Staxx BBQ smokes up Kentucky’s state capital

Staxx barbecue in Frankfort, KY

In a town filled to the brim with fast food and chain restaurants, finding an independent meal can be hard to come by, but the smoke rising behind Frankfort’s relatively new barbecue joint, Staxx, is luring in loads of hungry diners.

Today my mom and I were looking for a hearty meal on the go and decided to give Staxx a try. My mom already was a fan, as Staxx had kindly agreed to cater the Sumptuous Southern Supper in August, which she and her nearly 1,300 Brainy Bodacious Women organized to benefit the Franklin County Women’s Shelter – I was informed the food was wonderful.

We both ordered the pulled pork sandwich combos, with potato salad and a drink, which was under $7 each. The nice price, comfortable atmosphere and tasty eats made for a pleasant overall dining experience at Staxx.

The smoked pork comes served on a bun, with several sauces available for those who like their barbecue wet, including a vinegar-based Carolina one, and a basic sweet sauce that also comes in a spicy or hot version. I found mixing the spicy or hot with some of the sweet got me closer to the tangy flavor I like. The potato salad was excellent.

The pulled pork sandwich and potato salad combo

I would prefer a little more smoky flavor out of the pork, but that might be a concession from using a propane and wood combination instead of a hickory fired pit. Regardless, Staxx is a welcomed addition to Frankfort’s restaurant scene.

Where I find Staxx has potential staying power in such a fickle restaurant market is its overall package. The food is good, it’s comfortable inside, there’s some atmosphere, the service was prompt (which is a HUGE issue for lunch), portions were plentiful and prices reasonable.

The owners, Dan Liebman, a former reporter for The State Journal and editor of the Blood-Horse in Lexington, and Chef Tommy Walters, who founded Furlongs and Furlongs Catering, set Staxx up to feel like a local roadhouse, where everyone is welcomed.

Staxx is warm and inviting, with plenty of tables and outdoor covered seating. The place was nearly filled to capacity for a late lunch, with state workers, construction crews, police, students, and members of the National Guard. Upon entering there is considerable memorabilia to admire from the Frankfort-area high schools, K-State, local celebrities, along with horse industry items.

Opened in May 2011, the restaurant is named in honor of Stax Records, the famous Memphis, Tenn. label that brought about a signature Southern and Memphis soul sound in the 1960s, which can be heard at a reasonable volume playing throughout Staxx. The restaurant’s seating area reflects this theme, with numerous framed posters and albums from Stax artists.

Customers may dine-in, carryout, drive thru or order catering. Drop by soon to smell what all the fuss is about.

Staxx BBQ

11 Carson Place, Frankfort, KY


Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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