After reading JJS' great review of Adam's Rib on their opening day yesterday, I knew I was going to have to go today for my barbecue Thursday. I got there a little after noon and was impressed that the parking lot was almost full. I'll bet the Overland Park City Hall workers have been impatiently waiting for the place to open. When I walked in I noticed that the dining room had a good number of people already seated and eating.
I walked up to the counter to place my order and was greeted by the counter worker raising her arm up as to give me a high five. I was concerned about what my next step was going to be. Was she going to give me a high five because I was the best looking customer so far (not likely), because of my sweet Irish flat hat or because of my Ireland track jacket or simply because that is the way Adam's Rib was going to welcome customers? Any of the 4 was possible but I have a pretty strict no high five rule, leaving people hanging be damned. Luckily, the high five didn't play into my dining experience, she was just raising her arm to direct me to the other register where they take your order. Her register was to take your cash. It's a system used by Oklahoma Joe's in Olathe for reasons that are unclear to me, who has never worked in a restaurant. But the layout of Adam's Rib pretty much directs customers to the wrong register. And the mistake is multiplied by the horrible 2 seconds where I had to comtemplate a high five.
I ordered a regular pulled pork sandwich and fries, my standard barbecue order. They have some compelling sides, notably the cheesy corn bread, but for a first time I stick to the basics. I then went back to the high five lady and paid her my $7.50 (approximately). She told me it would be up in a couple of minutes so I wandered around a bit. I noticed they had Pepsi products in the fountain (clearly an inferior choice), but did have Strawberry soda as a selection. Strawberry or Orange soda is a necessity in a barbecue restaurant's fountain selection.
I ran out of things to walk around and look at so I sat down at the nearest open table (I ordered my food to go). They didn't really have a good place for people waiting on carryout orders to wait. This shouldn't be a problem, but it took an awful long time to put my pulled pork sandwich together, they may have been waiting for the fries. When it was ready, it was not in a to go container and I had to tell them (for the 3rd time mind you, I told the lady who took my order, the lady I paid and again now) that this was to go. They then boxed it up quickly. I had to ask for a couple of extra sauces, they gave them to me and I was on my way.
When I opened the box I was immediately impressed by the amount of meat in the bun. The last time I saw this much meat in some buns, Rocco Siffredi was involved. Also included was a large amount of fries. The fries are the standard potato press kind with a little bit of peel on the corner pieces. They were cooked nicely with a good crisp outside, but they didn't have an abundance of flavor. Nothing wrong with them, but it's probably safe to opt for a different side. The pork was super juicy with very little of the burnt end parts of the pork. It was definitely a lot more juicy than Oklahoma Joe's but doesn't have quite the flavor. Also because of the lack of the burnt parts, the sandwich had a bit of a texture problem, it was a little too soft, like eating wet bread, really great tasting wet bread, but wet bread nonetheless. It was a solid sandwich, texture notwithstanding. The flavor could have been enhanced a little more with a good sauce. Unfortunately, Adam's Rib doesn't have a very good sauce. It's like a sweet version of Bull's Eye (is Bull's Eye even around anymore). A good vinegar based sauce would put the pulled pork sandwich over the top if they would toast the bun a little. I would almost prefer the sandwich without the sauce, with only a sprinkle of the rub over the pulled pork. I don't know, the pork was missing just a little bit of flavor and the sauce wasn't good enough to bail it out.
Overall, I was pretty happy with my lunch. For a little over $7, I got a generous amount of meat that I enjoyed putting in my mouth (a deal that can't be beat in any rest area) and a good amount of fries. I just wish I could have loved one of the items. The service was extremely friendly, almost over the top and their enthusiasm certainly made up for any mistakes they made in preparing my order. You should give it a shot.