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    7 Tips for Your Company Picnic from The Office's Party Planning Committee


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    1 Pick a scenic, local venue


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    Whether it’s a lake beach, a pleasant local park, or your CEO’s backyard, your company picnic is a chance to get out of the office, outside, and enjoy the nice weather together as a team. Kansas City has plenty of beautiful options available, all over the city, from Shawnee Mission Park to Loose Park.

    2 Set your theme



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    Every party needs a theme! Even if it’s as simple as a tailgate / summer theme, picking a theme for your office picnic helps set the mood and gets everyone into the party spirit.

    3 Plan your menu around your location and theme


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    Setting a location and a theme help you plan out what kind of food you want to serve, and how you want to serve it. For most office picnics, you want to invite a casual, laid-back feel — of course we think BBQ is the perfect crowd-pleaser to make employees and their families feel relaxed. No matter what kind of menu you decide to serve, make sure it fits the event and offers everyone something to eat.

    4 Plan fun activities


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    What would a picnic be without fun and games? You don’t necessarily have to plan a sumo wrestling tournament — though you could! — but at least having activities like bags, frisbees, and even croquet encourages employees to have a little fun and bond as they play. Inviting kids and families? Try renting a bouncy house or setting up face painting stations to give little ones something fun to do.

    5 Consider hiring entertainment


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    This is the perfect time to feature a band if any of your employees are in one on the side. If that’s not the case, however, you can explore great local bands through sites like GigSalad, hire a DJ, or simply put someone in charge of a Spotify playlist — but no matter how you do it, a party simply isn’t a party without music.

    6 Market your picnic


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    Once you have your location reserved, your time and date, and the details of your picnic worked out, don’t forget to invite your employees and market your picnic. It’s also a good idea to follow up with several reminders, including adding an event to your employees’ calendars and inviting them all.

    7 Share photos in your newsletter


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    Encourage employees to take photos throughout the picnic and share them with you, so you can post to your social media — and yes, share them through your company newsletter. They’ll help make your next event more successful, once everyone sees the fun that was had, as well as add recruiting value to your social media pages by showcasing your culture.

    Need help planning your next corporate event? We’ll make sure the food you serve is tasty and easy. Explore our catering menu to learn more about our food and services.

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    How to host a fun and stress-free graduation party

    There are few better reasons in life to throw a party than a high school or college graduation. Everyone is out of school, summer has arrived, and your family, your grad, and their friends are experiencing a momentous life experience and change.

    The last thing you want though, is for hosting a party to turn stressful. Read on for our ideas how how to put together your celebration, from where to spend your budget, what to DIY, how to plan for food and drink, and how to spread the word with invites.

    Prioritize and set your budget

    Maybe you want to go all out for your kid before they leave the nest, or maybe you’re working with more limited funds. Either way you go, you can plan a great event, but you want to plan ahead. A good general rule is to spend approximately 60% on food and drink, 25% on serveware, including cups or glasses, flatware, and serving dishes, and 15% on decor.

    Find creative ways to save money

    Prioritizing your budget helps you think through what you can DIY and save, and what is going to save a headache by hiring out or renting. For example, renting dishes, glasses, and servingware will cost you a bit more, but you may decide to prioritize funds here and skip all the dishes (you can return rented items without washing). Or, you may decide you’d rather simply both save money and skip clean-up by buying compostable — and disposable — plates and flatware.

    Your grad may want to host their party jointly with a close friend — go ahead with that idea! Not only will you be able to share costs with another family, but hosting a party jointly makes it easier for friends and relatives to stay a little longer, rather than having to hop to another party.


    Source: BuzzFeed

    Instead of hiring a photographer, or stressing about making sure you’re taking enough photos while hosting, throw up a DIY photobooth. These are a huge hit at events from weddings to charity fundraisers, and they’re fairly simple to put together. Grab a selfie stick and some fun props and set them up next to a simple backdrop. You can even leave a chalkboard for guests to write messages on, or DIY or buy on Etsy a simple white Polaroid frame for dry erase messages. Last but not least, make a small sign and place it in a picture frame on your table with the party hashtag, so you and your grad can go through and see all the fun photos your guests are taking.

