Local restaurant named 21st in the country for barbecue

by | February 4, 2019 8:30 pm

Last Updated: February 3, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Merriam-Webster defines barbecue as food that has been roasted or broiled on a rack or revolving spit over or before a source of heat such as hot coals, or food which has been cooked in a highly seasoned vinegar sauce.

In the deep south, it’s a badge of pride to be able to barbecue well, and it’s not limited to vinegar sauces. Rubs, thick molasses- or honey-based sauces, white sauces and, yes, vinegar sauces are carefully swabbed onto meats as they cook slowly in crock pots, on grills and in ovens, until the meat becomes tender and flavorful.

James “Mickey” Kindell and his wife, Barbara, opened JK’s House of Ribs at 115 Durant Street in Manning six years ago this month. His wife had retired from working for Physical Therapy, although Kindell did and continues to work for the Manning City Fire Department. She was tired of sitting around the house, and the two decided to open a restaurant.

Over the years, Kindell has competed in Fire Department cookoffs, and two years ago, he won first place with his ribs in the professional category.

Now the Kindells are thrilled their restaurant was named as one of the 25 Best Places for Barbecue in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure. In their 2018 World’s Best Awards series, JK’s House of Ribs placed at number 21 for their barbecue.

However, Kindell didn’t see it coming.

Faithful customer Attorney Ceth Land was reading an issue of Travel and Leisure and saw the article. He called Kindell, surprising Kindell with the news. Not only was Kindell unaware they were being considered, they weren’t notified either.

“It was just all out of the blue,” said Kindell.

The restaurant has grown to offer not only the original pulled pork and ribs, but also smoked sausage, brisket, smoked half or whole chickens, fried chicken and all the sides and fixings. Barbara bakes the desserts, such as peach cobbler and the occasional cake.

The business is family owned and operated, and each of the Kindells’ three sons and their daughter help with the business when they are available during the restaurant’s hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

According to Kindell, they are used to folks looking up their address online or calling the restaurant to ask for directions. Kindell states a few have even called 911 to ask for directions. He hopes the placement will bring in more guests. Kindell asserts a lot of Clarendon County residents don’t know about them yet, and he hopes this award will help get the word out.

“I’m sure a lot more people will want to visit us,” said Kindell. “I’m excited about it. It kind of surprised me. In a small town like Manning, you think people are not paying attention, but they are.”

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