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burnT Ends smoky crunchy bits of Kansas City barbecue

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!! Holiday Libation from Doug Frost, Kansas City’s Master of Wine page 2 Savage Art page 6 Smoke Your Own Holiday Turkey page 8 Q&A with The Man in Red page 15

An occasional publication of recipes, music, lore, useless information, shameless self promotion and questionable advice, from the good folks at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ of Kansas City and Olathe, Kansas.

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g n i v i g s k n Tha A time to be GrApeful

Our good friend, Doug Frost, is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine. He was the second person in history to complete both exams and sixteen years later he is still one of only three people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions. According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” We asked Doug to share his thoughts about pairing wines with traditional holiday fare.

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E

very holiday has its stories and origins, whether real or mythic, and those stories are manifest in each holiday's traditions: explosions on the Fourth of July, graveside visits on Memorial Day, gifts and religious services at Christmas time, the fasts and feasts of Ramadan, or the meals and gatherings at Passover. But few holidays are as synonymous with extravagant feeding as Thanksgiving, established to express gratitude (and perhaps no small amount of relief) that a handful of geographically challenged religious zealots were able to establish a beachhead on a new continent. Perhaps the thanks might have been directed more to the Native Americans who fed our founding Puritans than to their sometimes harsh God, but perhaps those neighborly mercies were a reflection of God's charity. But we celebrate the Puritans' borrowed bounty by eating as if we were starving. I'm not criticizing, just stating that the average Thanksgiving table has such a wide array of foods that the task of selecting a wine "to go with Thanksgiving", as is a perennial request from some magazine, newspaper or news reporter, seems to me rather beside the point. For one, I have always counseled restaurant servers to focus less upon matching wine to the food, and more upon matching wine to the customer. If someone drinks soft or even sweet wines, he or she is unlikely to find that remarkable pairing of leg of lamb and some amazingly powerful Napa Cabernet particularly compelling. To the palate of someone who loves Cabernet, it might be an exquisite pairing, but to someone who doesn't drink big red wines, it might be painful. The notion of selective food and wine pairing is based upon the unlikely circumstance that the recipient likes and drinks every kind of wine, therefore the perfect wine for the food, no matter its style, will be happily received. Barolo (a searingly powerful, astringent and tart wine) might be ideal for Osso Buco, but that doesn't make it ideal for most customers. 3 4


So it may come as little surprise that if you're trying to select a beverage for Thanksgiving dinner, my recommendation is that you first start by selecting a drink that you and your guests like. If it's German Riesling, drink that; if it's Barolo, go ahead and drink that too. But let's assume for a second that you are one of those rare breeds who drinks and likes everything. You'd like to know which beverage is ideal for Thanksgiving foods. As I've noted above, there are lots and lots of different foods that happily co-exist at the table on that high-caloric day, so we have to consider more than mere turkey.

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Of course, there are some folks who might have goose, capon, guinea hen or any other manner of winged creature, and some might even go for something from a hoofed creature, but most are having turkey. The usual storebought versions are all quite mild; try a heritage turkey someday if you want to see how turkey used to taste. But those Puritans didn't have turkey, at least as far as we can tell; they probably had much smaller birds for dinner, as well as lots of side dishes. So there's no reason to limit yourself to turkey. Nonetheless, mild meats usually call for relatively mild wines: for red wines, I'm particularly fond of Rhone wines (Jean-Luc Colombo or Perrin are two reliable producers), American Syrahs (Washington has a very elegant way with the grape, from Chateau Ste Michelle to DeLille, among many others) and sadly forgotten Beaujolais wines, especially those we call Beaujolais Cru wines (they are labeled by their delimited areas such as Morgon, Moulin-A-Vent or Brouilly). If you like your reds with a bit more tart and fruity snap, Italy may just what you're looking for: Chianti continues to enjoy a resurgence, and


