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City Barbecue (Kentwood)

November 6, 2019

  • 3050 28th Street SE
  • Kentwood, MI 49512
  • (616) 678-2355
  • Website
  • Menu

L has really gotten in to ice skating.  She’s doing both the KOHA Learn To Skate and the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association Learn to Skate right now.  She can’t decide if she wants to play hockey or figure skate but either way, she really likes being on the ice.

The GKSA program has a half hour of free skate time that parents can sign up for.  L has really wanted me to skate with her during those times so even though I pay for it the next day, I’ve been doing it.

I got tired of using the rental skates though.  I wanted to get my own pair but didn’t want to buy new since I barely use them.  I always used to buy used sports equipment from Play It Again Sports but Kalamazoo doesn’t have one of those…..so I went to Grand Rapids.

There are two PIAS in the Grand Rapids metro.  I went to the one off 28th Street.  I got what I needed then got back on 28th Street to head home.  I knew I had plenty of food options along that stretch but it was the BBQ place that drew me in.

City Barbecue is a chain of BBQ restaurants out of Dublin, OH.  They have about 50 restaurants in seven states.  The only two in Michigan are this one in Kentwood on 28th and Radcliffe across from the Woodland Mall and one in Troy just off I-75.

The restaurant is a counter service set up with ordering at one and pick up at the other.  They had just opened when I walked in so everyone was still kind of getting the store together.  A guy came out of the kitchen area to see if I was ready to order.  It didn’t take me long to settle on a Beef Brisket Sandwich and an order of Fresh-Cut Fries.

I took a seat at a long pub tabled sized bar to wait for my order.  I watched one of the cooks  pull a brisket out of the huge smoker that’s attached to the back of the building.  You can smell the smoke long before you enter the restaurant but the deliciousness fills your nostrils as you sit there waiting for something to be put in front of you.

I actually didn’t take very long for my meal to come up.  I grabbed it and headed to the large display of BBQ sauces next to the pop machine.  I didn’t grab sauce for my brisket but I love BBQ sauce with my fries.  I got a little bit of the Sweet City and a little bit of the Original.

The dining room is rather large and I had it all to myself.  There’s a mix of pub tables and four tops in the dining space lit mostly by natural light.  There can lights and string lights for after the sun goes down but even in the middle of the afternoon, it felt a little dark.

I started with the sandwich so I could give the fries time to cool.  Turns out, the brisket was pretty hot too but I forged ahead.

The sandwich is a pretty typical white bread bun and it doesn’t look very big but they really stack the meat on there.  The brisket was right out of the smoker.  It was super tender, juicy, and had a really good salty bark.  Sure, I had BBQ sauce on my tray but there was no need to use.

The fries are my favorite kind of fries.  They’re fresh cut.  They’re crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.  They’re still a little greasy.  They’re great with BBQ sauce.  I love any place that doesn’t use the cheap, frozen french fries.  It only takes a few extra seconds to slice and cook potatoes and it makes all the difference in the world.  If two places have BBQ that is pretty similar, the place with the better fries is always the one I will go back to.

The cost of my meal, with a drink, was just slightly under $10 which is kind of amazing for the quality and quantity of food I got.

I know it’s never ok in the foodie world to say you like a chain restaurant but I really did like City Barbecue.  While the restaurant itself may look and feel a little cookie-cutter, the food doesn’t.  This is the kind of quality food I would expect from a small, local BBQ joint.

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