Biker Requested, Biker Recommended!
Not long ago, I met a guy named Keith while I was reviewing a place called the Hilltop. He’s the current president of the Iowa chapter of the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club, and some of you might remember seeing him in the video with me on that review [click the image at the bottom of this review to check it out].
Keith had a really good idea for a place to review, which was Kula’s in Walker, Iowa. I have been to Kula’s on many occasions, so when Keith contacted us and suggested Kula’s, I was ready to go.
Kula’s “It’s Just Sauce”
Kula’s It’s Just Sauce serves competition-grade barbecue, and Jason Kula has won quite a few awards, including trophies at Bikes Blues & BBQ. Kula’s was actually the first place I ever got to eat competition grade barbecue, and there’s a table in the back where he displays his trophies.
The Carolina Fries
One of their most popular dishes is their Carolina fries. It’s pretty much a pile of fries topped with pulled pork, cheese sauce, and a few other goodies. They have a version of this with brisket as well, and I have had both at some time or another. I would personally recommend either one, so you can’t really go wrong.
Jason’s Famous BBQ Wings
The wings here are also extremely popular, and you get some of Jason’s competition-grade sauce as a coating [It's Just Sauce]. There’s actually a lot of food here that is really popular, so it’s hard to mention everything. Kula’s seems to be the only restaurant currently operating in the town of Walker, so they have to be good at a lot of different types of food to keep the locals happy.
The town has no stand-alone pizza place, so Kula’s decided to serve that need as well. The pizza here alone is worth the drive to Walker from Cedar Rapids. It reminds me of what Pizza Hut used to be like during the 1980’s (back when The Hut still had really good pizza).
A lot of people go to Kula’s for broasted chicken.
They also have standard bar food, and a fully stocked bar to keep you from getting too thirsty.
Of course, they have tenderloins too, although that’s one thing I have never personally tried at Kulas.
Big Meat Night
Every Saturday, they have what they call their “big meat” night. This is when you can get fresh off the smoker meats, but the quantities are limited. The best strategy for Saturday night is to get there early, and if you aren’t sure what time “early” is, call ahead and ask.
The best Prime Rib you'll ever find
Examples of Saturday night specials would be ribs, pork steak, and prime rib. Tonight, they had prime rib, and that’s exactly why I planned my trip for this particular day.
"[Kula's] prime rib, like most of their other food, is some of the best you will ever find. I ended up drinking the left over au jus like soup, just because it was too good to waste."
-Will Carter, The Ambassador of Flavors
The big meat plates are usually served with baked potatoes, rolls, salad bar, and a dessert.
Kula’s Rich History
The building itself used to be an old bowling alley, and you can still see the wood from the lanes on parts of the floor and some of the tables. There’s a lot of orange and black paint inside, so I will let you come to your own conclusion about the significance of it.
They have a really big patio that is fenced in, right outside the main dining area. The town isn’t very busy or populated, so finding street parking is never much of an issue. I’m pretty sure large groups of bikers show up here all the time and have no problems getting in and out.
I have introduced a few of my friends to this place for the first time, and they were very surprised at how good the food was.
“One of my friends regularly calls this place “the promised land” when he talks about the food.”
-Will Carter, The Ambassador of Flavors
Finding competition-grade barbecue out in the middle of nowhere, in Iowa, just isn’t something I would ever have expected to happen. The fact that all the other food is equally as good further confounds my mind.
If you have never tried true competition-grade barbecue, this would be the best place to start, and it’s a completely different experience from the food you will find at a typical barbecue restaurant.
Click below to check out The Ambassador of Flavors' chat with Keith at Hilltop!
A note from Will Carter, The Ambassador of Flavors:
“This is one of many motorcycle-friendly restaurant reviews I do on a weekly basis. The goal is to promote local bars, grills, and restaurants as destinations for motorcycle enthusiasts. These reviews are part of an online resource created to help bikers find bars with good food and entertainment.”