    Lastly, when it comes to sending out invites, plan to send yours out 4-6 weeks in advance. Think about your audience, and buy print invitations for relatives and older friends, but save some money by sending evites to your grad’s friends — they’re already living on their phones and a digital invite not only makes more sense for them, but also saves you a little on postage and printed materials.

    Host your party during mid-afternoon

    You’ll invite a casual, relaxed feeling to your summer afternoon event, and guests won’t arrive starving, either. That means you can focus on simple crowd-pleasers, like BBQ sliders, and a variety of yummy, easy-to-eat finger foods and snacks.


    Place your food selection throughout your home or venue, including outside if you’re using your yard, so you don’t end up with a swarm of people at the buffet. Plan for each guest to eat between 6 and 10 snacks or appetizers as well.

    When it comes to dessert, mix it up as well — batches of cookies or brownies are crowd-pleasers, that you can use to cover the bulk of your sweet offerings and then sprinkle in some more creative bites as well. For example, have fun with creating a candy bar in your grad’s school colors — or take it a step further and create mini chocolate mortarboards with mini peanut butter cups, chocolate squares, and fruit or sour straw rolls.

    Set a fun, relaxed, and celebratory mood


    Even with only 15% of your budget allocated for decor, there are plenty of ways to set a casual and fun mood. Pick up some flowers from your local farmer’s market, and spread them throughout the house in a variety of jars and vases.

    If you’re utilizing outside, string up lights or lanterns, and fill metal buckets and even garden planters with ice to set drinks in, from water and soda to pitchers of tea and lemonade.

    Ask your grad to set the playlist, with a mix of songs for every age group.

    Set up a simple gift table, or use old mailboxes found at flea and vintage markets as centerpieces for people to leave cards in — a good trick is to set a couple of envelopes in the mailboxes before people arrive, so they know how to use them.

    Decorate fun signs for the yard, and even at the top of the street if you live on a cul-de-sac.

    String up a clothesline of memories with photos of your grad with their friends, throughout their lives. You can even create another clothesline with sports jerseys they’ve worn throughout the years.

    Not into the clothesline? Take a cue from wedding planners, and try DIY-ing a balloon chandelier instead, and hang photos down from the balloon strings. All you’ll need is printed photos, cardstock to mount them on, a curling ribbon, 12” balloons, scissors and hole punch, double sided tape.

    Most importantly, have fun! And if you want to take the stress of planning your graduation party food off the table, call us in to help with the catering, from apps and sliders to desserts.

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    Recipe: Bourbon Candied Bacon

    Bacon — especially smoked bacon — is so fantastic on its own, it doesn’t seem like there could be any improvement. But a little bourbon and a little sweetness takes it to another level we couldn’t have dreamed possible.

    The best part about this recipe is that, like regular bacon, it’s addictive on its own, but also punches up a BLT, regular sandwiches, salads, and more. We love them as a topping over deviled eggs.

    Because with bacon, and with bourbon, you really can’t go wrong no matter how you serve it up.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb. thick cut smoked bacon (hickory or applewood)
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup (2 oz.) bourbon

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 ℉.
    2. Line an aluminum baking sheet with foil.
    3. Bake bacon for 10 minutes
    4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix brown sugar and bourbon, stirring until sugar has dissolved
    5. Remove bacon from the oven. With a silicon basting brush, brush bacon on both sides with bourbon and sugar mixture.
    6. Return pan to oven and bake at 375 ℉ for 10-20 minutes until bacon is crisp around the edges
    7. Cool bacon over wire cooling rack for 5 minutes — bacon will continue to crisp up as it cools.
    8. Enjoy, and try not to eat all at once!

    Come see us at Bacon & Bourbon at the Guild to try our Mad Meatballs and Smoked Deviled Eggs topped with Bourbon Candied Bacon, April 13 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

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    How to host the best tailgate at Kauffman Stadium

    Baseball season is finally here, and all is right in Kansas City. And while a certain parking lot to the west may be more well-known for its epic tailgates, Kauffman Stadium’s lot is no slouch. There’s nothing quite like a warm summer evening spent sharing a few drinks and bites with friends and family before heading in for the first crack of the bat.

