“Barbeque, it’s not just for breakfast anymore,” is a favorite Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) slogan.
Barbecue time is any time for Chow Town barbecue aficionados. Good luck, however, in finding a joint that serves real barbecue for breakfast. Thus far I know of two local barbecue breakfast venues: RJ’s in Mission and the Southmoreland Inn near the Country Club Plaza.
Robert Palmgren’s RJ’s country breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays features traditional breakfast items plus burnt end hash. Southmoreland Inn guests are treated to delicious barbecue breakfasts of grilled pork chops, grilled fruit and other items cooked by proprietors Mark Reichle and Nancy Miller.
Many barbecue joints in North Carolina serve traditional eggs, biscuits, hash browns and bacon, ham or sausage breakfasts, but not barbecue.
Tim Byres’ Smoke Restaurant in the Belmont Hotel, Dallas, features breakfasts of smoked brisket cornbread hash with poached egg or cured and smoked pork belly bacon, link sausage or salmon.
Tootsie Tomanetz at Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas, is famous for the outstanding barbecue brisket she serves every Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. It’s on my bucket list.
Proprietor Gary West at Smokehouse Barbecue in Rio Rancho, N.M., offers a traditional breakfast from 7 a.m. to 2 pm, including a smoked carne adovada breakfast burrito.
I recommend waiting until 9:30, when staff pulls meat from the barbecue pit. You can get a complete barbecue plate for breakfast — ribs, pork, beef, sausage or chicken, with sides. The Smokehouse brisket is thick-sliced Texas-style, smoky, tender, with delicious crunchy bark that tastes like a combo of burnt ends and brisket.
Barbecue contest cooks come up with creative breakfasts. Besides traditional fried eggs, bacon, sausage and toast cooked outdoors over hot coals in cast iron skillets, I love Marty Lynch’s KC Gaelic Gourmet CAM Onion Bread Pudding, a satisfying breakfast in itself.
Frank Kandor and Ed Tonino’s Redneck Caviar competition barbecue team makes a Screaming Redneck Breakfast Sandwich of smoked sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, provolone cheese and cheddar cheese on a toasted ciabatta bun that is so good you’ll scream their praises.
My latest barbecue breakfast favorite comes from a small northern Minnesota town, Pine River. On Sundays Ryan Nelson, proprietor of JR’s No. 19 BBQ serves a Redneck BBQ Breakfast Buffet: pulled pork, ribs, Northwoods wild rice casserole, mac cheese, beans, cheesecake, carrot cake, bread pudding and Redneck Eggs Benedict. JR’s Wednesday special is a Smoked Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich. Leftover smoked corned beef is sandwiched in a buttermilk biscuit with fried egg and topped with sausage gravy to star as Sunday’s Redneck Eggs Benedict.
Here’s my home-style Redneck Eggs Benedict version: Make a sandwich of smoked corned beef, fried egg and longhorn cheese. Smother it with sawmill gravy and serve immediately. Try it also with barbecue brisket or pulled pork. Eat two with fried potatoes and fire-roasted Hatch peppers on the side and you can skip lunch!
Note: Make your biscuits from scratch. Don’t waste good food on canned biscuits.
Ardie Davis is an iconic figure in the barbecue community. He founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS’s Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on numerous food shows and writes for a variety of barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of a number of barbecue books, his most recent release “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”