Comfort food and country crooners are all part of breakfast in Mission.

Barbecue Breakfast 

Comfort food and country crooners are all part of breakfast in Mission.

Kansas City has some terrific barbecue joints, but you hardly ever hear about any of them serving breakfast. That's why I stumbled into RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack (5835 Lamar in Mission) on a recent Sunday morning in a state of disbelief. First, I thought, what the hell am I doing in deathly quiet Mission at 9 a.m.? And what am I going to eat in a barbecue shack in Mission at 9 a.m.?

My friend Bob had wanted to stop at the venerable Town Topic (6018 Johnson Drive in Mission) that we'd passed along the way. "Their parking lot was full," he said. "That's always a good sign."

The parking lot wasn't full at the Bob-Be-Que, which made him nervous. "We're just the first ones here," I said, trying to reassure us both. As it turned out, I was right, and the little place filled up quickly. I gulped down a cup of java right away because I have to have at least two cups of coffee on a Sunday morning before I can handle hearing David Allan Coe singing "You Never Even Call Me by My Name." Maybe three cups when other customers start happily singing right along.

But by the time the cheery waitress shoved a big plate of food under my nose —the $6.95 Farm Hands Breakfast Platter, with two scrambled eggs, a flaky biscuit smothered with sausage gravy, fried potatoes, smoked bacon and link sausages — I was in a much more relaxed mood. In fact, I practically felt like singing along with Rosanne Cash's "Seven Year Ache" myself.

"You never hear customers singing at lunch," said one of the servers as she walked through the tiny dining room with a coffeepot, "so I guess it's a good thing."

It's been four months since the Bob-Be-Que's owner, chef Robert Palmgren, decided to open his tidy rib-and-brisket shack for Sunday morning breakfasts. It's a full-service restaurant, thank goodness (I can't make myself order at a counter before noon), and the waitresses are very maternal, which was almost as comforting as the eggs and gravy-covered biscuits. Palmgren smokes the delicious thick bacon himself, and there are also fat link sausages and pit-smoked ham.

The long, narrow dining room has been decorated in a testosterone-friendly fashion, with lots of Kansas City Chiefs banners and a nearly life-sized photographic cutout of John Wayne carrying a rifle. If you want a sissy Sunday breakfast, go someplace else.

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