Badia a Coltibuono, Rocca della Macie and Frescobaldi are consistently tasty. Valpolicella has a lighter reputation but from producers such as Allegrini, Masi and Zenato. If you want a bit more weight to your reds, there are delicious wines from Spain and Australia that could handle the array of foods too. What all these wines have in common is a preponderance of fruit. Turkey is mild, but many of Thanksgiving's side dishes are not; some of those side dishes are downright sweet. So I find myself happily popping bottles of wine with a bit of sweetness to them: Vouvrays, German Rieslings, Alsace Pinot Gris and Rieslings; any of these are likely to be found on my table on turkey day. While wine has become commonplace on many Thanksgiving tables, there's no reason to limit yourself to that: fall colors and weather makes me think about apple cider; I can't help it. The local versions are usually free of alcohol, though the apple ciders of yore were higher in octane than beer. If you want to provide your own punch to the cider, add some spiced rum and a little bit of butter and simple syrup, and serve it hot. Or if you want to drink exactly like our Puritanical ancestors, have some beer. We can't be sure what sort of beer they had, but we know that's the drink they preferred and the only drink they had left by the time of their original Thanksgiving celebration. Thankfully, Kansas City is blessed with several excellent brewpubs (McCoy's and 75th Street among them): and of course, the utterly remarkable Boulevard Brewery. 5 4


The Art of Barbecue

New fine art print celebrates Oklahoma Joe’s In Kansas City, barbecue is considered a fine art. And now, courtesy of painter Mike Savage, fine art is also barbecue. No, you can’t eat it, but it is a feast for the eyes. Especially for friends of Oklahoma Joe’s. Savage has created a painting of our joint at 47th & Mission that perfectly captures the colorful character and spirit of the place. And though the original painting hangs in the office of our owner, Jeff Stehney, prints of the artwork — titled “Joe’s BBQ, KCK” — are now available, just in time for holiday gift giving. Savage, 52, grew up in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School, along with “Cowtown” cartoonist and barbecue chronicler Charlie Podrebarac. “He sat right in front of me for eight years,” Savage says. “There must have been something in the water at that school, because there was a bunch of us who were really good at drawing and art.” Mike and Charlie have been best friends (and Plaza Art Fair booth neighbors) ever since. “Drawing is fundamental to most art, especially painting,” Savage observes. “If the painting is bad, it’s usually because the drawing was bad to start with. It’s like barbecue in that respect. It all starts with knowing how to cook. That’s fundamental. If can’t cook other stuff well, you sure won’t be able to make good barbecue.” 6 Savage attended the University of Kansas, earning a BA in art and 4


illustration. He went on to work as an graphic artist and creative director at several advertising agencies in the area before deciding to try making a go of it as a full-time independent artist. “I’m grateful to be making a living making art,” he says. “You think about how many high school basketball players eventually get to play in the NBA and obviously it’s very, very, few. I’m not saying I’m a big league artist. But I understand that I’m living a life that lots of artists only dream of.” Mike and his wife Cami are good friends of Oklahoma Joe’s owners Jeff and Joy Stehney, but his affection for barbecue pre-dates his friendship with Oklahoma Joe’s. It’s rooted in his love of art. “There’s a natural connection between food and drink and art and music. They all speak to something deep within the human soul. That’s why you so often see paintings on the walls in restaurants. It’s why you see such cool and creative labels on the beer bottles from craft breweries like Boulevard. Great civilizations leave behind their art, food, and beer. Kansas City has great art, great beer, and great food. So, clearly, Kansas City is a great civilization.”

