Q39’s new menu items offer some playful barbecue twists
It’s not every day you get to sit down at one of Kansas City’s best barbecue restaurants—at the same table as its owner—and try several new additions to the menu. When Q39 came calling with that very offer, we couldn’t resist their sweet, meaty siren song. It was by chance that we were seated next to owner Kelly Magee, but it gave us ample opportunity to learn about the process behind the new menu offerings from the mind of Chef Phillip Thompson.
Spoiler alert: they’re all good.
As far as we could tell, you’ll still be able to order all your previous faves at Q39, but a few of these new items should encourage you to step outside the barbecue box a bit. Here’s a rundown of their new offerings, along with our recommendations.
You can’t go wrong here. Pulled pork, jalapeños, pico, melted cheese sauce, and barbecue sauce over tortilla chips—every bite is packed with flavor, and this is a great option for a table-sharer to start your feast. It might not travel well if you’re ordering to-go, but otherwise, it’s a slam-dunk item.
Smoked Mozzarella Caprese Salad
If you’re looking for lighter fare to start, this is a good option—an arugula salad with liberal amounts of smoked mozzarella, tomatoes, and a balsamic drizzle, along with little hits of sea salt throughout. It’s a solid salad, but probably not going to blow your mind.
Pork Belly Tacos
Tacos are the perfect vehicle for Q39’s excellent pork belly. Topped with spicy mayo and a nice, crunchy slaw, these are an awesome option for that friend who “just had barbecue” and wants to branch out.
Smoked Pork Bahn Mi
This was easily the best bite of the night. This beast features both grilled pork belly and pulled pork, pickles, spicy mayo, and a crunchy slaw. The depth of flavor on it was remarkable, even if we didn’t take a particularly impressive photo of it. This is a sandwich you would go to Q39 for, specifically. We probably wouldn’t order it if we were craving traditional barbecue. It’s a different beast entirely, but a damn delicious one.
Build Your Own Mac & Q
Speaking of damn delicious, you can now order customized mac and cheese. The base of each is a five-cheese blend and some tasty breadcrumbs, but you can choose to top yours with brisket, pork belly, pulled pork, sausage, onion straws, and roasted tomatoes. An excellent side dish to share, though our stomachs might explode if we made this a whole meal.
A shareable dessert trio has a classic standby (carrot cake) along with two new dessert offerings. The key lime pie is an excellent finish to a big-time meal, with just the right bit of citrus zing hitting you in the back of the jaw.
The standout dessert, however, was the also-new baked vanilla cheesecake with smoked strawberry compote. It had a silky texture and great flavor balance, plus it was the perfect size to dig into. High marks there.
Two other new offerings that weren’t served up: a molten chocolate cake dessert and a smoked buffalo chicken sandwich. Q39 had pretty high standards, and Chef Thompson definitely has an eye for quality, so it’s probably a safe bet that they’re really tasty. Try expanding your horizons the next time you order some barbecue (we say as we order a Mr. Burns for the thousandth time). These items are all available now at both locations.
Q39 is located at 1000 W 39th St., Kansas City, MO 64111, and 11051 Antioch Rd., Overland Park, KS 66210. Both locations are open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. (10 p.m. for the 39th St. location).