    Ahead, find our favorite tips on how to host the best tailgate at Kauffman, whether you’re out watching a nailbiter of a series against the Tigers or taking in a sleeper just before the All-Star break.

    Break out the team spirit

    Photo: Pinterest

    Decorate your own or buy a branded one, but a KC cooler is just the ticket for showing off your spirit for the boys in blue.

    Use frozen water bottles for ice

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    Line your cooler with these in lieu of ice and you’ll keep your drinks cold and have a way to keep hydrated. Perfect.

    Use a balloon to help friends find you

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    It’s a concrete jungle out there. Make sure your friends make it to the stadium’s best tailgate — yours — by providing wayfinding assistance via a helium balloon floating above your car.

    Only the hometown’s best BBQ will do

    You could stay up all night, tending to your smoker and prepping potato salad. Or, you could pick up a full spread of BBQ from brisket to burnt ends and be the tailgate all the neighbors want to join. And when it’s a Kansas City tailgate, only BBQ will do. Check out Crazy Good Eats catering menu and give us a call 913-905-2744 to schedule your next tailgate event.

    Bring the pre-game games

    Photo: Victory Tailgate

    Every great tailgate has plenty of activities and games, including the classic cornhole / bags.

    Recreate the Salvy Splash

    Source: @RoyalsCooler

    It’s August, it’s 95 degrees, the Royals are (hopefully) on their way to a 90-win season — what better way to cool off and toast the winner of your tailgating bags tournament than by recreating the Salvy Splash? Pack a cooler of blue sports drink and you’ll create a way for guests to stay hydrated up until it’s time to crown your winner and break away for the ball game.

    Keep warm with your own Rally Towel Quilt

    Photo: Pinterest

    On the flip side, say there’s a brisk chill in the air, whether it’s April or we’re going on another October run. Keep everyone warm and festive with a one-of-a-kind quilt fashioned out of Royals Rally Towels.

    Most importantly, share

    Source: InsideTailgating.com

    Maybe we’re biased, but Kansas City Royals fans are some of the best people in the world. The secret sauce to every great tailgate is it’s people, so be friendly and neighborly and you won’t go wrong. It’s the KC way.

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    Iconic Kansas City Foods to Serve at Your Wedding

    Wedding food used to be simple — chicken or beef? — and let’s face it, also a little boring. These days couples are personalizing every aspect of their wedding, and one of the best ways to give guests a taste of your personalities, as well as set a mood, is through food.

    It also happens to be one of the best ways to represent Kansas City to your out-of-town guests. If there’s one thing you can say about us, it’s that we love food and we do it well. Which means that whether you’re looking to show off KC with late night snacks or through your main entree, there are plenty of iconic Kansas City food options to choose from.

    Here’s a few of our favorites:

    Topsy’s Popcorn

    Is there anyone in KC who doesn’t pick up a tub of Topsy’s (or mooch off of one) around the holidays? From cinnamon and caramel to classic cheese or butter, Topsy’s is the tops with flavors to please everyone. Treat both in-town and out-of-town guests alike to a popcorn bar either as part of your cocktail hour appetizers or as a fun late-night snack. Trust us, this is just the treat they need to keep the dancing going through the night.

    Boulevard Beer

    If you’re serving beer at your reception, there’s no better way to rep KC than with original hometown brew, Boulevard. Whether you go with kegs or bottles, there are so many different options you can’t go wrong. Planning a fall wedding? Try offering seasonal Bob’s ‘47 alongside classic crowd-pleasers like Pale Ale or Unfiltered Wheat. Or offer up one their fun lighter fares, like Tropical IPA, for a summer bash.

    Tom’s Town Cocktails

    Looking for a local liquor option? Have fun with Kansas City’s Prohibition-era past by serving Tom’s Town cocktails. Tom’s Town is a specialty distillery that draws its inspiration from our city’s most corrupt political boss, Tom Pendergast, and calls to life all the Gatsby-esque glamour of the 1920’s. After all, you may share Pendergast’s Prohibition motto — “the people are thirsty.”

