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Rooster’s Competition BBQ aims to live up to KC quality


  • Griffin Swartzell

Rooster’s Competition BBQ, Mobile business, 799-6916,

What is competition-style barbecue? It’s what owner Marty Marlow makes for Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned barbecue competitions across the state. The standards are a little different.

Ribs, for instance, are expected to pull off the bone cleanly and hold bite marks, not fall apart. We learn these little distinctions later, as Marlow isn’t on-site when we visit his truck, and he’s failed to properly educate his employees. But we’re not without sumptuous options, as the lunch special combo offers us a sandwich, side and drink for $10.

We try the Eastern NC Porker, a sandwich sauced with North Carolina-style, vinegar-based barbecue sauce. The tender meat does well under clean vinegar sourness, and house-made cole slaw atop provides a cool, crunchy, creamy counterpoint. It’s different, and the sogged-past-uselessness bottom bun makes a fork mandatory, but we enjoy every sour-savory-creamy bite.

On the side, we pick house-made potato salad, which has a good creaminess and tender potato chunks punctuated by coarse-cut celery, but it lacks flavor beyond tang and cream.

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