Smokey D’s BBQ, Des MoinesGourmet Live guest columnist Rachel Wharton asked four champions of the barbecue contest circuit to name their favorite cue’ joints around the country. Download the free Gourmet Live app to get all their smokin’ selections.
A favorite of Bar–B–Quau’s Mike Wozniak, Smokey D’s is the collaborative effort of two top–ranking Iowan competitive barbecue teams, Darren and Sherry Warth and Shad and Angie Kirton. (Shad Kirton, a trained chef who used to helm a fine–dining restaurant in nearby Perry, was a 2010 winner on BBQ Pitmasters.). All three outposts of Smokey D’s are known for ribs, sausage, brisket, and burnt ends, but the newest location also features a hungry–man style “Big D Menu” with platters like the Man Handler, a pound of your choice of smoked meat piled on half a loaf of garlic bread and covered with cheese. The place also reportedly makes one of the area’s better renditions of the Des Moines specialty sandwich called the tenderloin, perhaps because of the barbecue–spice rub the paper–thin pork cutlet gets before it’s panko–battered and fried. (5055 N.W. 2nd St., Des Moines; 515–243–2747)