Oct 212009
 

FAT CITY REPORTS THAT MATCHSTICK HAS CLOSED AS OF DEC.3

The circumstances surrounding my visit to Matchstick BBQ are not ideal for blog posting, but I’m going to chime in anyway. You see, I swung by after a lengthy physical examination at KU Med for which I had to fast. I ate nothing all day until about 12:30 when I staggered into Matchstick looking for a big sloppy pulled pork sandwich and some fries.

This dining area is very small but very pleasant, holding six tables, three booths as well as some seating at a small bar.

matchstick_bar

The place is punctuated by some interesting items of decor such as a scythe, an old wooden tabletop pinball game, the ubiquitous cow skull and an apparently real English telephone booth. And gentlemen, while you pee, you can consider what is either genuine advertisement or a questionable piece of fine art.

matchstick_bathroomThis is a sit-down joint, which wasn’t immediately clear when I entered. The waitress greeted me and told me to have a seat. She was in the middle of taking orders from another table and didn’t get me a menu for about 10 minutes.

Matchstick is clearly much more than a simple BBQ place. The menu contains a variety of meat-tastic offerings such as the ‘Jamestown Hero:’

Pulled Pork and smoked bacon topped with our famous creamy and crispy cole slaw on a bun. $6.99

Here’s a pic of the Jamestown hero from their facebook page.

When my server finally got to me I opted for the very reasonable lunch special: pulled pork and side for 5.99. It’s hard to beat that at a BBQ spot. Interestingly the waitress offered me a choice of bread: hoagie roll, bun or texas toast. I opted for the texas toast since it’s the closest thing I can think of to plain white bread which is my preference. I got some fries with it, but could have opted for beans, potato salad, cole slaw or cheesy corn bake. The waitress forgot to put the order in to the kitchen for a few more minutes so this whole thing took a little longer than it should have, especially since I was one of two tables by the time I got my food.

But that’s where the complaints stop. The sandwich came out looking pretty good.

matchstick_plate

The texas toast was buttered and grilled which I should have expected. I found it to be a little too greasy but still pleasant. As you can see this pork is pretty finely shredded which is not my normal preference, but this was very tasty. It had a distinctly mild smoke flavor which undoubtedly comes from their advertised use of fruit woods (as opposed to hickory which is quite a bit more pungent.)

But I would eat shoe leather if it came with Matchstick’s sauce.

The sauce does not have that distinctive twang of Gates but it a bit spicier. The heat dances around your mouth like tiny, delicious angels of flavorocity. It has sweetness, but without the cloying syrupyness that plagues others. Maybe it was just my extreme hunger, but I was ready to declare it my favorite sauce in the city.

Alright virgins obsessive barbecue enthusiasts, this is where you proceed to berate the shit out of me.

I have only been to Matchstick once and there is more than enough to bring me back. Breakfast for starters, looks very promising, as do the sandwiches. They also have onion rings for $5.99 so they must be the best damn rings in town.

It bears mentioning that there are no ribs here (at least not that I could find on the menu), just beef, ham, turkey, sausage and pulled pork. They are also without a liquor license for the moment; a full bar should be in place by Halloween. 39th street is not known for its barbecue, so I think this place fills a niche. Once they get booze and can stay open late (they are promising live entertainment) I can see this becoming a cozy little hangout. Let’s just hope, with all the restaurant competition and the poor economy, that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Matchstick BBQ on Urbanspoon

  7 Responses to “Matchstick BBQ: 1809 W 39th St – CLOSED”

  1. By the way the fries were outstanding, Very similar to Oklahoma Joe's but without the excessive seasoning.

  2. Meat-tastic flavoricity? I am so there.

  3. Good to know! I work at KU Med and no idea that was there…

  4. I agree with the sauce – great stuff. I've had the brisket sandi, fies AND rings: rings were good, but at the price? Meh… Still, I'll go back…

  5. I tried Matchstick a couple of weeks ago maybe longer. I agree the food is pretty good and the price is right.
    It is unfortunate however that the service hasn't gotten any better. At my visit the server made me feel so unwelcome I made my order to go.

  6. I had a good server experience there. Then again, I WAS the only person there, but that can often work against you.

    And the sauce? I found it very tasty. The thing I liked most is that it tastes like effing barbecue sauce–they weren't trying to make the most unique, secret-ingredient-laden sauce EVARRRRR like you see a lot of places try to do.

    Sadly, I still don't see it surviving for long. There is simply never anyone in there, and their carryout business (often the lifeblood of barbecue places) can't be great given its location and lack of easy curbside pickup.

  7. […] space has been attractively renovated and is barely recognizable from its days as Matchstick BBQ, a short-lived but fairly solid breakfast and smoked meat joint on 39th Street West. Given the name […]