Nestled a little off the beaten path in central suburban Dayton, KD’s Kettering BBQ brings a very rare sight for this part of the city: home-grown barbecue. There are a lot of restaurants in this area, but in spite of the heavy commercial presence on the more visible nearby streets, KD’s seems to have gained a steady following among locals; it’s a modest place with down-to-earth managers (who apparently like American soldiers and Britney Spears) the place is nonetheless just too loveable to pass up.
Barbecue is probably my favorite food, so I hold my favorite dishes to a high standard. The sides are good, too. A lot of the things you’d expect for a country kitchen or a smokehouse, for sure.
- Ribs are good; the barbecue sauce is a sweet and heavy New England-type which meshes well with the meats. The ribs are cooked well and absolutely very juicy. They could be a little more tender, I like the fall-off-the-bone type of meats but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.
- Pork chops definitely have it though; the tasty meats are cooked well. I do wish that they were smoked a little, if not in a smoker then at least on a grill. Smokey flavor would really hit the spot with that great sauce.
- Burger: This half-pound monster is almost too big to bite — almost. But the cooked to order, juicy and slightly smoky beef and all the toppings need no sauce, need no veggies, need no introduction. It’s an all-around great burger.
- Sweet potato casserole seems to be the star dish, and indeed it’s got a great texture and a very sweet potato flavor. Unfortunately it does suffer from the same problems that the vegetables do. The flavors are a little basic. I wish a little more thought and technique went into the casserole; it’s got great potential but as-is, it’s just sweet. Not a lot of flavor profile.
Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely think you should go to KD”s; I will definitely be coming back. I just want to point out the finer points of my experience constructively.
The service and people are just great. KD’s got nestled into a basic store space at the end of a strip mall, and it has managed that space extraordinarily; some of the space feels a little cramped but it’s all very welcoming. The decor very pleasant and down to earth. Everyone I’ve dealt with in my visits has been wonderful; they’re just regular people trying to make a great meal. I love that.
KD’s is definitely worth a try. I think that some of the food items have room for improvement, but the most important thing is there — good people who really care about what they are doing. Stop by.
- The barbecue is good, and I’d definitely recommend sampling it on your first visit.
- The atmosphere is perfect to bring in a family. The demographic seems to skew toward an older crowd and families.
- Consider the pies, which are another signature item at KD’s.