Suitable for Framing (and gift giving) Special gallery-quality prints of Mike Savages’ painting — “Joe’s BBQ, KCK” — are on sale at both Oklahoma Joe’s restaurants and the Kansas City Barbeque Store. The size of the image is 10.6-inches high by 16-inches wide. The overall size of the print is 13.6-inches high by 19-inches wide, which includes a threeinch wide white border around the image. These are not limited edition prints and will not be numbered, however, Mike will sign all prints on the white border beneath the image. The price for the print is $60.

ays Home for the Holid s mporarily moved hi Mike Savage has te the Plaza for the gallery, Sav-Art, to a ason.Thegallery’sPlaz holidayshoppingse y th Street (previousl address is 440 W. 47 Republic). occupied by Banana 7 4


01 1 how To smoke a Turkey Deep-frying turkeys for Thanksgiving has become increasingly popular over the last several years. However, dipping a twelve-pound turkey into several gallons of boiling oil in easily-tipped-over cooker a is an inherently dangerous proposition which puts pets, children, the in-laws, the garage, the patio/deck, and the Thanksgiving feast itself at high risk. We recommend barbecue instead. If you’ve got the equipment and the inclination — and if you live in Kansas City you probably do — smoking your own holiday turkey is a fairly straightforward proposition. It doesn’t take much longer to cook a turkey on your grill/smoker than it does to cook it in your kitchen oven, and the result is a Kansas City-flavored bird that is sure to satisfy. Here are some tips from the Virtual Bullet web site; www. virtualweberbullet.com. Start with a 12-14 pound turkey. We recommend a natural or heritage turkey for real turkey flavor. When smoking a turkey, it’s best to avoid the heavily injected varieties. If your turkey is frozen when purchased, thaw it completely in the refrigerator, then rinse it thoroughly inside and out. It’s a good idea to brine your turkey before smoking it. This helps assure moister meat. Here’s what you need to do: First, find a large non-reactive container, big enough to hold the turkey. Food grade plastic is best. Make sure the container will fit inside your refrigerator. You may need to remove or adjust some shelves. Prepare your brine (see recipes). Place the turkey in the container, completely submerge it in brine, and put the brine container in the refrigerator for at least eight hours and up to 24 hours. The turkey and brine must be kept below 40 degrees during the entire brining process. The evening before you cook your turkey, remove the bird from the brine. Rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet and allow to air-dry overnight in the refrigerator.

Basic Brine • One gallon cold water • ½ cup dark brown sug • One cup Diamond Crys ar, packed tal Kosher Salt Mix in a non-reactive con taine Substitute ¾ cup Morton Ko r until dissolved. Makes one gallon of brine. sher Salt or ½ cup table sal t for Diamond Crystal. 8 4


This will help assure a crisper skin. About an hour before you start cooking, take the turkey out of the refrigerator. For a neat appearance, tuck the wings under the body, pin the neck skin down to the back using toothpicks or skewers, and tie the legs together using kitchen twine. Then, apply your favorite barbecue rub inside and out. We highly recommend Cowtown Sweet Spot. Let the turkey stand at room temperature while you fire up your cooker/smoker. Bring the temperature up to 325-350 degrees, before putting the turkey in. This is the temperature you’ll want to maintain for the duration of the cook. If you’re using a kettle-style cooker, set it up to cook with indirect heat by positioning your charcoal on one side of the cooker, then place the turkey on the rack on the opposite side of the cooker. Position the lid such that the top lid vent is over the turkey. This will draw the heat and smoke over and under the bird. Keep your top vent fully open throughout the cook. Adjust your cooking temperature using the bottom vents. Cook the turkey until the internal temperature, measured in the breast reaches 160 degrees. Depending on your cooker, the weather conditions, and your fire management, this make take anywhere from three to five hours. When the temp has reached 160 degrees, remove the turkey and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Carve the bird using a newly sharpened knife.

