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The Rib House: Gluten Free Menu & Kansas City Style BBQ Sauces

I love BBQ.  More specifically, I LOVE Kansas City Style BBQ!  I believe it to be the world’s best BBQ, even though my husband, a Texas boy, begs to differ with me, but he doesn’t know what he’s talkin’ ’bout! 😉

I was born in Independence, MO., a suburb of Kansas City, MO. (and home of President Harry S. Truman).  I only lived there until I was 3 or so, but the BBQ made such an impact on my parents that they always made a point to stop at their favorite BBQ ‘joint,’ the Smokestack, every time we drove through town on some family road trip out west (from Ohio).  As I grew older and could appreciate the differences between the different styles of barbecue; Kansas City style, Southeastern style (my mom was born and raised in Alabama) and Texas (my hubby’s influence), Kansas City style BBQ is hands down my favorite.  Seeing that I live in New Mexico, the land of hot chile and not barbeque; I either make my own sauce or I resort to the bottled variety.  I think I have tried all the mainstream gluten-free BBQ sauces out there, but none have come even close to a little gem I found at my local Whole FoodsThe Rib House BBQ Sauce.

Oh. My. Goodness.  Kansas City BBQ Heaven in a bottle, let me tell you.  And all of The Rib House’s BBQ Sauces are gluten-free!

I could seriously drink it straight from the bottle (mild or medium only…  anything hotter would scorch my taste buds.  Mike accidentally picked up the Jessica’s Fire Sauce one day and I didn’t catch it until it was way too late.  My tongue sat submerged in a bowl of ice cubes for a few hours thereafter!).

You can find The Rib House Barbeque Sauces at most Whole Foods Markets and King Soopers nationwide.  You can also order the sauces on the website.

A little background on The Rib House:

In search of the Great American Dream, Merry Ann and Tracy Webb, born and raised in the BBQ capital of Kansas City, MO, moved to Longmont, CO in 1989.  For the next 12 years, they searched for the true Kansas City style BBQ.  Hence, The Rib House was born on July 5th, 2001 in Longmont, CO.  The two decided Colorado needed to have authentic Kansas City/Colorado Barbeque.  Colorado has never been famous for Barbeque, until now!

I decided to email The Rib House to see if there are any gluten free options on their restaurant menu; and I received the following reply (emphasis added):

April 28, 2010
Hi Heidi,
As you are aware all four flavors of our BBQ sauces are gluten-free. And… the meats & sides are also gluten-free!

The meats are dry rubbed in our spice blend, fire seared, then hickory smoked. The spice blend is gluten-free and with nothing else done to the meats (other than removing some fat, if necessary and cutting or chopping)… the meats are ready to go!
All of our non-fried sides are gluten-free.  As you are no doubt aware, fryer fat is easily contaminated by gluten items, so even an item that may be gluten-free before it goes into the fat… it will not be gluten-free coming out of the fat!
So, for the gluten-free people, we offer our BBQ Pit Beans, Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Corn Bake, Coleslaw, Traditional Potato Salad, Chipotle Potato Salad, 4 Bean Salad & a green Dinner Salad.
A couple of howevers, however!
We do bake our own desserts (cakes, cookies, cobblers, key lime pie) in the restaurant. So there is flour in the building that could potentially get onto other surfaces. We have had a lot of people with varying degrees of gluten issues eat here, and no one has had a problem. But if someone is hyper sensitive, they do need to be aware this is not a flourless, glutenless business.
We also do not have gluten-free buns. We tried to use gluten-free buns and regular buns – but the demand for gluten-free buns was too low.
At our Longmont restaurant, customers order at the front counter and we bring the food to them. If someone comes to our restaurant that has a gluten issue, we ask that they mention to the cashier when placing their order that they have a gluten issue. That way when the order is prepared, the latex gloves the cooks use can be changed so there will not be any cross gluten contamination.
At our Boulder restaurant, orders are taken at the table by servers, so customers can let their server know about any food issues that they might have.
Hope this is a good start for what you need. If there are any other questions, please let me know!

Paul Hart
Catering Manager
The Rib House

I have to say, that was an impressive and thorough email in my opinion!  The fact that Paul addressed all of the questions that I would normally have to ask, BEFORE I asked them, made me feel confident that I would have a safe dining experience at The Rib House!

Whether you live in Colorado or plan to visit, The Rib House sounds like a great dining option for those who are gluten-free.  There are two locations, one in Boulder and one in Longmont.  The next time I am up there, I definitely plan on visiting. In the meantime, I have their BBQ sauces! 😀

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  1. oh my goodness! This looks so good and no HFCS! woohoo! We are in colorado right now and about 90 minutes from Boulder. Might have to swing it for a bbq pit stop. =0)

  2. Good to know Heidi! We're in Denver 🙂

    We'll try their sauce based on your recommendation. We're big fans of Bone Suckin' Sauce .

  3. Sounds like we need a trip to the Kellys for Ribs…. KC Style. BTW, the Smokestack is no longer in business but the son of the owner owns Jackstack… same sauce.

  4. If you are ever near Kansas City (I lived there for several years) do pay a visit to Jack Stack. They also are *very* gluten-free-friendly…all meats, sauces, and most sides (including their amazing baked beans!) are all safe, and they follow good procedure in preparing an order (changing gloves, etc). KC barbecue is my personal favourite as well, and Jack Stack is the best I've had.