I remember my first trip to Kansas City like it was my honeymoon. Except my wife wasn’t there and it wasn’t quite as special as my honeymoon. Close. Maybe within a nine-iron or a pitching wedge.
Why do I remember my first trip to Kansas City so well? Three letters … BBQ.
There was Oklahoma Joe’s (now Joe’s Kansas City BBQ), Jack Stack’s, and Arthur Bryants — just to name a few. For baseball buffs, Arthur Bryant’s is close the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame. But I digress …
It was at the original Oklahoma Joe’s that I found a match made in heaven. The original restaurant is half gas station, half restaurant (FYI, that’s NOT the match I’m referring to). The gas station still operates and inside the lobby are things you’d find in almost any gas station interior — filters, oil, and clean-up rags. Cigarettes and lighters.
But there’s one very important difference between the original Oklahoma Joe’s and any other gas station: the wall of sauces and dry rubs you can buy.
It’s a beautiful thing.
There are sauces and spices of every kind, ranging from the normal to the strange and dangerous. Since there’s typically a long line waiting for brisket or pulled pork, you have ample time to peruse the options. Of course, if you need an oil filter, that’s available, too.
There was one particular dry rub that caught my eye. My first thought was, “Genius!”
It was a coffee-based dry rub. And it was good. After bringing it home, I put it on burgers and steaks, bacon and eggs. No meat was off-limits.
Personally, I wonder why it took so long for someone to combine the two. With the increase in local roasting and varieties of beans, the combinations should be limitless.
“How do you like your dry rub? With a light roast or dark roast? Espresso? Single origin?”
Of course, you could go the cheap route and use robusta beans. It would cost less to make and would be the equivalent of rubbing Folgers on your t-bone.
Or an aspiring entrepreneur could have an entire line of coffee-based dry rubs.
As a home roaster myself, I may tinker around and see what I can do. I’m thinking it might be a good use for old beans before they lose all of their flavor.
So, thank you Oklahoma Joe’s for opening my eyes to a whole new way of enjoying two things I love very much (but not as much as my wife).