I was born in KC and grew up in Texas. So while an appreciation for country music and mullets, or a predilection for window decals of Calvin pissing on random things never took hold (thank FSM), I did develop a taste for good barbecue.
Creative license and a desire for meaningful backstory might get me to suggest that a love for BBQ was one of the reasons I left California and moved back to KC. I’d be blowing smoke up your ass if I did though. Mundane crap such as the cost of living, traffic, taxes, and hippies, and the general douchebaggery of many Californians (particularly the Bay Area) were the real reasons. I wasn’t thinking so much about food as I was about paying 20% more for everything and the privilege of waiting in lines for an hour or more just to get it. The Bay Area would be a wonderful place if it had half the people and a quarter of the Nanny-State devotees.
But much like Kalib Starnes’ MMA career, I digress.
We ducked out for lunch yesterday and visited Holy Smoke BBQ here in Lee’s Summit, MO. I won’t drone on too much about how good this place is. I’ll just leave it at that: they’ve got the best BBQ in Kansas City.
And that ticks me off a bit, to be honest. Here’s why: they’re a “Christian” restaurant.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t care if the owners are Christian. Actually, that’s 100% accurate; I don’t care that the owners are Christian. It doesn’t make the food taste any better (or worse), and just comes off as passive-aggressive proseltysing. To their credit, they don’t completely beat you over head with God’s “comforting” rod (lol, Psalms). But once you realize that the “Holy” in “Holy Smoke” goes beyond just another trite pun-based restaurant name into sanctimonious jerk territory. We get it, you believe in Jesus. You and the other 85% of the country.
Either the owners are really sincere about their beliefs and want to interject it into all areas of their lives, or it’s just an arguably clever marketing device. “Oh yeah, well I love Jesus more because I eat only Christian Barbecue!” Apparently there was a contestant on this past season of American Idol who staved off going home/being voted off the island/whatever by singing “God Bless the USA”. Using Jesus in your business is a similar tactic and betrays either a lack of confidence in your product or a sincere belief that it sucks. Which is sad, because these guys really do make ridiculously good food.
And if the owners really are sincere in their beliefs, that’s perfectly fine. For the most part, Christians are great people when they’re not trying to abuse Democracy in order to vote Jesus into schoolbooks and Science out of them. But frankly I just find the whole idea of Ideological Food annoying at best, and completely repugnant at worst. If it didn’t taste good I wouldn’t eat at a “Flying Spaghetti Monster’s pizza joint”, or get a “Libertarian Sandwich,” or drink “Second Amendment Coffee”. There’s just something completely distasteful (pun somewhat intended) about interjecting your beliefs into a restaurant or food product in general. (You hear me Ben and Jerry?)
All that aside, yeah, this is some great food. I ordered “The Summit” and here’s where the regret comes in. It’s an angus beef hamburger, covered in bbq sauce and cheese, along with two other meats of your choice. On mine was brisket and sausage. Yes, I ordered a BBQ Cheeseburger with Brisket and Sausage. The whole thing was a tower of savory angina and I enjoyed the hell out of it. I had to casually toss aside the vegetables (they kept sliding off the tower o’ meat) so this sandwich had no redeeming nutritional qualities other than the massive amount of protein.
Oh, and they have sweet potato fries. Hell yeah.
I realize I spent most of this post rambling about everything but the food, but honestly it’s so good there’s really not much to say about it. I just wish they’d have one less side on their menu because I can do without the Extra Jesus. Still, the “Regret” isn’t about handing over money to Christians, some of which will undoubtedly go towards them trying to spread their meme. It’s because that burger was probably 1000 calories (of awesome) and I had to get up this morning and work out twice as hard for having eaten it. Hell, I’ll probably work out twice today just to make up for that. Jesus.