Local Eats: Kelmm's Smoke Haus

 

Written by Laura Beam in the October 2019 Issue

Klemm's

BBQ—how can those three simple letters make your mouth water with anticipation and conjure up both the fun of summer and the hearty joys of fall all in one? Nothing satisfies all the senses like BBQ done right. And when German family creativity meets smoky meat madness, it’s a dining thrill you’ll crave again and again. Prepare to be surprised as you dig into the flavor of this local joint that puts a new spin on an all-time classic.

Celebrating their fifth year with the restaurant and eighth year with the food truck, Klemm’s Smoke Haus bears the original spelling of the Clem family name. And they bring that German heritage to life in every tender morsel of on-premise, pit-smoked brisket, ribs, pulled pork, brats and chicken. No pushbutton, overnight smoker here, John Clem is up at 2am everyday manning the menu lineup, while wife Jan Clem, son JJ Clem and daughter Ashley Thomas manage other aspects of the business. “Our brisket is prime. We pay extra because taste means everything to us,” says Jan. “And our pork spare ribs are to-die-for. They fall off the bone. It’s a big deal to us for customers to not go away hungry. Our portions are amazing.”

Burnt ends, baby -- it’s a real thing!

We all love it--that deliciously charred bark on the edges of the brisket--and Klemm’s makes it a menu reality, not just a happy accident you’re lucky enough to get on your plate once in a while. The hunky cubes of salty meat with a peppery crust are epic. A true customer favorite, the burnt ends have limited availability, usually until about 2pm, so get there early to get yours. And if you want to take your indulgence to the next level, order the burnt ends atop deviled eggs. That’s a menu reality as well!

Lost in the sauce

Let’s face it, every meaty entree just gets better when the BBQ sauce and side dishes are a slam-dunk. Klemm’s gets it, big time. Their BBQ sauce is mildly sweet and savory, complementing the smoked meats nicely without stealing the show. Just try not to dip your perfectly seasoned, crunchy okra or handcut, twice-fried French fries in this addictive concoction. You’ll be obsessed. Klemm’s also makes their own German mustard and their own Ranch dressing that brings people in just to buy it alone.

Sides and sweets

The macaroni and cheese is a crazy good side dish that pairs well with the hearty meats. “We originally created the cheese sauce for a wedding we were catering,” Jan recalls, “and it’s been a staple ever since.” The silky smooth cheese clings to every bite of penne pasta in perfect proportion, making it the ultimate comfort food with a grown-up bite. The famous cheese is also, well...amazing, on the Porking Amazing sandwich with brat, pulled pork and slaw. Other favorite sides are their tangy red cabbage apple coleslaw and tasty deviled eggs finished with a cayenne kick. Save room for their homemade banana pudding, decadent salted caramel dark chocolate brownie or one of their monster cookies, aptly named!

Klemm’s restaurant is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week from 11am-8pm and the food truck is available for bookings. You’ll be in good company at the restaurant, as local police officers and firefighters frequently enjoy lunch here each day. “Many of the guys from Firehouse #2 eat here all the time,” Jan remarks, “but luckily, they’ve never had to come here for a fire.”

Klemm’s is located at 2000 S. Broadway in Edmond. Visit www.klemmssmokehaus.com for more. Ask about their turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

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