If you had only two choices for a weekend morning breakfast, what would you choose?
Would you prefer standing on New York’s Fifth Avenue sidewalk, window shopping at Tiffany’s flagship store with a to-go cup of coffee and a pastry?
Or how about sitting down to a hearty country breakfast in the comfort of RJ’s Bob-Be-Cue Shack on Lamar Avenue in Mission?
There’s a lot to be said for each choice. Foodwise, however, I’d go for RJ’s country breakfast. Served 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, RJ’s is one of the few barbecue restaurants in Chow Town that serves real barbecue for breakfast every weekend.
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Co-owners Bob and Denise Palmgren named RJ’s after Bob’s son Robert Jr. They offer a delicious variety of traditional country breakfasts and some barbecue breakfasts, all served in generous portions.
There are omelet choices, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, smoked sausage, breakfast burritos, chicken-fried steak, country-style fried potatoes, ham and RJ’s superb house-smoked bacon, all worth your nickel.
My favorite is RJ’s Burnt End Hash with two sunny side-up eggs, whole wheat toast and a cup of coffee in a house cup. If you want pastry, your server will bring you a frosted cinnamon roll.
Instead of high-end jewelry, RJ’s eye candy is a mix of John Wayne portraits, Wild West, Kansas, Missouri, Chiefs and Royals memorabilia, barbecue contest ribbons, trophies, certificates, and beer logos. The shack exudes a warm, welcoming ambiance.
RJ’s breakfast hash comes with your choice of bite-size pieces of beef or pork burnt ends. Add diced potatoes, red and green diced peppers, sliced green onions and chopped crispy house-smoked bacon, with two eggs and toast on the side, for the best barbecue breakfast in Chow Town.
With two popular spots — Johnny’s and RJ’s — and an annual Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned Battle of the Brisket contest, Mission has staked out a significant niche in Chow Town’s barbecue scene.
RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack is at 5835 Lamar Ave. in Mission, 913-262-7300.
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’ Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of books on barbecue. His most recent release is “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”