Apple Brine • 2 quarts apple juice • One pound brown sugar (light or dark) t • One cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Sal • 3 quarts cold water • 3 oranges, quartered • 4 ounces fresh ginger, unpeeled and thinly sliced Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and l salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boi Boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. t for one minute, remove from heat, le mixture come to room temperature, then refrigerate to 40 degrees. In a large non-reactive container,

• 15 whole cloves • 6 bay leaves • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed Substitute ¾ cup Morton Kosher Salt or ½ cup table salt for Diamond Crystal. combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining ingredients. When adding the oranges, squeeze each piece to n release the juice into the container, the drop in the peel. When using this recipe, plan to brine your turkey for 24 hours. 9 4


Read all about it! Give the gift of barbecue books

Of course, the Kansas City Barbeque Store is your favorite, most trusted, source for barbecue sauces, rubs, spices, smokers, and accessories. But the Kansas City Barbeque Store is also a vast repository of barbecue knowledge and scholarship, not all of it in the heads of its staff. Much of it is contained in the scores of different barbecue books the store keeps in stock. These titles range from basic how-to manuals, to more sophisticated cookbooks, to regional barbecue histories, to gorgeous coffee table photo books. Here are some of our favorites we think will make great holiday gifts for the barbecue lovers in your family. Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Harvard Common Press, 1994) This exceptionally well-researched and expertly written book is foundational for serious and aspiring barbecue cooks alike. The authors respect and love of authentic barbecue cooking is evident on every page. Purists may quibble with their inclusion of certain fish dishes and grilling recipes, but better to be inclusive than exclusive, when it comes to barbecue. A note of caution: some experienced cooks have reported that the suggested cooking times in some recipes are not long enough. Dr. BBQ’s Big-Time Barbecue Cookbook, by Ray Lampe (St. Martin’s Press, 2005) Ray Lampe is one of those characters who, if he didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. A former Chicago truck driver and frequent barbecue champion, Lampe has a bigger-thanbig persona and a wealth of barbecue knowledge, both of which are invaluable to the barbecue community at-large and to cooks of levels of expertise. His passion for barbecue is palpable and his recipes highly palatable. Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book, by Chris Lilly (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2009) Chris Lilly is one of the most respected pitmasters in American barbecue. His experience, expertise, and engaging telegenic personality have helped attract thousands to cooking barbecue themselves, either in their backyards or on the completion circuit. His tasty cookbook is a sweet and savory sauce of history, instruction, and recipes, accompanied by delicious photographs. 10 4


Peace, Love and Barbecue, by Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe (Rodale 2005) Mike Mills is a barbecue legend. A past world champion on the competitive barbecue circuit, and a successful barbecue restaurateur, he has written a book that is as entertaining as it is educational. Steeped in lore, and chuck full of authentic and accessible recipes from across America’s barbecue. Barbecue; the History of an American Institution, by Robert F. Moss (The University of Alabama Press, 2010) Perhaps the most thoroughly researched book, yet, on the history of American barbecue traditions. A scholarly, though highly accessible work, this book is must for the library of anyone who is passionate about America’s first food, and hungry to learn more about it. Texas BBQ, Photographs by Wyatt McSpadden (University of Texas Press, 2009) This book is a work of art. It transcends barbecue. It is a portrait of a region, a culture, and a way of life that all Americans — regardless of their taste for barbecue — should know about and even cherish. The photographs capture in loving and perfect detail the breadth and depth of Texas’ barbecue traditions. This is not a book to read. It is a book to love. Thin Blue Smoke, a barbecue novel by Doug Worgul (Macmillan UK, 2009) Since your humble reviewer has an inherent conflict of interest in evaluating this particular book (he wrote it), he’ll let other reviewers speak on its behalf: “Thin Blue Smoke makes the poetry of Kansas City barbecue accessible to all readers. More than gorgeous prose and fully developed characters — this novel offers us catharsis. Communion has never tasted so good.” — Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook and Sorta Like a Rock Star “Thin Blue Smoke is an epic American redemption tale. It is a story of love and loss, hope and despair, God and whiskey, barbecue and the blues. Hilarious and heart-rending, sacred and profane, this book marks the emergence of a vital new voice in American fiction.” — From the publisher, Macmillan “...beautiful and affecting... This novel will satisfy anyone who reads it.” — Jo Caird, reviewer for CultureWars.org, the online review of the Institute of Ideas in London. 11 4


Holiday desserts T

he holidays are a time to celebrate the many ethnic traditions that have enriched our community. And there’s no better way to celebrate than with food. Especially dessert. Enjoy these yummy after-dinner dishes from two Kansas City families, each with a rich culinary heritage.