    Beef and BBQ

    There may not be anything Kansas City is more famous for than our meat and BBQ, so why not give your guests what they want and serve it up at your reception? From KC specialty burnt ends to smoked meats like pork and brisket, there’s no better way to both show off your hometown and create a familial atmosphere at your wedding. Plus BBQ pairs fantastically with Boulevard Beer, especially when served up with a side of cheesy corn, slaw, and beans.

    Christopher Elbow Chocolates

    Nowadays brides know there are so many more dessert options than simply cake! And whether you’re looking for an option to include next to a traditional cake, or a beautiful favor to send home with guests, you can’t really go wrong with Christopher Elbow’s Artisan Chocolates. Elegantly-decorated, these little chocolate squares come in creative flavors sure to sparkle tastebuds — from Bananas Foster and Lavender Caramel to Champagne and Butterscotch Bourbon.

    LaMar’s Doughnuts

    Another fun dessert — or even late-night snack — option is doughnuts! There are many options around town for doughnuts, but LaMar’s is a classic, with roots going all the way back to 1933. And again, you have a flavor option for everyone, from original glazed and apple fritters to pineapple or strawberry cake doughnuts.

    Coffee

    Kansas City has quickly become a destination for coffee lovers, boasting a large group of coffee roasters. Why not continue the Kansas City love when it comes time to serve coffee after dinner? From the Roasterie to Oddly Correct, you’ve got options, and they’re all delicious.

    Contact us to add a little piece of Kansas City to your wedding.

  • Barbecue at a wedding?! It’s nothing to get your ends burnt about…

    Barbecue at a wedding?! It’s nothing to get your ends burnt about… 

    Traditionalist once expected barbecue to be served at a wedding ONLY if it was a picnic-themed affair complete with Gingham and hay bales.

    Today, that’s all changed.  Barbecue can be clean and presented plated, family style, casual or elegant.

    And, it doesn’t mean the meat is slathered in sauce and dripping down the bride’s face onto her once-in-a lifetime gown. Instead, Barbecue’s growing popularity comes from the explosion of BBQ Competitions and BBQ’s “Championship Quality” for rich, tender meats and creative sides.

    As a barbecue restaurant and catering company in Kansas City (the BBQ capital of the U.S.) we know our barbecue and weddings. We cater about 30-40 weddings, every year in just about every venue throughout the metro, and we've been doing it for the past five years. Thankfully, just as BBQ is evolving, the perception of barbecue is changing, says Bruce Lemay, our catering manager.

    Here’s what we've discovered:

    Rustically elegant or rustic chic has been and will continue to be a trend for weddings in the near future (according to all the best bridal guide magazines).

    • Growing popularity in quality barbecue is translating into the choice of engaged couples who select extravagant indoor affairs, elegant rustic barn weddings and elegant reception halls are looking for the perfect match in menu.
    • Dispelling perceptions about BBQ, when the family committee weighs in? This is the perfect opportunity to introduce a sampling of our clean, Championship BBQ, and they will be believers. Partner this great food with creativity, communication and presentation on how BBQ fits with the wedding vision, from cocktail hour appetizers to dinner.


    Bruce’s “The “Q” Reality of Weddings”:

