kansas

The Burnt End BBQ & Catering

11240 W 135th St
Overland Park, KS 66213
913-451-8888

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KCSMOKEMAN
June 15, 2011, 7:32 p.m.

Burnt End has been keeping a low profile since they opened in March 2011. In a strip storefront that has hosted a half dozen restaurants over the last decade, Burnt End now makes it home – like a hermit crab with Goldilocks’ syndrome (or something).

My youngest (hungry) son and I dropped by for lunch. I hate to admit it, but we were actually on our way to Dickey’s BBQ when Junior spied this new joint (next to our favorite Chinese restaurant, Fortune Wok). Burnt End boast a sparse menu. There’s a Hatfield (5 oz) sandwich and a McCoy (10 oz) sandwich. (I don’t know how Appalachian family feuds are expected to play in Kansas… but they went and done it.) There is a third sandwich – “The Stack” – smoked brisket, ham, turkey, pulled pork, turkey, bacon, jack (cheese?), cheddar, shredded lettuce, and bbq sauce. Despicable sounding.

Scooter and I had a Hatfield (him) and a McCoy (me). I gotta say, I was overwhelmed when the meal arrived. Meat was spilling out of both sandwiched. Spilling? No, gushing. I didn’t try to weigh them, but I did ask the chef if this was a standard order. Yes, he assured me. I shoulda had the Hatfield – I brought half the McCoy home. The meat (brisket and sausage) was tender, tasty, and swimming in sauce. Although there was a definite, if small, smoke ring on the brisket, there was very little bark. This is one of the essential marks of great Que and it is MIA. Most joints serve sandwiches dry and invite the consumer to add sauce to their own liking. Burnt End douses the meat as if it were a California wildfire. The sauce was on the dainty side – good spices but overly sweet without any smoke or molasses taste. The spicy sauce was very spicy, a better choice.

Obviously a second trip is de riguer to sample the eponymous burnt ends and some ribs. A $2 order of home-made fries came in a bowl the size of Connecticut. The fries were crisp and delightfully showered with sea salt.

I was impressed with the generous portions, but not the quality of the smoke. This is average fare and it’s going to be terribly difficult to hammer out a reputation with this stuff.