Aromas of Kansas City–style barbecue and meats smoked over sweet hickory wood in a rotisserie smoker permeate McGuire's Smokehouse. Slabs of ribs are juxtaposed to smoked veggies and homestyle sides such as coleslaw, onion rings, and red beans with rice. Chefs also smoke chicken wings before frying them and launching them into an inflatable pool of various sauces. Bottled beers such as Budweiser chase down eats, and Blue Bunny ice-cream sandwiches cool the tongue after smoky meals.
Burgers reign supreme at Ott's. Peruse the extensive menu for specialty selections such as a hickory burger or a Texas burger (topped with chili, cheddar, and onion bud), both of which are available in 1/3- and 1/2-pound sizes ($7.99 for 1/3 pound, $9.69 for 1/2 pound). "Ott" dogs, prepared with Black Angus beef, offer an upscale take on the ballpark classic. Try the original Ott with lettuce, tomato, and pepper relish ($6.29) or the Spanish Flyer with chili, nacho cheese, and scallions ($7.29). If you'd like to keep your meal as light at a globetrotting eccentric's hot air balloon, opt for a garden salad with eggs, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheddar, scallions, and bacon ($6.59). Sandwiches and barbecue bites round out the menu.
The friendly barbecue buffs at Smokin' Joe's smoke their prized proteins over hickory wood using a decades-old, seasoned pit, resulting in a mix of meats that arrive tender and tasty. Topping the menu is the savory burnt-end sandwich ($5), which neighbors neatly with crispy, golden onion rings ($2.40). An array of flavorful homespun options pepper the menu, such as the family-recipe creamy coleslaw, which you can nosh individually ($1.80) or slathered atop the Southerner sandwich ($5.99). The tender ribs ($16.75 for full slab) fall right off the bone to nourish yours, two of which can be combined with any of the expertly smoked meats in a combo dinner plate ($11.95). Wash up sauce stains with bottled domestic beers, such as the local Boulevard Wheat ($2.75), and be sure to keep an extra dining shirt in your back pocket. The clean, welcoming interiors come accentuated by the sparkling smiles of the friendly servers, whose collective Midas-like touch produces not gold but wet naps in it wake.
In 2008, Culinary Institute of America alum Dan Janssen and four friends camped out to secure a spot in the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle. Dan immediately began training for the event, honing his recipes and asking friends and family to taste-test each smoky cut during weekend get-togethers. Great Lenexa, it turned out, was just the tip of the dry-rubbed iceberg. Over the next few years, Dan and his culinary crew refined their dishes, expanded their menu, and began raking in the ribbons—including five awards in the 2013 American Royal Barbeque Contest, taking 3rd place overall in sides and 5th place in beans.
Their barbecue is no longer a competition-only treat. The Rub Bar-B-Que & Catering makes it available to the Olathe area. Alongside classic pulled pork and beef sandwiches, Chef Dan showcases inventive dishes such as burritos filled with burnt ends, jalapeños, and pico de gallo. His menu also sports plenty for rib-enthusiasts, from 1/3 racks to full racks ideal for large groups or one very determined ant.