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August 2, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Riders on the Katy Trail have a new reason to squeeze the brakes.
A row of bikes borders a small gravel lot at Rocheport Bike & BBQ, and metal clamps struggle against the breeze to keep red checkered tablecloths anchored to tables.
WHERE: 103 Pike Street, 65279 Rocheport, MO
WHEN: Wed. through Sat. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
COST: $5.50 alone, $8 with two sides
The ride-up restaurant, which opened in May, offers more than a place to rest after a long ride. Owners Bruce Shock and Randy Blackburn, along with Randy’s three sons Andy, Clay and Cole, offer bike rentals.
“I’ve had the lot for 10 years, so we thought we’d take advantage of the trail traffic,” Randy says.
The food is more traditional than the business plan. Every day, Rocheport Bike & BBQ offers meats, such as pulled pork and chicken, and a few sides, such as slaw and baked beans. Everything is homemade at the restaurant.
A rich aroma wafts through the air around the generous helping of meat. The sandwich features a juicy portion of sauce-free meat while a choice of Columbia-based Spicewine Ironworks spicy or mild barbecue sauce adds a deeper flavor.
The slaw lacks the heavy creaminess of the store-bought variety, but the simple crispness is refreshing.
Although baked beans rarely take center stage in the barbecue business, Randy and Bruce’s are the surprising star of the show. Hidden green peppers and burnt ends from the brisket introduce flair to an old classic.
When Bruce, Randy or one of the Blackburn boys heads out to deliver a customer’s plate to the table, the down home atmosphere at Rocheport Bike & BBQ seems to blend its way right into the food for an all around enjoyable experience.