Browne’s Irish Marketplace and Deli, at 33rd and Pennsylvania, is a Kansas City and American treasure. Founded in 1887, it has the distinction of being the nation’s oldest Irish-owned and operated business. It is certainly one of Kansas City’s oldest enterprises, and perhaps the oldest to have been continually owned and operated by a single family. The founders’ great-granddaughter, Kerry Browne, and her husband John McClain, are the store’s current proprietors. This traditional Irish dessert which features the surprising ingredient of Porter beer with a cake recipe is a Browne family favorite and a tasty alternative to the dreaded Christmas fruitcake.

Browne’s Porte r Cake

• • • •

1 cup Boulevard Bully Po rter beer 1 cup butter 1 cup brown(e) sugar 6 cups mixed dried fruit ( eq quantities raisins, dried c ual urrants, apricots, and pineapple ) • 4 cups flour

• • • • • • •

½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. cloves ½ tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. ginger Grated rind from one sma ll lemon 3 medium eggs 3 additional egg yolks Preheat oven to 325 de grees. In a saucepan co mbine the porter, butter, Over medium heat, stir and sugar. until for ten minutes. Set aside butter and sugar are melted. Add fruit and si mmer and let cool. Then add t he and lemon rind and stir to combine. In a small m flour, baking soda, spices ixing bowl, beat eggs an yolks, then stir into flou d e r and fruit mixture with wooden spoon. Pour mixt gg a greased 9-inch cake p ur an and bake for one hou r and 45 minutes. Us the e into method to check for don toothpick eness. Let the cake cool in the pan. Serve with fr whipped cream. A bit of esh sugar and a splash of I rish whisky in the whippe wouldn’t hurt. d cream 12 4


from “a "table Full of Welcome"“ The Peach Tree Buffet is a Kansas City soul food destination. Actually, to be more accurate, the Peach Tree Buffet is the Kansas City soul food destination. Owners Vera Willis and her husband Lavell have been serving up authentic Southern fare from their original south Kansas City restaurant since 1996. They’ve since added locations in Lee’s Summit and in the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City. The Willis’ are church-going Bible-reading people which contributes mightily to the soulfulness of their soul food. They’re also righteous good cooks. Vera calls this recipe “Big Momma’s Bread Pudding.”

ad P udding Big Momma’s Bre

• 3 cups sugar or cut in • 4 cups toasted bread, torn • 1 tsp. salt pieces • 1 tsp. nutmeg • 1 quart whole milk • 1 tsp. cinnamon ed • 1-½ sticks of butter, melt • 1 tbsp. baking powder ract • 1-½ tsps. real vanilla ext • 4 eggs ughly combine butter, . In a large mixing bowl thoro ees egr 0 d 35 to ven t o hea Pre powder. Stir in milk. Add tmeg, cinnamon, and baking nu lt, , sa gar su gs, , eg illa van r casserole and bake for into a buttered baking dish o our t. P coa to tir d s an ad bre is gently shaken. Cover longer jiggles when the pan no ing dd pu til un or ur ho one get too dark. with foil if the top begins to ct For the sauce: • 1 tbsp. real vanilla extra • 2 cups whole milk • ¼ tsp. nutmeg • 1 tbsp. cornstarch • 2 eggs, slightly beaten • 1-½ cups sugar at, stirring cepan. Cook over medium he sau m diu me a s in ent edi eam. Serve Combine all ingr the consistency of heavy cr to ens ick th ure ixt m the til continuously un warm over bread pudding.

Recipes from A Table Full of Welcome, by Doug Worgul (Star Books, 2002), courtesy The Kansas City Star. Visit www.thekansascitystore.com.

