Oops, I did it again! Kenny’s has won me over for a second time, on this occasion I ventured to Kenny’s Smoke House (a sister company of Kenny’s Italian Kitchen). This not-so-typical Smoke House, which opened in January 2013, is located in Plano at The Shops at Legacy. It’s no secret I frequent The Shops, as I was there one evening (actually on my way to Village Burger Bar) my nose nearly led me to Kenny’s Smoke House instead-I had to keep to the agenda though. Not long after I visited their Italian Kitchen, I knew I had to make their Smoke House my priority. That’s exactly what I did.
“I’ve always been a weekend barbecue fan, this is a restaurant concept more than twenty years in the making.”
Upon entering I recognized the same quaint charm I noted at Kenny’s Italian Kitchen.
“wall upon wall covered in authentic black & white photographs in black wooden frames”
I took this as a good sign. As I walked in for my reservation I was promptly greeted with the heavenly aroma of smoked barbecue, confirming my assumption that this was going to be a meal I would not soon forget. We were swiftly taken to our table to begin our BBQ feast!
After glancing over the menu for a mere minute it didn’t take long to decide which appetizer to appreciate. We opted for the Smoked Brisket Stuffed Jalapenos. These bad boys are stuffed with Vermont cheddar & smoked brisket and served with a side of chipotle BBQ ranch (my new favorite ranch marriage!). Finally, a stuffed jalapeno done right! The peppers were just the right size, sweetness, heat and sharpness. The ideal dish to precede the meal!
Next on the agenda were a couple of the Smoke House’s infamous ribs for the table to sample. I have never been a rib fiend until now. The meat just falls of the bone on both the beef and pork ribs. I opted for their spicier barbecue sauce which is a great balance of smoke, sweetness and spice. The original sauce coats the tongue beautifully and enhances the delicate smoked meat.
The beef ribs were my front-runner as they were meatier and much easier to revel in.
The table also had the pleasure of sampling more house favorites!
The Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage is made up of a few of my favorite things: Buds white queso, sausage, jalapeno and a raspberry chipotle dipping sauce. After sampling the sausage I was assured I made the right entree choice (“The Kinahora” sandwich) which includes this tangy delight.
The Pulled Pork Tostadas feature Buds white queso, cheddar, pico and smokey BBQ ranch. They are cut in half for easier management, I consider them more of a nacho than a tostado. Tomato, tomahto-nacho, tostado. The idea of bringing Mexican food + barbecue together is genius. These are winners!
The Southern Fried Chicken Tenders are surprisingly my favorite of the four appetizers the table sampled. “Surprisingly” because when I go to a barbecue joint the last thing I am anticipating winning me over is the fried chicken but Kenny’s Smoke House has done just that. The manager of the Smoke House, Liz Mardeda, even made a joke that Kenny should venture into the fried chicken business next. After one bite into these tenders I have to agree!
The Fried Onions (cut into semicircles) were a welcomed alteration to the standard “ring”. Unlike most fried onions these were not heavy on grease, another favorable difference.
Kenny’s Smoke House specializes in a variety of meats smoked daily over hickory.
“Hickory is like the Pike Place Blend of smoking woods. It provides an easy, comfortable smoke level and burns to just the right temperature.” -Kenny Bowers
Bowers has not only been barbecuing recreationally for years, but has visited many of the nation’s top destinations for grilling, smoking and barbecuing meats to evaluate techniques and ingredients. The menu features pulled pork, brisket, both beef and pork ribs and smoked sausage sourced from Southside Market in Elgin, Texas. –KennysSmoke.com
“The Kinahora” sandwich features jalapeno cheddar sausage, chopped brisket and pulled pork. I usually go for sausage or chopped brisket so to have these in addition to the pulled pork made this a must-try item! I managed to scoop up this ginormous sandwich but some may consider it a fork & knife-r. The hickory smoked barbecue flavor of the three meats was bold and the burst of flavor as you bit down on the combination of bun, BBQ sauce & meats was euphoric. For my one side item I opted for the customer favorite, the Smoked Gouda Mac n Cheese. This side item was awe-inspiring! The Mac n Cheese includes Gouda cheese, cure 81 ham and white truffle oil. The Gouda possesses the same smokiness as the Smoke House’s meats; the diced ham & drizzle of white truffle oil a top this sinful side are welcomed modifications to this classic.
For dessert the table ordered the Peanut Butter Pie (a no brainier for peanut butter lovers!). The recipe is an original that came from the brother of the owner. Each pie is made up of a large jar of peanut butter, whipped, as well as a Nutter Butter crust and a hefty layer of chocolate between the two. Their dessert menu is frequently rotated but I highly recommend grabbing this next time you’re in!
The finest thing about Kenny’s isn’t the food, while the food is a true winner the service is hands down the best out of any restaurant I have been to. Liz, the manager, makes it a point to visit every table and do anything she can to ensure her guests satisfaction. Her passion when she discusses the menu is contagious and invigorating. In fact, the table to our left full of gentlemen whom just left work to dine and celebrate a birthday were crushed to hear that the restaurant did not currently have key lime pie, a favorite of the birthday boy; Liz went next door and picked up a slice for him.
To schedule your BBQ feast call 972-473-7478 for reservations or simply use OpenTable!
Kenny’s Smoke House is open Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-10pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm.
hungry Smoke-y, Dallas.
(Disclosure: my trip to Kenny's Smoke House was comped for this piece. All opinions are my own.)