Wednesday, February 10, 2010

KC Pit BBQ (7/10) - 6317 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

After a quick meal at Old Hickory Hut and Slopes BBQ I wanted to take my barbecue momentum to one more joint in the Sandy Springs area.  KC Pit BBQ moved locations over the past year and aggressively moved into what appears to be a once-swanky sports bar / jazz lounge / night club.  In terms of the magnitude of size, KC Pit BBQ might be the largest barbecue joint I've seen -- rivaling Kreuz's warehouse in Lockhart, Texas.  The interior has a banquet hall, an outdoor patio, a full size circular bar, a 10' water feature behind the hostesses, private dining cabanas along the far wall, and a stage equipped for an entire jazz ensemble.  Ownership must have been quite incentivized to move into this place.  Since I was dining alone, I was unfortunately not seated in a private cabana.

I noticed a nice array of bottled barbecue sauces from the Kansas City area: notably Jack Stack's, Arthur Bryants, Gates, and KC Masterpiece.  I became excited that I could possibly have a local outlet to try authentic Kansas City barbecue, especially when I found burnt ends on the menu -- the quintessential Kansas City barbecue dish.  A decent crowd started funneling into the restaurant and my excitement was definitely piqued for some quality meat.  I ordered the two meat + one side combo -- burnt ends, spare ribs, and candied sweet potato (which I falsely assumed would be served whole in the skin).

The ribs, albeit not appearing like traditional slow smoked barbecue, still looked incredible.  The deep red glaze took me back to my days before I knew about the delicious delicatessens native to Thailand and Vietnam when I used to rely on Chinese food to satisfy my ethnic food kicks.  The sweet sugary glaze on the ribs deeply penetrated the meat, just like Chinese spare ribs that I enjoyed during in my childhood.  The meat was cooked well and pulled from the blade with a slight tug.  The meat also kept well and tasted great the following day.

Although my order of burnt ends were flavorful, they were not as I had envisioned based on my brief experience eating barbecue in Kansas City.  If a colleague asked me to describe traditional burnt ends, I would plainly state that one is served a hefty serving of shavings from the fatty sides of a brisket.  KC Pit BBQ's interpretation of burnt ends is almost quite the opposite.  They cube the outsides of a brisket that had previously been trimmed of fat prior to it being smoked.  Their burnt ends also tasted as if they were flash grilled over direct heat prior to service.  They were slightly dry, predominantly devoid of fat, and had a grilled resonating flavor.  I thrive on fatty meats, so one can deduce how unsettling this experience was.  In all, KC Pit BBQ cooks some fairly incredible ribs and they take their barbecue sauce seriously too.  It had smoky notes, just like KC Masterpiece, with a pinch of spice to keep things interesting.

If you're ever in a bind and in need of a restaurant that can accommodate in excess of 700 people, this could be your quick solution.

KC Pit BBQ on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm with Jack Stack Barbecue in Kansas City, and we can't think of a better sabatical than the one you've chosen. We caught this story and thought we'd share some tips about those burnt ends. It appears they came solely from the brisket flat, the ultra lean part of the brisket. Perhaps they should try mixing a bit more pieces from the brisket point, or as we like to describe it as the "well-marbled" part of the brisket. If you can't make it to Kansas City during your travels, we're available online for delivery anywhere in the country if you're in search of a great Kansas City burnt end. Along with brisket and pork burnt ends, we also have Kobe brisket. Have a great time on your sabatical. -Dale @ Jack Stack Barbecue

  2. Thanks JS. I previously had a client in KC and while in town, we went to your restaurant on The Plaza and ordered an incredible assortment of dishes across the menu. Although we didn't try your burnt ends and I wasn't taking pictures of barbecue back then (so I consequently cannot post a review of that experience), your Crown Prime Beef Ribs were legendary. Hope to visit a JS location in the near future.

  3. I'm glad to see this blog; I've put you on my blogroll. I ate here once, and I took pics and all. I'm more a smokehead, and I didn't get much smoke flavor out of the ribs I ate. I found I couldn't really write about this place, so I'm glad you did. Different strokes and all.

    To bring up an entirely different topic, I've been recently diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. I love Q, but I've been very much warned away from it because of the risk of sugar in things like sauces. I know this is way off topic but I'd love to discuss this with Q lovers: if there are any safe BBQ places for people with sugar issues, what are they and where are they?

    Caio. Love the blog!


  4. FNS - I appreciate you commenting on the site. I originally started posting to provide feedback to my friends while I traveled the country eating barbecue but have since found that it's been a great outlet for me to discuss something that I'm passionate about. As you have a preference for strong smoke flavored meats, I can see why you weren't that impressed with KC Pit BBQ and weren't too surprised when I stated that the burnt ends tasted grilled. I wish I knew more about diabeties, especially how it relates to barbecue consumption. Next time I'm on the road and I uncover a great vinegar-based sauce that might be light on sugars/corn syrup, I'll definitely point it out to you. I look forward to browsing your site for other eateries in the area.

  5. Thanks for the review! I live near this place but never tried it. Now I want to try it. Don't take this the wrong way, but I saw a couple of typos you might want to fix. They're both in the same sentence that includes "used to rely on Chinese foot to satisfy my ethic food kicks". Keep up the great reviews!

  6. I'm sure many of you 'cue loveers knew this already but here it is anyway: KC Pitt Pitt BBQ has been closed for good. Here's the reason why

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Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.