    1. Great BBQ is not swimming in BBQ Sauce. Great smoked meat stands on its own without sauce! The richness of the smoke on the most moist, tender meat, from low and slow cooking, makes BBQ a serious upgrade to the “rubber chicken” or overcooked beef.
    2. Great BBQ is not fatty or greasy. The slow cooking process achieves the perfect balance of moisture and flavor in the meat, while sweating fat out. Appropriate trimming will removes excess fat and provides a lean, moist, tender meat.
    3. What? You have guests that don’t eat meat and you’re still inviting them? BBQ can satisfy them with big flavors like our smoked portabella mushroom stuffed with grilled vegetables. Everyone will want some.
    4. The food is plated or buffet style. The fork tender pulled pork, cubed burnt ends, sliced brisket, turkey breast, ham, etc. with creative sides, offers more options, which is more satisfying, when trying to please groups of friends and families, young and old.
    5. Salads and Sides. Examples of sides that pair well with barbecue at weddings include: Greens, mandarin oranges, crushed walnuts, feta cheese; Loaded Potato Casserole (loaded baked potato in a casserole); Burnt End BBQ Beans; Grilled Vegetables; Mac and Cheese; etc. Offer light and hearty options.
    6. So you want ribs? While we discourage food that requires “hands on,” providing steamed towels for cleaning hands is a solution. Weddings with plated surf-and-turf serving half lobster with shells cracked is considered an elegant offering, yet it has the same, and more challenges.
    7. Every couple wants to serve food they are proud of. Bruce often gets this comment after a wedding reception: “This was the best wedding food we’ve ever had.” Why? Bruce suggests barbecue is underestimated for its mouth-watering taste and tenderness. In reality, it’s more flavorful and just as “clean” as roast chicken and roast beef, and the response is overwhelmingly more positive.
    8. BBQ is also a great choice for rehearsal dinners and for the day after gatherings. Many times, the feedback we get in our follow up is The BBQ was the best food we had all weekend!” and “We wish we served it at the wedding.”
  • NEW MENU ITEMS AND SPECIALS

    CRAZY GOOD EATS ANNOUNCES NEW MENU ITEMS AND SPECIALS
    Innovative take on affordable family barbeque adds a twist to classic dishes this spring

    OLATHE, Kan. – Crazy Good Eats barbecue restaurant on the southeast corner of 151st Street and Mur-Len in Olathe has kicked its menu into high gear by adding distinctive and sometimes unusual ingredients to traditional barbecue dishes to give customers something new to chew on.

    Like all of its meats at Crazy Good Eats, the new Chicken Wings are smoked and served tender and flavorful. Guests can use Crazy Good Eats signature sauces or eat without. The wings are served 3 for $2.99; 5 for $4.69; and 10 for $8.99.

    The Straight Jacket is a Cheddar-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog for $3.49, new to the dog pound section of the menu. The Asylum is the same Straight Jacket dog (a Cheddar-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog…) but this time topped with Pulled Pork and Creamy Coleslaw for $5.49.

    Two new appetizers hit the menu this spring. Jalapeno Corn Nuggets, a sweet and spicy corn fritter, and Fried Green Beans both for $2.99.

    “These new items are a combination of customer requests and our seasonal favorites,” said Bruce Lemay, Crazy Good Eats general manager. “We will continue to cook up new items for our menu from time to time to bring excitement to our customers.”

    Busy working families and those working in the area will enjoy the lunch specials every weekday. Lunch combo specials are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and are priced $7.95 and $9.95 depending on the sandwich size. Options vary daily and include side and a drink.

    Tuesdays - Mac & Cheese topped with Burnt Ends OR half-priced Pulled Pork Sandwich
    Wednesdays - Debris Sandwich (a sandwich consisting of the delicious crumbles of brisket left behind on the cutting board and piled on a bun)
    Thursdays - Porky’s Revenge (ham topped with pulled pork with Jalapeno Bottle Caps and a drizzle of Crazy Good Eat’s signature Red Eye BBQ Sauce)
    Fridays – House-smoked Corned Beef “Queben” Sandwich or Plated Meal

    Crazy Good Eats also has introduced a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. The happy hour menu includes: wings ($.75 each); house-crafted sliced sausage ($2); Fried Pickles ($2); ribs by the bone ($2); Jalapeno Bottle Caps, sliced, fried jalapeno slices ($2); and Pulled Pork or Sausage Sliders ($2). The happy hour menu also features a customer favorite and Crazy Good Eats signature item, “Mad Meatballs,” bacon-wrapped meatballs seasoned with the restaurant’s competition rub and glazed with competition sauce ($1 each).

     

     

  • Bacon and Bourbon

    Bacon and Bourbon Festival 2016

    Crazy Good Eats is excited to announce that we are participating in The Pitch's third-annual Bacon and Bourbon Festival! The event, which sold out last year, is THIS THURDAY (April 14, 2016) starting at 6:30 at The Guild (1621 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64108).

    We'll be bringing a boatload of our signature meatballs WITH bacon - yum! And we might be experimenting with some bourbon too.

