When Oklahoma Joe’s debuted its Z-man food truck last October, the idea was that it would offer to-go items that differed from the ‘go-to’ items at its three brick-and-mortar locations. But while the truck hasn’t been rolling this winter, one of the ideas born on the mobile kitchen — a Portobello Z-man ($6.99) — has managed to work its way back on to the restaurants’ menus.
“It takes on the smoke properties, but it’s pretty understated,” Director of Operations Ryan Barrows says of the newest version of Oklahoma Joe’s signature sandwich. “You get the umami sense from the mushrooms and portobellos have been synonymous with beef flavor. It was a natural transition.”
The Z-man is typically made with sliced brisket, melted provolone cheese and a pair of onion rings with a dollop of barbecue sauce on a kaiser roll. There’s a pulled chicken version as well. The Portobello Z-man substitutes in mushrooms for meat, and also has a swipe of barbecue mayonnaise on the bottom bun.
“The mayo enhances the mushroom,” Barrows says. “It needed a little bit of creaminess because of the lack of moisture from smoking.”
Barrows estimates that the mushrooms lose about 65 percent of their mass through moisture evaporation during their hour in the smoker. A case of mushrooms typically yields about eight or nine sandwiches. The newest Z-man debuted at the original restaurant located in a Kansas City, Kansas, gas station in October and was added to all three menus about a month later. While it’s not posted in the restaurant, it is a regularly stocked item.
“Ask us and we should have it,” Barrows says.
The Portobello Z-man is available at all three Oklahoma Joe’s locations (3002 W. 47th Ave, Kansas City, Kansas, 11950 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, Kansas, and 11723 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas).[Image via Facebook: Oklahoma Joe’s]