Eye opener

A three-way platter from Cross Eyed Katy’s comes with ribs, quartered chicken, brisket, potato salad, broccoli salad and a corn muffin.

A three-way platter from Cross Eyed Katy’s comes with ribs, quartered chicken, brisket, potato salad, broccoli salad and a corn muffin.


Cross Eyed Katy’s is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If the menu at Cross Eyed Katy’s seems a bit familiar, it’s because the location was formerly a Kinder’s BBQ. After purchase by a local family and being re-branded as an independent shop, it’s making a slow evolution toward its own identity. There are burgers, sandwiches and salads. There’s also a kid’s menu, and a few breakfast items. On a recent visit, I was focused on getting a slew of barbecue takeout to feed hungry folks at home.

With my focus set on smoked meats, I chose beef ball-tip ($9.98 per pound) and pulled pork ($10.98 per pound). They were out of brisket, so I settled for barbecue beef ($11.98 per pound). We rounded that out with ribs (a full rack for $23.95 or half for $12.95), chicken quarters ($3.95 each), and nearly every deli salad they offer ($2 for an eight-ounce cup).

Also known as bottom sirloin, the ball-tip cut of beef is adjacent to the tri-tip cut and is very similar in texture and flavor. The meat was moist, smoky and good even before adding sauce. Speaking of sauces, they were all quite tasty. We sampled mild, hot, extra hot and roasted garlic. The extra hot was really zippy, and the garlic had a touch of sweetness that worked to counteract any bitter notes—good stuff.

The pulled pork was what I would call adequate—not a lot of bark or flavor on its own, but probably good in a sandwich with plenty of sauce and slaw. The barbecue beef was OK, The smoke and bark gave it a decent flavor that still came through, even with a heavy dose of the mild sauce. The smoked chicken quarter was among the best I’ve ever had, with excellent spice rub, skin that wasn’t rubbery, and moist, flavorful meat. I didn’t bother putting sauce on it, because it was gone too quickly after the first bite. Similarly, the St. Louis style ribs had very good flavor on their own, smoked in the “gnaw it off the bone” style I prefer. The addition of spicy barbecue sauce to that meaty pork bone made for a tasty nosh.

The sides included chopped cucumber with red onion and grape tomato in a mild vinaigrette, elbow macaroni in classic mayo sauce with a sweet aftertaste and bacon mac and cheese. We also tried broccoli florets with chopped grapes in a white dressing of neutral flavor, a very basic potato salad, cole slaw, and a three bean salad that wasn’t half bad. The macaroni and potato salads were both of the sweet variety and could have used more salt. The mac and cheese was a little soupy, but the bacon made it work. The slaw really needs more vinegar snap and a touch of salt, and I was frankly surprised at how well that fruit and broccoli combo worked. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

All the meats mentioned here are available as combo plates and sandwiches. Most of the pre-seasoned meats are available for retail purchase for grilling at home. I’m no slouch at the grill, but in this instance I’ll leave the cooking to professionals and return for another taste of that perfect chicken and ball-tip roast—so, so good.