Southern comfort: brisket, collard greens and mac and cheese at Kings BBQ.
“Have you been here before?” asked the girl at the counter of Kings BBQ when we first walked into the modest spot in Wheat Ridge. We shook our heads. “Then I’m going to tell you something that’s not very helpful: Everything is good.” Owner CJ Johnson, a Texan with roots in Louisiana and Alabama, didn't take over the barbecue trade from a relative who was a classic 'cue master. And although he'd worked in restaurants on and off, he'd never worked in a barbecue joint -- until he left a career as a radiologic technologist to launch a food truck in 2013. “It was a passion to follow my heart,” he says. After six months, that passion led him to park the truck and open Kings BBQ. It’s not in trendy RiNo or Ballpark or Baker, but across from a Walmart on the backside of Lakeside — a promising sign, because the best barbecue has a way of taking you off your beaten path. Does the food live up to that promising sign? Read Gretchen Kurtz's review of Kings BBQ, now posted on Cafe Society.