Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ugly Joe’s Sports Bar & Grill

And yo momma, too.

Guys’ Night this month was at Ugly Joe’s, where the Monday special is half-price appetizers. That was good news for us, since we always appreciate the chance to tackle some variety. The even better news was that Monday is $5 cheap domestic pitcher night, too. Because my mom was in town for the weekend and her flight home had been delayed, she got to join us for the fun.

With four kinds of Baby Burgers on the menu’s appetizer section, you know we had to try those. You can order either a regular six-pack of straight-up classic burgers, or you can go with the Home Run Baby Burgers platter, where you get two each of three miniaturized versions of some of the other ones that Ugly Joe’s has:
  • Buckeyes: “Smothered with Sautéed Mushrooms & Melted Swiss”
  • Burners: “Covered with Melted Jack Cheese, Jalapenos & Spicy Buffalo Sauce”
  • Hawkeyes: “Topped with Crisp Bacon & Melted Cheddar”
Tiny burgers must be the late 2000’s equivalent of the jalapeno popper. For a while you could find them only at certain restaurants, and they made for a delicious novelty. Then at some point, word got out. Now every place has them, and whether or not they can do them well is another story altogether.

At Ugly Joe’s, the standard Baby Burgers are squarely middle of the pack, and across the board the bun-to-burger ratio is skewed unfavorably toward the bun. My first impression of the Buckeye was that the mushrooms and swiss cheese would be a little fancy to be any good in tiny burger form, so I was surprised that it actually turned out to be my favorite. Meanwhile, the Burner put in a weak showing with no buffalo sauce to be found. The bacon-powered Hawkeye was like Denzel Washington in any movie: Shows up and does exactly what you expect. Not really incredible, but always good.

All the Baby Burgers come with Burger Sauce on the side. The name Burger Sauce really grossed Robert out. We think Burger Sauce might be something close to A1.

Of course, we ordered up some wings, too. The Ugly Joe’s sauce we enjoyed the most was the Montana Style. Described on the menu as “BBQ, Buffalo & Secret Ingredients,” not only was it spicy and delicious, but it was pretty unique. The traditional Buffalo was also very well done, balancing heat with flavor. Ugly Joe knows his stuff in the wing department. Next time we’ll have to try the Spicy Honey BBQ and the Teriyaki.

This doubled as an expedition for BarQuest, the ongoing mission to find a decent neighborhood dive to hang out at in Robert’s neighborhood. While Ugly Joe’s has good food and plenty of space and TVs, it’s somewhat more spacious and bright than we’d like -- a certain amount of dank is mandatory. Plus, the place is way too sports-focused for everyday hanging out. Admittedly that doesn’t take much for the Lunch Bloggers, but this felt kind of like taking down beers at a Dick’s Sporting Goods.

By the way, my mom ordered the nachos and said they were tasty, but what she especially enjoyed was the opportunity to hang out with the guys. Come back anytime, mom -- great to have you along.
__________________________________________Ugly Joe's on Urbanspoon
1227 West 103rd Street | Kansas City, MO 64114


  1. My favorite thing about Ugly Joe's is that somebody has sharpied the Boognish -- the pagan god of brothers Ween -- over the men's urinal.

  2. The food is good but they have slow-as-molasses attitude about providing timely service to a lunch crowd of people--many of which need to get in and out and back to work! Even when we would say so, they couldn't "get it" nor did they seem to care!

  3. Personally, we ALWAYS recieve top notch service whenever my company eats at Ugly Joe's. The lunch staff is awesome in our eyes!