New: Homestyle BBQ & Authentic Puerto-Rican Takeout at KP Smokehouse

Food & Drink, Food & Drink News


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on March 8, 2023
KP Smokehouse / Photo courtesy of KP Smokehouse

We all have dreams that we want to chase, but sometimes, looking after others — whether it’s our kids or adult loved ones — means we have to put those dreams on hold.

After many years of caring for others, Evette Phillips-Garcia finally made the time to bring a personal dream to life in the form of KP Smokehouse on Genesee St in Cheektowaga.

In 2003, an on-the-job accident forced Evette out of work and onto welfare. Broke and depressed, she eventually found purpose in feeding Buffalo’s homeless under the viaduct at the Central Library in downtown Buffalo. Starting with just 30 extra food stamps, Evette founded We R Buffalo Strong in 2013 as a non-profit dedicated to feeding the city’s most vulnerable. The organization has held regular food events, delivered groceries, given makeovers and provided haircuts — all for the homeless and underprivileged veterans.


KP Smokehouse / Photo courtesy of KP Smokehouse

As she was finding purpose in helping others, Evette was also growing more comfortable as a cook.

“The more I learned how to cook, the more people were saying: You should start a business,” she says. “But for a long time, my main focus was giving back to our less fortunate.”

But the call to open her own restaurant grew louder to ignore. Evette eventually made the decision to open KP Smokehouse — with KP standing for Keep ‘em Pleased. The takeout-only barbecue spot is located in an old Dairy Queen that was mostly converted with the help of family and friends.

“I didn’t know the business world,” Evette admits. “I knew catering and I knew about feeding the homeless. I’m a trusting person until somebody shows me different. Unfortunately, we had to go through a lot of scammers and price gougers.”


KP Smokehouse / Photo courtesy of KP Smokehouse
KP Smokehouse / Photo courtesy of KP Smokehouse

The menu at the restaurant features barbecue and soul food classics. Served from 10 a.m. to noon, the breakfast menu includes a breakfast sandwich ($10) and chicken and waffles ($14). During the rest of the day, the menu includes a brisket sandwich ($11), pulled pork sandwich ($14), half-rack rib combo ($24), barbecue chicken combo ($18) and more.

On Saturdays, KP’s unfurls a special Puerto Rican menu that includes pastelillos ($3) and pernil dinner ($22). This Soul-rican menu comes courtesy of Evette’s husband, whom she met through We R Buffalo Strong.

“I’ve watched him put his heart and soul into making his Puerto Rican food, and I’m like, wow, that’s just my culture,” she says, “with our fried chicken, collard greens and things like that. On Saturdays, both of our cultures are in one kitchen.”

Despite being busy with the restaurant and working on launching a food truck, Evette says she is still focused on giving back and continuing her charity work.

“It would be a slap in the face — so to speak — for me to get what I want and then give up on them,” she says. “That’s why KP’s is closed on Sundays. Besides our Buffalo Bills,” she laughs, “the homeless still get those days.”

Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday and Monday CLOSED

Take Out

KP Smokehouse

3075 Genesee St Buffalo, NY 14225 • $$$$$

Cheektowaga and East

  • BBQ
  • American
  • Puerto Rican
  • Soul Food

A family-owned takeout style restaurant with a menu full of flavor! Read Our Article About Their Opening [sm_anypost columns="1" posts="1" ...

  • Take-out
  • Family Friendly

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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