      

    The festival will also include a variety of drink choices, such as samples of more than 20 bourbons, cold beer and the Cocktail Corner, where six local bartenders will be whipping up a limited edition bourbon cocktail.

    We can't wait to enjoy delicious food, refreshing drinks and live music. Come join us and see what unique tastes Kansas City has to offer in addition to our signature BBQ!

    Tickets are available online at Bacon and Bourbon

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    Tasty Tuesday

    We are excited to be participating in 435 Magazine’s Tasty Tuesday on February 2nd!

    Please come and see us between 11 and 2 and enjoy a delicious lunch of our Award-Winning Pulled Pork sandwich, a side of our Burnt End BBQ Beans and a drink all for only $4.35. We thank 435 Magazine for helping us with this fun lunch promotion.

    This is an incredible deal, and we expect a large crowd. Of course, if pulled-pork isn’t your thing, we have a scrumptious salad, our signature Burnt Ends, smoked-to-perfection Baby Back Ribs, and an all-time customer favorite, our Mad Meatball,  smoked, bacon wrapped, all beef meatballs, glazed in our house BBQ Sauce  .

    Every day we have exciting lunch specials including our “Debris” sandwich, brisket too tender to cut, too delicious to leave behind, our comfort, rich Mac and Cheese topped with a handful of our Award Winning Burnt Ends, along with several other weekly favorites.

  • PULLED PORK HASH WITH POACHED EGGS

    PULLED PORK HASH WITH POACHED EGGS

    (4 servings)

    Ingredients:

    *4 tablespoons Unsalted butter

    *1 medium yellow onion; small diced

    *1 small red bell pepper; small diced

    *2 cups Yukon Gold Potatoes; cooked in boiling water 15 minutes - diced small

    *2 cups Crazy Good Eats Pulled Pork or leftover Thanksgiving turkey

    *Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

    *2 tablespoons White Vinegar

    Directions:

    1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the butter, onion and red bell pepper with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about five minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the potatoes in an even layer. Cook, stirring as little as needed, until everything gets golden brown. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    2. Stir in the pulled pork or Thanksgiving turkey and heat through. Keep warm on low heat.

    3. Bring a large pot of water to a hard simmer and add vinegar. Crack each egg into their own small cup or ramekin and set aside. When the water is up to temperature, vigorously stir the water with a spoon then drop the eggs in to the water one by one. Because of the funnel effect of the water, the egg whites will wrap around themselves. Cook without moving the eggs until the whites are set, about four minutes.

    4. Timing, so the eggs are not quite done, taste your hash for seasoning, and then transfer to plates or a platter. When the eggs are ready, gently remove them from the water one by one with a slotted spoon. Lay them on top of the hash.

    5. Optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, and/or spicy green chili salsa.


  • To Sauce or Not to Sauce

    We don’t sauce our meat. Conventional wisdom in Kansas City has been that if you don’t sauce your meat, it’s not barbecue. We made a conscious decision when we opened Crazy Good Eats BBQ in May, that we wanted our guests to experience the flavors. If you want to enjoy tender meat that is the best quality, taste it first.

     

    Then… you can decide to sauce or not to sauce.

    The top 3 reasons we don’t sauce our meat.

    1. We meticulously prepare the meat with brines, injections, marinades layers of seasoning, to create a flavorful, tender meat that will shine on its own.

    2. We slowly smoke our meats, to deliver tenderness and balancing smoke with the meat’s seasoned richness, to create our distinct flavors.

    3. “We’ve got nothing to hide!” We want our customers to experience the full enjoyment of great meat. Only then will they know the right amount of sauce, if any, is wanted.

    Crazy Good Eats developed our sauces to complement our smoked meats.

    • Competition Sauce – sweet and tangy, a perfect balance of KC sweet sauce and Carolina style tangy sauce.
    • Red Eye BBQ sauce –our competition sauce base with enough heat for a kick, without overpowering the meat’s flavors!

    Bottles are 16 oz. and cost $5.95.

    Click here to order your Crazy Good Sauce.

    Crazy Good Eats offers a full menu of smoked meats and smoked, house crafted sausages.

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