Shorty Smalls – Branson, MO – Braddog

The 4th of July weekend usually consists of me spending lots of time tending the cooker and enjoying some time out of the office.  However, this year we had a last minute change of plans and headed out of town.  So, for July 4th BBQ I found myself at a BBQ restaurant that I located based on an advertisement I saw on a billboard.  Turns out, the billboard was better than the BBQ.
I found myself in a restaurant called Shorty Smalls.  Turns out they have a handful of restaurants around Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas & Oklahoma.  I ate at one of their two locations in Branson, MO.  I can’t tell if the down home décor is typical of all their restaurants since nearly every eatery in the Branson/Ozark Mountain area employs a log cabin motif with the accompanying décor.

I was surprised to find a menu with lots more than BBQ, and I should have been suspicious when there was no BBQ sauce on the table.  It seems that these days every BBQ joint I see has an assortment of sauces on the table.  Nonetheless, I let the waiter talk me into having the ribs.  In fact, I ordered a combination plate of ribs & pulled pork with sides of slaw & baked beans.
I guess it’s a good thing I took the waiter’s advice and ordered the ribs because I couldn’t eat the pulled pork.  It might have been good, but I couldn’t tell because it was drenched in their BBQ sauce.  The ribs had no smoke, rub, or sauce flavor but they were tender.  But then again, there are lots of ways to prepare ribs that makes then tender but they don’t all make them BBQ.
Side dishes?  The beans didn’t seem to be much more than canned pork & beans and the slaw & fries were just average.  Luckily, my family had a better experience but then none of them had the BBQ.

I can’t recommend Shorty’s for BBQ, but if you’re looking for sandwiches & pasta they might be worth a shot.
Here’s how Shorty Small’s stacks up:
•    BBQ – D
•    Side Dishes – C
•    Atmosphere – C
•    Value – B

Be sure and check out Grill and Barrel…a very cool site!


2 Responses to “Shorty Smalls – Branson, MO – Braddog”

  1. on 19 Jul 2009 at 7:59 pm Sarah

    My husband and I had the brilliant idea to start a blog today that reviews hole-in-the-wall barbeque restaurants across Georgia. We were doing some online research on how to set it up after eating Fox Bros. tonight, and we ran across your blog. You beat us to the punch — by about two years. Your blog is pretty much exactly what we had in mind (minus reviews from some of your travels outside the state). Congrats on the great work! If you need guest bloggers, let us know.

  2. on 26 Jul 2009 at 6:33 pm Diane

    Thanks for the review of Shorty Smalls. We are headed down to Branson this weekend and I had thought about eating there. Thanks to your review, we’ll be going somewhere else instead.

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