Friday, June 14, 2013


On the afternoon of May 20th, 2013 a powerful EF5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. Disrupting the lives of thousands of people, including me and my wife.

I had watched the storm pass less than a mile south of our home from the safety of my downtown Oklahoma City office. I knew getting into our neighborhood was going to be difficult and that our power would be out. So being the true top secret, super ninja, BBQ blogger I am. I decided to stay out of the way of the first responders and I headed for Choctaw to try Simmon's BBQ Shack.

Yeah, I know that's not the best picture of their sign but now you know that they are located next to a Chinese restaurant in Choctaw Plaza. If you're familiar with Choctaw you'll recognize this as the old Subway location.

The menu board at Simmon's is located at the front counter, where you will be placing your order, at floor level. It's a nice looking chalkboard style menu board but it's location makes it kind of hard to read from the line.

As you can see in the picture above. The sign is almost totally obscured by the woman's bottom..... Well ok, I may be exaggerating just a little about how big her bottom was but prior to me being able to snap this pic her son had been standing in front of it blocking our view.

Since I was a recently anointed KCBS BBQ Judge I decided to order the KCBS Competitor because the menu said "Judge it for yourself".

The KCBS Competitor is chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket which just happen to be the same four categories that are judged by Appearance, Taste, & Tenderness on a scale of 1-9 at KCBS competitions. It also comes with two sides and toast.
Chicken Score: 1-1-1

You may notice from that picture above that my chicken looks a lot like hotlinks. So I had to give the chicken a score of 1 which is a disqualification. They had sold out of chicken right as I placed my order. So I was offered hotlinks instead.

The hotlinks really weren't all that hot and had a slightly sweet flavor but I liked them.

Ribs Score: 6-7-8

I would have given the ribs a 7 (Above Average) for appearance but the sauce was just ladled over them unevenly so I dinged them a point. The taste was pretty good. A hint of smokiness and the sauce did complement the meat well. I do prefer to add the sauce myself but it worked for me.

The rib was cooked well and pulled away where I bit it. I know some of you like the meat to fall off the bone but I prefer to eat my ribs one bite at a time. Rather than having a big hunk of meat fall off as I bite into it.

Pork Score: 7-5-7

The appearance and the tenderness of the pork were pretty good but the meat had a bitter flavor. I'm going to describe it as a lighter fluid flavor but don't take that as I think Simmon's BBQ Shack is using lighter fluid in their smoker.

I don't know what type of smoker Simmon's BBQ Shack is using but I've tasted the same flavor from Q-raunts that use gas fired smokers so it was probably something that came from the wood and I would say it's not typically how the pork at Simmon's tastes but I had to judge the sample I was given and that's how it tasted.

Brisket Score: 6-8-8

The brisket looked like your average Okie brisket but it was well cooked and had a good flavor and texture. It's rare that I can eat the brisket in an Oklahoma Q-raunt without a gallon of water and other moisture laden foods to help choke it down. That's not the case at Simmon's. I was able to enjoy each and every bite and would gladly order it again.
As you can see I chose mac and cheese and beans as my sides. The mac and cheese was kind of meh. The pasta was cooked well but overall it could be a bit creamier.

The beans appeared to be doctored up a little with some meat but weren't anything spectacular.

You may notice there is no toast in the picture. Well they had ran out of toast when our order was ready so they had sent their son to run over to the William's IGA across the plaza to get some bread.

When the toast finally arrived their were some extra pieces and wait for it.... IT WAS TOASTED ON BOTH SIDES!!!

I was wrapping it around my chicken....errrr... I mean my hot links and making bite sized hot link sammiches. Which were very tasty.

As you can see in the picture above. You wait in line to order at the front counter. Now take in to account that this is a brand new. locally owned, mom & pop operation and I think they are brand new to the restaurant business also. So the service was a little slow. The night we were there they were short handed and had their kids bussing the tables.

 I think they are still trying to get a handle on how much food they need to cook too because they had sold out of chicken and were down to their last slab of ribs..

I've seen some complaints about slow service recently on Urbanspoon. Well you need to understand that Simmon's isn't serving fast food but they are serving good food. I think they are a great addition to Choctaw and I'll be eating there again.

Also don't take my KCBS scores to seriously. It's not fair to judge any Q-raunt by KCBS standards.

Simmons BBQ Shack on Urbanspoon

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