Saturday, April 24th 2021 was the first live show I’ve had since the summer of 2020. There was only 4 shows, to my memory, in that entire year. I was playing in Ames, Iowa as a part of the Goldfinch Room series. It was my third time playing their great songwriter’s showcase and the third location they had hosted me at. The same went for Casey Joe Collins. He was completing the cycle as well. Together, we played on the stage of Stephen’s Auditorium on the Iowa State University campus. We had a lighting tech, a sound guy, and a wonderful green room. They had just gotten everything finished in this new backstage space. A green room that wasn’t complete when the Tedeschi Trucks Band played the auditorium a while back. Hard to believe we followed in their footsteps. I can’t imagine a better way to jump back into things than with how we were treated that night. Everything went smoothly and the crowd of concert goers were so receptive to our performances and stories. Though, I will admit, that I was a ball of nerves before the show, having not played for close to a year. I had to get my hands on some comfort food before the show. Boy, did I find it.
That’s what I’m doing here at The Baked Bean Blog. Talking comfort food.
The entire meal was served family style on a tray lined with butcher paper and sided with sliced white bread. This was an authentic BBQ experience, right in the middle of Iowa. This little blog is dedicated to baked beans, but I feel obligated to say that the brisket and ribs were the best I’ve ever had. Their housemade sausage was also to die for. Authentic BBQ. We got two sides with our meat. The “Hallelujah Potatoes” which are aptly named. The other side was “Apple Pork & Beans”. Being family style, these beans were served up in a large enamel dish. This was a multi-bean concoction that was cooked to perfection. Aside from the beans, there were several additions that really set this dish off. Best I could tell, there were bell peppers and onions in the mix. A great textural addition were tender chunks of pork shoulder. There’s the pork of its namesake. In an unexpected, and yet unseen, addition to the dish, Cornbred included diced apples for a great sweet addition. The first part of their name. The vegetables, pork shoulder, and apples were all cooked to perfection and created a fantastic mouthfeel with different additions to this dish. All of these were served in a mild, sweet sauce and there was a noticeable smoke presence in the dish, as well. This thing was perfect and then some.
Ratings (On a scale of 1-5)
Total Score: 15
For what it's worth,
Tedeschi Trucks Band: 5
My wife and I recently moved to Des Moines, Iowa and being this close to Kansas City, I decided to head down there to celebrate my 35th birthday. We have hardly been out of the house in the last year, especially compared to how we traveled prior to the pandemic. We were excited to be traveling somewhere that neither of us had been to. We booked a hotel, and a few weeks later, we were southbound down I-35. We visited the Kansas City Zoo. It was incredibly impressive. We walked 5 miles, under full sunshine, going through the entire facility. After that was over, we headed up to the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City. A decent hotel in a wildly unique section of the city. Murals all over. Independently owned shops. This was my kind of place. There were 5 breweries within about a half mile of each other. Some around the corner from each other. We started on one end and drank our way down the stretch. It was a fantastic way to celebrate turning 35. Animals, great beer, and the food. Great food.
That’s what you’re here for. The food.
We like to watch the Netflix series “Queer Eye” and in the first season of the show, they go down and “zhuzh up” a family bbq joint called Jones BBQ. Ever since watching that episode, we had a plan to make sure and visit it. I’m so glad we did. Phenomenal homemade sausage, perfectly smoked ribs, and great sides to boot. Especially their beans. I’ll start with it’s biggest, but maybe only, downfall. The serving was much too small. I know it’s only a side dish, but no serving could be too large with flavor like that. These beans were served up in a small, lidded, styrofoam cup and paired with plastic silverware. As far as I could tell, this dish was a single bean variety. Those beans were cooked to a near perfect consistency. You knew you were eating beans, but it wasn’t a chore. The sauce they were served in had a sweet sauce that had a slightly tangy backbone to it. There was a presence of smoke in the dish. The exact trio of flavors I look for in baked beans. The genius behind this recipe decided to throw chunks of brisket into the dish to help lend some layers of texture. A great move. Beans and brisket are a fantastic combination. In addition to the meat and beans, there was a nice vegetable addition with white onions and bell peppers. These, like the beans, were cooked to a great consistency. Jones BBQ has become famous for their sauce and all the great smoked meats. I think they deserve a little more credit for this side.
Ratings (On a scale of 1-5)
(Top score so far)
Total Score: 14
For what it's worth,
Kansas City Zoo: 5