I have a few goals in life. I want to get my alleged flower garden under control. I want to lose a few (OK, several) pounds. And I want to visit every incarnation of Jethro’s BBQ in the area.
Hmmm — those last two goals may not work the best together. Too bad; I’m sticking with visiting Jethro’s. To that end, my dining companion and I took our lunch break at Jethro’s BBQ n’ Pork Chop Grill on Northwest 86th Street.
We arrived just as the restaurant opened, and I saw something I had never seen before: an empty restaurant. Lunches were being prepared, though. Big bags of food were being picked up by folks in business attire, no doubt to be taken back to lucky co-workers. After about 20 minutes the place began to fill up.
The quiet time gave me a chance to check out all the testimonials and awards decorating the walls. Copies of articles from several local publications were featured in frames. The restaurant has won national acclaim as well — “Men’s Health” voted it the manliest restaurant, “Better Homes and Gardens” featured one of its sandwiches and the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food competition took on the Adam Emmenecker Challenge. Food won. Near the bar, a carboard cutout of Jethro himself beamed proudly at 15 “Cityview” Best Of Des Moines awards.
All the Jethro’s I’ve visited offer plenty of standard fare along with their specialties. I had to have some form of a pork chop, so I ordered the Ricky Bobby, a chop treated to a shake-n-bake coating served on a bun ($10.95). I chose mashed potatoes and country gravy as my side. My companion ordered the half smoked chicken with green beans, baked beans and a muffin ($11.95.)
The pork chop was thick and satisfying, but the chicken was amazing. I don’t think that bird was a chicken at all; from the size of it, I think it was a pterodactyl. Seriously, I think Big Bird had a brother no one ever knew about. That chicken was huge. And tasty. You know what they say: go big or go home. Jethro’s goes big.
Jethro’s BBQ n’ Pork Chop Grill
5950 N.W. 86th St.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Mon. – Thur.: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.