No.63 Kangaroo Boxing Club – Washington, DC

Number 63 on my list of barbeque establishments is the new Kangaroo Boxing Club in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. The owners are also the operators of the food truck Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine (PORC for short). The KBC was barely a month old when I visited recently on a warm Sunday evening. We were one of the early tables, but by the time we left a little while later, the little restaurant was really beginning to fill up. So how was the food? Hit and miss, but worth the visit. We started with an order of the Johnny Cakes, which I thought were delicious. A warm pile of corn pancakes, soft fluffy, a little gritty and topped with a big ball of maple butter, slowly melting in; they were so good. Do not pass these up.

KBC Johnny Cakes

But what about the meat you say! The meat – it was good enough for BBQ in the city. I tried the Three Little Pigs plate. The plate is a slab of Virginia Ham topped with pulled pork, and topped again with two pieces of thick bacon. The ham was super tender, but it was Virginia ham, to me it’s nothing special but it worked in the 3LP plate presentation. The bacon was very good and properly cooked, not overly crisp, but stout enough not to bend and still have a nice chew. Very good bacon. The pork was fine, if not a tad dry. Otherwise, not terribly memorable, but not bad either. Bacon wins the battle of the 3 little pigs.

KBC Three Little Pigs plate

I cannot judge a BBQ joint without tasting the sides, so I had my go-to side items, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. The mac-n-cheese is said to include the ingredients blue cheese, rosemary, and magic. The blue cheese I noticed, you could not miss it. The rosemary, I did not note, and the magic, well, poof I made it disappear from my plate, but as much as I like a good mac-n-cheese, this was a one-and-done. There are far more cheeses that will perform greatly in this classic dish. It was creamy, the pasta was not overcooked, all-in-all a noble effort, but I think they should consider experimenting with other cheese options. the collards were good, I also made them disappear. They were dark, we surmised flavored with molasses and some sugar – sweet and dark, but good. Every plate also comes with a side of slaw, it’s a vinegar base, it had not marinated long by the time I received my taste, but it did have a nice tang and crunch. I’d like to have tasted the beans, but my dining companion and I failed to use our heads and order different sides so we could taste them all, thought the beans were probably the only other side I would have liked to try. Oh, as a ‘side’ note, both mac-n-cheese and the Johnny Cakes are an up-charge side. Go for the JCs.

And the sauces, there were five if I remember correctly, but I cannot remember all of the specifics of each. I seem to recall two vinegar based, two ketchup based, and the vegan. One each of the vinegar and ketchup based sauces also had meat drippings, whereas I think the other two did not,  therefore I would think they would be vegan in their own right, and I have no idea what made the vegan special. Frankly I thought they were all just a slight variation on a narrow theme, all worth using or tasting, but not distinct enough to warrant the presence of all 5 on the table.

KBC sauce caddy

The restaurant is small so I can see if it gets busy a wait would be in order. I recommend you wait, it’s worth a try. Get a drink at the bar, which by my one order was surprisingly affordable. I got a call bourbon and coke and it was less than $6. I was shocked.

KBC menu

Kangaroo Boxing Club, 3410 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

Kangaroo Boxing Club on Urbanspoon

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