Monday, June 1, 2015

Kettelhut's Smokehouse

1267 N. Truman Blvd.
Crystal City Mo.
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We were looking for recommendations for a good fish taco. Two conditions apply. Jefferson County, excluding Arnold and no fast food joints.
The only places mentioned so far, Taytro's and La Pachanga, there were problems with. Taytro's only has them on their lunch menu and we didn't really care for any thing else at La Pachanga.
So we didn't even try, Angel made a last minute call.
The Place:
Just opened up last September, we reviewed it the first weekend after that. As is the standard for a new place, we made note of some issues to follow up on. I don't care who you are, the first few weeks open is going to have issues. Service especially, the team hasn't had time to work out the kinks. That was several months before this trip, they've had plenty of time to get their act together.
I also told Angel and Adam what they'd ordered on that first trip. More about that later.
Kettelhut's is decorated in a theme of Memphis Blues. There are 'Beale Street' signs, photos of blues musicians and wall decor of saxophones, guitars, etc. The overhead music is all blues, all the time. I like this type of music better than some others, but I can't say I want to hear a lot of it. To me, it gets a bit repetitious after a while. It was tolerable for the time we were there though.
We were seated in a booth, remarkably the same booth as the first time from what I recalled from the wall decor above us.
Abby came by and introduced herself and took our drink order. She seemed nice. Tea, tea and Pepsi.
The Food.
I decided pretty quickly, a simple pulled pork sandwich. Nothing fancy. I sided it with baked beans and fries, almost as an afterthought. We'd had their 'Fried Taters and Onions' on the first trip, I'd mentioned that I didn't like thick cut fried potatoes, so I decided against them this time.
When Abby returned we were ready to order. Angel disappointed us by ordering the same thing she had the first time. I encourage the family to mix it up a little from time to time. But since I'd told her what she had the first time she just replied to my sigh with a "It sounded pretty good when you told me."
So she asked for a 2-fer, ribs and chicken, sided with cucumber salad and fried corn on the cob.
Gratefully, Adam shifted gears and ordered the BBQ Nachos, which are available as an appetizer or a meal.
I checked the time. On the first trip there had been a significant time delay between ordering and service, this is one of the things I was looking for.
The thing about a smokehouse is that there just shouldn't be a long wait. Everything's already made. Big batches of sides, slow cooked meats already cooked. . .
They did not disappoint, less than ten minutes. They also got all the orders right. So far, so good.
I was a little surprised by the amount of fries. My plate looked more like a French fry meal with side of beans and a sandwich. Too many fries is hardly a crime though. I just thought they overshadowed the main event and there was certainly more than I'd ever be able to finish, especially seeing that they'd been a tad over-salted.
The beans looked impressive. Nice and dark. There was more bean juice than I usually care for. The taste was outstanding though. This wasn't baked beans from a can, these were slow cooked, in house, with a hint of molasses. Mmmm
There was more meat on the sandwich that I originally thought. They'd piled it on quite generously. I tasted a sliver, definitely smoky, but a bit dry. That's what all the bottles of sauces were for. I chose two sauces, a sweet one and one called 'Pappa's Pride' which I highly recommend. A little sweet but less so than many bottled brands.
The fries were pretty good, but a little too salty and way, way too many of them.
Angel plowed through her meats like a Jurassic raptor. (BTW, the raptors in that movie were
modeled after cretaceous period dinosaurs, not Jurassic.) She claimed that the chicken was nice and crispy with a moist and tender interior. The ribs, tender and meaty. The corn, surprisingly wasn't dry from being fried. The 'toast' was barely toast. Cooked on one side only and barely buttered. "I think I OD'd on meat." she said.
Adam's nachos were "pretty good" though he added that there was too much cheese. . . as if such a thing were possible.
Abby kept the drinks refilled and processed the bill quickly.
Summary:
Frankly, we were impressed and quite satisfied. All the original, startup issues had been resolved. The food was good, the service, by that I mean Abby, was top notch, the tables were being cleaned promptly, orders were correct and served in a timely manner. . .
All for forty bucks.
Yeah, pretty much no significant complaints. It's good to see a local business do well, I hope they are here to stay.

Kettelhut's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

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