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Someone's in the Kitchen

meet melissa Waters NAME: Melissa Waters AGE: 35 POSITION: Catering Director, Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering TENURE: 2 years What’s an ocean-loving, Oregon girl doing in a place like this? Serving up great barbecue to office events, wedding receptions, game day parties, corporate lunches, and family reunions. Melissa is our catering director — the individual responsible for everything from helping you plan your catered event, to preparing the food, delivery and set-up, and even serving your guests. Though she was born in Portland, Oregon, she grew up in Topeka where she worked her way through college at Champion’s BBQ , a small, family owned business known for its ribs and hot pickles. Melissa began her career as the Banquet & Catering Manager for Hereford House in Lawrence. “Then, in 2006, I moved to Kansas City, and found myself back in the barbecue world,” she says. “I spent the two years at KC Masterpiece, then in 2008 I found my home here at Oklahoma Joe’s, which is of course, the best.” This summer Melissa had the way cool experience of serving barbecue to the White House staff during a presidential visit to Kansas City. “Having the Secret Service ride with me in my car was, well, exciting to say the least.” Melissa is eager to help her catering customers plan the best possible event. “My best advice is to plan ahead, especially during the holiday season and at graduation time. These days book up very fast.” For fun, Melissa heads for either coast. “My passion is scuba diving and snorkeling,” she says. “I also love to cook, but do not attempt much barbecue at home. Why would I, when I have perfection to choose from at work?”

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Wanna work at Oklahoma Joe’s? Drop us a line at jobs@oklahomajoesbbq. com and tell us a bit about yourself. We’ll get back to you.


BBQ & A must be Santa! in which we chat with ol' St. Nick Burnt Ends: Thank you for taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to chat with us, Santa. We’re all looking forward to your visit next month. Santa Claus: Well, Kansas City is one of my favorite Christmas Eve destinations. Even at 35,000 feet, travelling at the speed of light, I can smell that wonderful smoke from all your excellent barbecue joints. Which is much better than in the old days, when all I could smell were the noxious fumes emanating from your stockyards down there in the West Bottoms. BE: Are Kansas Citians generally naughty or nice? SC: Mostly nice. Barbecue has a mellowing effect. BE: So, any good barbecue joints up there at the North Pole? SC: Absolutely none. If I want good barbecue, I have to make it myself. I have a real nice custom-made 30-inch Horizon barrel smoker. Cooks enough ribs and pork butt for me and the elves. BE: Ever smoke any reindeer? SC: You better watch out! You keep talkin’ like that and you’re in for a lump of coal in your stocking! BE: Sorry. Change of subject. As you know, we Kansas Citians like our blues and jazz. How about you, Santa? What’s on your iPod? SC: I’m all about the blues! Especially the old school stuff. I love me some B.B. King. And Kansas City’s own Big Joe Turner could shout ‘em out like nobody else. Seems like wherever you find good barbecue you find good music. BE: We know you have to get back to your toyshop. Thanks for your time, Santa. SC: My pleasure. Hey, before I go, you guys might think about putting some signage up on your restaurant rooftops. Last Christmas I tried shoving myself down the chimney of one your smokers. Imagine my surprise when I found myself rotating on a rack full of briskets

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— 2 LoCaTIoNs — 47th & MISSION 3002 West 47th Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66103 913-722-3366 Monday-Thursday: 11 am - 8:30 pm Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 9:30 pm Closed Sundays OLATHE 11950 S. Strang Line Road Olathe, Kansas 66062 913-782-6858 Monday-Thursday: 11 am - 9 pm Friday & Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm Closed Sundays

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Jeff and Joy Stehney, Owners & Proprietors Steve Querrey, Director of Operations

www.okLahomajoesbbq.Com BURNT ENDS was created, written, and edited by Doug Worgul, Oklahoma Joe’s Writer-in-Residence,www.dougworgul.com AND Kelly Ludwig, Queen O’ Design, www.ludwig-design.com. And to all a good night!

Burnt Ends #3  

The house publication of Oklahoma Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que

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