KC Smokehouse Pub mixes up barbecue, burgers and live music

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As The Pitch counts down the days to the beginning of the second annual Burger Week — Monday, October 19, through Sunday, October 25 — the chance to sample 16 different local burgers for a five-spot each isn’t just a great economic deal, but also an opportunity to actually pay a long-overdue visit to some of the newer restaurants and bars on the list.

There are many familiar names on this year’s roll call of Burger Week participants, but the six-month-old KC Smokehouse Pub at 8431 Wornall (located in the former Swagger location) is making its first foray into the Burger Week patty-palooza. Local businessman Josh Mitchem, who runs KC Smokehouse Pub with his brother, Tyler, only started serving food at the venue two months ago. Chef Micah Borgstadt has introduced a new menu, and the Waldo bar and grill is now presenting live music.

“We’ll have a disc jockey one night a week,” Josh Mitchem says, “and on Saturdays, we’ll offer basic rock, blues, jazz, country and classic rock from local and regional bands.”

And then there are the burgers.

The KC Smokehouse Pub menu is limited to the things that the Mitchem brothers and Borgstadt say they do best: burgers and smoked meats — the smoker in back of the restaurant, which burns apple and pecan wood, burns 17 hours of every day. Josh Mitchem is still a competitive barbecue guy: His team, he says, is the Butt Whisperers, and they competed in last week’s American Royal World Series of Barbecue.

The 120-seat pub features 12 featured beers on tap (all but three are local) and 45 different brews in cans and bottles.

For the Burger Week promotion, the Mitchems are offering a quarter-pound Angus-beef patty on buttered Texas toast, topped with smoked cheddar cheese and pulled pork, and served with one of their half-dozen side dishes. (I would suggest paying a slight upcharge and getting two of the sides here: the excellent baked beans and the hand-cut, beautifully golden fries.) KC Smokehouse Pub offers three house sauces: the original sauce (which is surprisingly punchy); a more peppery spicy sauce; and Borgstadt’s seasonal sauce, a pumpkin-based barbecue sauce that tastes vastly better than it sounds — it’s not dominated by the traditional pumpkin-pie spices like nutmeg or cinnamon but is smooth and mellow.

The new menu also features two new desserts: a smoked bread pudding and smoked brownie bites. The kitchen at KC Smokehouse Pub is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink