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  • Kansas City BBQ

    Post #1 - July 17th, 2008, 3:55 pm
    Post #1 - July 17th, 2008, 3:55 pm Post #1 - July 17th, 2008, 3:55 pm
    I'm thinking of taking a road trip next week to Denver with a stop in Kansas City for some BBQ. I'm thinking I could squeeze in Arthur Bryant's, L.C.'s and Danny Edward's for a good sampling. Is this a good plan or should I substitute one of the above? It's been a while since this topic was discussed. Thanks in advance.
  • Post #2 - July 17th, 2008, 4:03 pm
    Post #2 - July 17th, 2008, 4:03 pm Post #2 - July 17th, 2008, 4:03 pm
    Not too long, but I will concede that BBQ discussion has not lent itself to indexing nearly as easily as other KC topics. I'll need to give it a better go, one of these days.

    I think your list is good. LC's and Bryant's are always my top two. I'm glad you're including a 3rd spot, and while I'm not crazy about Danny Edward's (haven't been to the new location) I think it's a perfectly good choice.

    I probably here more positive reviews about Oklahoma Joe's...many people would put that in a clear top 3 along with the other two. Again, my experience there wasn't that great, but it would probably be a worthy choice.

    Gates, Jack Stack, and Woodyard are all contender for that spot too, as far as I'm concerned. But I think you've got a good plan.
  • Post #3 - July 17th, 2008, 4:24 pm
    Post #3 - July 17th, 2008, 4:24 pm Post #3 - July 17th, 2008, 4:24 pm
    whatever you do make sure you hit bryant's.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #4 - July 17th, 2008, 9:57 pm
    Post #4 - July 17th, 2008, 9:57 pm Post #4 - July 17th, 2008, 9:57 pm
    jack stack in martin city for me
    make sure you order the baked beans
    as they smoke their meats the drippings fall down on the baked beans
    giving them tremedous flavor

    it was after this trip that i stopped using bacon in my beans and went to mostly bark from the shoulder

    my second favorite sauce is gates
    i like the gritty texure and and to me the sauce has a nice rodunded bbq flavor profile

    many sauces many flavors

    untill i went to 26 places in texas and ate in 18 in 5 days i thought kc was the bbq capital of the world

    now im not so sure
    i have read a few more books and been to a few more places
    im an opinionated type of person
    at this point in my life id say i just cant say

    on oct 25 im going with a bunch of people to lexington for a 1 day bbq fest that draws 100k preople im hoping to meet the ledgeonary wayne monk of lexington bbq
    and better understand the difference between eastern nc bbq (whole hog chopped int sandwiches with a sauce with no sugar and no tomato because 160 years ago tomato was thougt to be poisionious they tell me) and lexington bbq (western and mountain nc bbq) shoulders with some tomato and sugar in the sauce and sliced chopped or pulled sandwiches

    sorry to get off topic

    lots of great bbq in kc lots of great sauces

    i have not been to a city with more bbq places and bbq sauces on shelf

    it was the very last major city that i went to to sell sbr
    kc masterpiece started there and had a stranglehold on the market as well as all the other bbq places that worked their way on to the shelf locally
    real good bbq and real nice folks
    ask the locals for reccomendation
    try some new places and some of the favorites and then you will know more and feel better
    have fun
  • Post #5 - July 18th, 2008, 12:48 am
    Post #5 - July 18th, 2008, 12:48 am Post #5 - July 18th, 2008, 12:48 am
    baby ray wrote:my second favorite sauce is gates
    i like the gritty texure and and to me the sauce has a nice rodunded bbq flavor profile

    many sauces many flavors


    I agree- Gates may not always have the consistently best quality in their sandwiches, but the sauce has great flavor- I always pick up several bottles of the original and sweet & mild (?) and use it all the time up here, mixed with Roadhouse, usually.

    When I do go to KC, it's sort of like that craving you get occasionally for bad pizza here in Chicago (Papa John's bad, not Domino's bad- eek!) I fulfill my craving for bad pizza about as often as I can fulfill my Gates craving.

    Hey, it's still better than Russell's up here!
  • Post #6 - July 29th, 2009, 9:29 pm
    Post #6 - July 29th, 2009, 9:29 pm Post #6 - July 29th, 2009, 9:29 pm
    Thanks to Aaron Deacon (who organized a crawl for a group I was with in KC), I got to try 4 KC BBQ joints last weekend: Arthur Bryant's, LC's, Oklahoma Joe's and Woodyard. Of the 4 places, my favorite was easily LC's. I liked everything there, across the board. The ribs and the burnt ends were both great, with a noticeable amount of sweet smoke that didn't overpower. I loved the texture of these items, especially the ribs, which were barky on the exterior and moist on the interior. The burnt ends were intense and meaty. Both items had a great rub on them. Here are a few shots . . .

    Image
    LC's BBQ is located at 5800 Blue Pky in Kansas City, MO


    Image
    Ordering at LC's is fairly straightforward


    Image
    Spare Ribs, tips on from LC's


    Image
    Burnt Ends of brisket from LC's


    Image
    Delectable, moist morsel of burnt end at LC's

    I thought that Arthur Bryant's was the weakest of the lot. The ribs had unappealing white fat on them that didn't taste smokey and hadn't been cooked enough to be satisfying. Sliced brisket was not smokey, dry and very tough. Burnt ends were my favorite item but they were just ok. They were slathered in sweet gooey sauce and cooked to the point of slight shredding.

    Image
    Rib from Arthur Bryant's

    Image
    Sliced brisket and burnt ends (and shreds) from Arthur Bryant's


    I found Oklahoma Joe's a bit gimmicky and just ok. The place was insanely crowded around lunch time but Aaron had wisely ordered ahead and we took our BBQ to a nearby park. The centerpiece of what we ordered -- and the item about which I'd heard a good amount of buzz -- was the Z-Man sandwich, which is brisket, smoked provolone, and 2 onion rings on a kaiser roll. It was fine but I realized that putting cheese on BBQ is like covering a perfectly good hotdog in ketchup. :D. The sandwich was decidedly less than the sum of its parts. Another sandwich, Carolina Style, consisted of pulled pork, cole slaw and a fairly sweet, tomato-based sauce that was not, IMO, really reflective of Carolina-style bbq. Neither the straight pulled pork nor the brisket we tried really ascended, either. There was nothing wrong with them but there was nothing compelling about them, either. Ribs were decent but somewhat dry, which could have been due to the fact that we carried out.

    Image
    Z-Man Sandwich from Oklahoma Joe's


    Image
    Carolina-style Pork Sandwich from Oklahoma Joe's


    Image
    Ribs from Oklahoma Joe's


    The Woodyard was really nice in a lot of ways. I loved their out-building smokehouse and thought that the ribs were cooked very nicely with a light snappy crust on the outside moist meat beneath that. However, they were seriously underseasoned. That may have been ok if the pork flavor had shone through, but it didn't. I wished that these ribs had been more aggressively rubbed because they were cooked quite deftly.

    Image
    The Woodyard's smokehouse


    Image
    Ribs from The Woodyard

    It was a very fun day and I was happy to try so many places. I wish that I liked them more but I still got a tremendous amount out of the experience. Thanks again, to Aaron, for organizing this group and taking such good care of us.

    =R=

    LC's BBQ
    5800 Blue Pky
    Kansas City, MO 64129
    (816) 923-4484

    Arthur Bryant's BBQ
    1727 Brooklyn Ave
    Kansas City, MO 64127-2590
    (816) 231-1123

    Oklahoma Joe's BBQ
    3002 W 47th Ave
    Kansas City, KS 66103-3244
    (913) 722-3366

    The Woodyard BBQ
    3001 Merriam Ln
    Kansas City, KS 66106
    (913) 362-8000
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #7 - July 30th, 2009, 6:40 am
    Post #7 - July 30th, 2009, 6:40 am Post #7 - July 30th, 2009, 6:40 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:The centerpiece of what we ordered -- and the item about which I'd heard a good amount of buzz -- was the Z-Man sandwich, which is brisket, smoked provolone, and 2 onion rings on a kaiser roll. It was fine but I realized that putting cheese on BBQ is like covering a perfectly good hotdog in ketchup. :D.


    I've got to say this sandwich is seriously misnamed. I would never in a million years order something like that. :roll:

    Seriously, I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to KC. It seems that your opinion of the places you visited closely resembles mine. I've never really understood the massive love for Oklahoma Joe's, and although Bryant's is a shrine that every BBQ lover should visit at least once, I don't think their Q is up to the standards it once was. I much prefer LC's and Danny Edwards, although I've yet to visit the new location of Danny Edwards to see if the quality of the BBQ has withstood the move to newer, bigger quarters.

    Thanks for the report!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - July 30th, 2009, 7:54 am
    Post #8 - July 30th, 2009, 7:54 am Post #8 - July 30th, 2009, 7:54 am
    as always great pics Ronnie. thanks for the report.

    too bad its only thursday, those pics of thosse ribs makes me want to not wait for Saturday for my next batch. :D
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #9 - July 30th, 2009, 9:54 am
    Post #9 - July 30th, 2009, 9:54 am Post #9 - July 30th, 2009, 9:54 am
    wow ..those pics from LC look great
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #10 - July 31st, 2009, 7:20 am
    Post #10 - July 31st, 2009, 7:20 am Post #10 - July 31st, 2009, 7:20 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Sliced brisket and burnt ends (and shreds) from Arthur Bryant's

    Ronnie,

    Great post, a few of the pics have my mouth watering, though the picture of Arthur Bryant's abysmal burnt ends makes me both sad and ever so slightly disgusted

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - July 31st, 2009, 1:36 pm
    Post #11 - July 31st, 2009, 1:36 pm Post #11 - July 31st, 2009, 1:36 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Sliced brisket and burnt ends (and shreds) from Arthur Bryant's

    the picture of Arthur Bryant's abysmal burnt ends makes me both sad and ever so slightly disgusted


    Yeah, Arthur Bryant's really disappointed. I've had much better in the not-too-distant past, but also some similar experiences. The burnt ends are almost like sloppy joes. Several people kept calling it the pulled pork, which is a good indicator of how little beef character it retained.
  • Post #12 - January 5th, 2010, 12:50 pm
    Post #12 - January 5th, 2010, 12:50 pm Post #12 - January 5th, 2010, 12:50 pm
    fixin' to take a trip down to KC for a 3 day BBQ crawl in March for my 40th b-day.

    I know I will be hitting Arthur Bryants & Gate's BBQ since they are located pretty close to each other based on their addresses.

    I also want to hit LC's based on Ronnies pics above.

    Anyone have any feedback on the following spots:

    -Boyd's & Sons

    -Rosedale BBQ

    -Quicks 7th street BBQ


    Also looking for a good steak place for my b-day dinner.

    thanks for any help
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #13 - January 5th, 2010, 3:24 pm
    Post #13 - January 5th, 2010, 3:24 pm Post #13 - January 5th, 2010, 3:24 pm
    Jim,

    I would add Danny Edward's to your list of places to hit. Their burnt ends are my personal favorite, and the actual brisket is pretty good, too. If you go to Rosedale, stick to the chicken. That's the advice that was given to me by KC native Doug T when I first visited and I was disappointed the first time I didn't pay attention. If you don't mind driving into Kansas a little bit, I highly recommend J. Gilbert's in Overland Park for your steak dinner.

    Danny Edwards BBQ
    2900 Southwest Boulevard
    Kansas City, MO 64108
    (816) 283-0880

    J. Gilberts Steakhouse
    8901 Metcalf Ave
    Overland Park, KS 66212
    913-642-8070
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - January 5th, 2010, 3:34 pm
    Post #14 - January 5th, 2010, 3:34 pm Post #14 - January 5th, 2010, 3:34 pm
    stevez wrote:Jim,

    I would add Danny Edward's to your list of places to hit. Their burnt ends are my personal favorite, and the actual brisket is pretty good, too. If you go to Rosedale, stick to the chicken. That's the advice that was given to me by KC native Doug T when I first visited and I was disappointed the first time I didn't pay attention. If you don't mind driving into Kansas a little bit, I highly recommend J. Gilbert's in Overland Park for your steak dinner.

    Danny Edwards BBQ
    2900 Southwest Boulevard
    Kansas City, MO 64108
    (816) 283-0880

    J. Gilberts Steakhouse
    8901 Metcalf Ave
    Overland Park, KS 66212
    913-642-8070



    thanks for the tips steve.

    We are driving down, and we are either going to stay in Kansas City Kansas, or North Kansas City, MO. so a little more driving a little isnt totally out of the question.

    We will have Lunch Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for BBQ, as well as dinner Sunday and Monday. So that is a possibilty of 5 different BBQ spots.

    For steak since we will have our daughter with us may be the Golden Ox, as it may be kid friendly. I will take a look @ J. Gilberts, and check out if it is ok for a toddler.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #15 - January 5th, 2010, 3:52 pm
    Post #15 - January 5th, 2010, 3:52 pm Post #15 - January 5th, 2010, 3:52 pm
    I wouldn't waste my time and gas on Rosedale. Cathy2 and I included it on our Barbeque binge tour a few years ago and it was not worthy. Pre-wrapped sandwiches were stacked up in the kitchen window and handed out to customers ice cold and tasting like Arby's sandwiches.

    On my last trip there (last spring), Arthur Bryant's seemed to have slipped mightily. You may want to ask around before jumping in to that one. If it wasn't for reputation, I wouldn't go back

    I second the addition of Danny Edward's to your list.

    For your non-barbeque birthday dinner, you might like Piropos, an Argentine style seafood and steak place.

    http://www.piroposkc.com/
  • Post #16 - January 5th, 2010, 3:59 pm
    Post #16 - January 5th, 2010, 3:59 pm Post #16 - January 5th, 2010, 3:59 pm
    YourPalWill wrote:I wouldn't waste my time and gas on Rosedale. Cathy2 and I included it on our Barbeque binge tour a few years ago and it was not worthy. Pre-wrapped sandwiches were stacked up in the kitchen window and handed out to customers ice cold and tasting like Arby's sandwiches.

    On my last trip there (last spring), Arthur Bryant's seemed to have slipped mightily. You may want to ask around before jumping in to that one. If it wasn't for reputation, I wouldn't go back

    I second the addition of Danny Edward's to your list.

    For your non-barbeque birthday dinner, you might like Piropos, an Argentine style seafood and steak place.

    http://www.piroposkc.com/



    thanks for the info on Rosedale, wasnt really on my list, just a place I was curious of any feedback on. Same with Quicks.

    I was thinking of Arthur Bryants just based on their previous rep., and also being able to hit Gates which is down the street right on Brooklyn Ave.


    I have also heard good things about BB's Lawnside BBQ on 85th street.
    Last edited by jimswside on January 5th, 2010, 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #17 - January 5th, 2010, 4:03 pm
    Post #17 - January 5th, 2010, 4:03 pm Post #17 - January 5th, 2010, 4:03 pm
    Oh, I would be very remiss if I didn't remind a chicken hawk like yourself to visit Stroud's for some fried chicken and/or pork chops while you are in Kansas City (look upthread for my report). It's as much a required meal as BBQ for me when I'm down there. If you're staying in North Kansas City, the really cool Oak Ridge Manor location is closest.

    Stroud's Oak Ridge Manor
    5410 NE Oak Ridge Rd
    Kansas City, MO 64119
    (816) 454-9600
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #18 - January 5th, 2010, 4:06 pm
    Post #18 - January 5th, 2010, 4:06 pm Post #18 - January 5th, 2010, 4:06 pm
    keep em' coming, the more options the better.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #19 - January 5th, 2010, 4:14 pm
    Post #19 - January 5th, 2010, 4:14 pm Post #19 - January 5th, 2010, 4:14 pm
    jimswside wrote:keep em' coming, the more options the better.


    Stroud's is not an option, it's a requirement, IMO. :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #20 - January 5th, 2010, 4:16 pm
    Post #20 - January 5th, 2010, 4:16 pm Post #20 - January 5th, 2010, 4:16 pm
    I haven't gotten around to Rosedale yet, but have heard really awful things. Others have made DougT's point on the chicken, I've heard mixed on that. With all the options, not sure why Rosedale is on the list. Quick's--I've only had the Merriam Lane location's ribs, but I don't hear much about the 7th St one. Always been curious, though.

    If you go to LC's, which I recommend highly, you can sample Big T's just down the street.

    Oklahoma Joe's is hugely popular, but overrated in my opinion.

    I'd throw Smokin' Guns out there as another option--wonderful ribs. Brobeck's gets high praise, I haven't had a chance to give it a fair shake yet.

    I finally tried Danny Edward's new building out a couple weeks ago. It was better than I remembered, but still didn't do much for me, and if it's cold outside, it's really cold in there. I hate eating in cold restaurants.

    Arthur Bryant's (as mentioned above) has slipped on my last couple visits, but it's such an institution, I'm not sure that would keep me away. But set expectations accordingly.
  • Post #21 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Post #21 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm Post #21 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Aaron Deacon wrote:I haven't gotten around to Rosedale yet, but have heard really awful things. Others have made DougT's point on the chicken, I've heard mixed on that. With all the options, not sure why Rosedale is on the list. Quick's--I've only had the Merriam Lane location's ribs, but I don't hear much about the 7th St one. Always been curious, though.

    If you go to LC's, which I recommend highly, you can sample Big T's just down the street.

    Oklahoma Joe's is hugely popular, but overrated in my opinion.

    I'd throw Smokin' Guns out there as another option--wonderful ribs. Brobeck's gets high praise, I haven't had a chance to give it a fair shake yet.

    I finally tried Danny Edward's new building out a couple weeks ago. It was better than I remembered, but still didn't do much for me, and if it's cold outside, it's really cold in there. I hate eating in cold restaurants.

    Arthur Bryant's (as mentioned above) has slipped on my last couple visits, but it's such an institution, I'm not sure that would keep me away. But set expectations accordingly.



    thanks aaron.

    I had Arthur Bryants years ago, and would like to give it another shot. Kind of concered with all the recent feedback I have read not only here, but elsewhere.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #22 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Post #22 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm Post #22 - January 5th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    stevez wrote:
    jimswside wrote:keep em' coming, the more options the better.


    Stroud's is not an option, it's a requirement, IMO. :wink:

    I will be curious to hear what you think of Stroud's. Normally, I agree with Steve but I found Stroud's monstrously disappointing. We did go to the Fairway, KS location, which has quite a bit less ambience than the KC, MO location, though most locals I queried told me the food is about the same at both.

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #23 - January 5th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Post #23 - January 5th, 2010, 4:21 pm Post #23 - January 5th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    jimswside wrote:I had Arthur Bryants years ago, and would like to give it another shot. Kind of concered with all the recent feedback I have read not only here, but elsewhere.


    I wouldn't go in expecting a revelation, :wink: but the place is a classic.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #24 - January 5th, 2010, 4:23 pm
    Post #24 - January 5th, 2010, 4:23 pm Post #24 - January 5th, 2010, 4:23 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    jimswside wrote:keep em' coming, the more options the better.


    Stroud's is not an option, it's a requirement, IMO. :wink:

    I will be curious to hear what you think of Stroud's. Normally, I agree with Steve but I found Stroud's monstrously disappointing. We did go to the Fairway, KS location, which has quite a bit less ambience than the KC, MO location, though most locals I queried told me the food is about the same at both.

    =R=


    In all fairness, it's been a couple of years since I've been there, so it's possible that things might have changed, what with the closing of the original location and all.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - January 5th, 2010, 4:25 pm
    Post #25 - January 5th, 2010, 4:25 pm Post #25 - January 5th, 2010, 4:25 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    jimswside wrote:keep em' coming, the more options the better.


    Stroud's is not an option, it's a requirement, IMO. :wink:

    I will be curious to hear what you think of Stroud's. Normally, I agree with Steve but I found Stroud's monstrously disappointing. We did go to the Fairway, KS location, which has quite a bit less ambience than the KC, MO location, though most locals I queried told me the food is about the same at both.

    =R=


    if my wife gets tired of bbq(dont think I will), we will give it a try, Id be curious to see how it stands up to the tavern fried chicken out where I live(Ripps, Smitty's, etc.).
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #26 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm
    Post #26 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm Post #26 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm
    jimswside wrote:Id be curious to see how it stands up to the tavern fried chicken out where I live(Ripps, Smitty's, etc.).


    Exactly my point. You shouldn't miss Stroud's. It's very much in the same school as some of the places out near you (with the addition of those great cinnamon buns they serve). You're in a great position to compare.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm
    Post #27 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm Post #27 - January 5th, 2010, 4:28 pm
    stevez wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    Stroud's is not an option, it's a requirement, IMO. :wink:

    I will be curious to hear what you think of Stroud's. Normally, I agree with Steve but I found Stroud's monstrously disappointing. We did go to the Fairway, KS location, which has quite a bit less ambience than the KC, MO location, though most locals I queried told me the food is about the same at both.

    =R=


    In all fairness, it's been a couple of years since I've been there, so it's possible that things might have changed, what with the closing of the original location and all.

    If you're there and you're into food at all, I think you owe it yourself to visit. After all, that's what people like us do. :D

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #28 - January 5th, 2010, 4:35 pm
    Post #28 - January 5th, 2010, 4:35 pm Post #28 - January 5th, 2010, 4:35 pm
    checked out their menu, looks good

    www.stroudsrestaurant.com
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #29 - January 6th, 2010, 12:35 am
    Post #29 - January 6th, 2010, 12:35 am Post #29 - January 6th, 2010, 12:35 am
    jim, I'm going to weigh in here as someone who just returned from his Holiday visit to KC; as a Chicagoan who is married to a native Kansas City girl who makes numerous trips back every year, and as a friend and dining companion to the KC Barbecue cognoscenti (among others, Ardie Davis, a man who literally wrote the book(s) on the subject; "The Kansas City Barbecue Pocket Guide", "The Great BBQ Sauce Book", and, most recently, with Paul Kirk, "America's Best BBQ: 100 Recipes from America's Best Smokehouses, Pits, Shacks, Rib Joints, Roadhouses, and Restaurants"). All of that to say, basically, "Trust me."

    Keep LC's on your list and try the burnt ends. Also, be sure to get the fries; piping hot planks of perfect potato goodness, golden and crisp outside, light, fluffy, and even a bit creamy on the inside. The beans aren't too bad either.

    As for Bryant's and Gates, there are better places to visit if you're going to drive all that way for good 'Que. There seems to be a consistent string of reports here, at Roadfood, and various other opinion based websites that Bryant's has slipped and is not worth visiting. I can speak from personal experience dating back about three years ago. Our burnt ends were so doused in sauce they were more like a burnt end stew than a sandwich. Our sides of beans, potato salad and slaw were lacking as well. Further reports from people I respect have described dried out brisket and overly fatty pork.

    Gates is not too bad, but you kinda need to stick to what works, no diversions. I'm partial to their sliced brisket while my friend Ardie likes their mutton, mostly because they're one of the only places in town that cooks it (Jack's Stack's lamb ribs being one notable exception). Gates also has excellent steak fries and some really outstanding beans.

    Moving on to my faves, besides LC's, I would go to BB's Lawnside, The Woodyard (open only for lunch), Brobeck's, and Johnny's Hickory House. There's already plenty of talk about BB's and Woodyard on this site, so let's talk about the other two. Brobeck's is owned by Doug Brobeck who was the original owner of Stilwell Smokehouse in Stilwell, Kansas. Doug sold the original store to a group of know-it-alls who promptly ran the joint into the ground and then caused a "flood", if ya know what I mean. He's back in Overland Park with more of his excellent meats and sides. Try the sausage, ribs, and brisket in particular. Also, if you're a fan of mustard based Barbecue sauces, Doug has one of the best I've tasted.

    Johnny's isn't a high profile place, but it serves solid 'Que every time we visit. Ardie brought us here calling Johnny's his "neighborhood 'go to' greasehouse". If you're looking for the Texas roadhouse charm of BB's or the urban edge of Bryant's this is not the place for you. Johnny's is in quiet Roeland Park, Kansas, and has an appropriately suburban feel. Good all around Barbecue with no particular stand outs, solid sides and good service make Johnny's worth a stop.

    I'll add my support for a visit to Stroud's, but there's another chicken joint in town that offers a slightly different perspective on the humble yardbird. El Pollo Rey in KCKS is a total dive serving some of the best grilled chicken I have ever tasted. Some of the less adventurous locals might be reluctant to head into El Pollo Rey's neighborhood, but I've not had any problems in my two visits. You walk in and the spartan ambiance reaches out and grabs you almost immediately. If memory serves, there are two tables and three booths for eating in. I would guess they do far more carry out than dine in business.

    The open kitchen area consists mostly of a charcoal and hickory fired grill about one and a half times the size of a standard card table. The grill is almost always full, edge to edge with halved chickens in various states of doneness; their fragrant fowl (not foul) perfume mingling with the gentle bite of hickory smoke. The menu, such as it is, is practically non-existent. You buy chickens by the half or the whole. These are big meaty birds, marinated and grilled to achieve a lovely charred skin and juicy meat.

    Sides are beans and rice. The beans are whole legumes, as opposed to the re-fried variety, simmered in broth with random chunks of bacon for flavor. Rice is typical of what you'd expect in a Mexican restaurant. There is a stack of avocados near the cash register. You pick your avocado and they quarter it for you. Also served with your meal are fresh, warm tortillas that, if not made in house, they were procured within walking distance of El Pollo Rey's front door. Dress up the tortillas with a pureed version of pico de gallo; tomato, onion, and jalapeno ground into a coarse salsa fresca. You'll also receive a plastic sandwich bag with what I originally thought was grape jelly. It was purple and squishy and i couldn't figure what the heck I was supposed to do with this dad-gummed gelatinous substance. Finally, I screwed up my courage and opened the bag only to discover that it was actually full of pickled purple onion! I spread out a tortilla, scooped out some ripe avocado, topped it with the pickled onion and the salsa fresca, wrapped it all up and took a bite along with a juicy chunk of chicken. Sweet merciful Minerva, I was experiencing Nirvana right there in the booth!

    Oh yeah, they've got Mexican Coke with real sugar too!

    We were there on Christmas eve afternoon. The grill was full most of the time we were there. We're talking dozens of chickens. Although there were no other dine in customers, there was a steady stream of locals, braving near blizzard conditions to pick up El Pollo Rey's chickens for Christmas Eve dinner. By the time we left, just as they were closing at 4pm, they had sold every bird in the joint.

    Have a great trip!

    Buddy

    BB's Lawnside BBQ
    1205 East 85th Street
    Kansas City, MO 64105
    (816) 822-7427

    Brobeck's
    4615 Indian Creek Parkway
    Overland Park, KS
    (913) 901-9700

    Johnny's Hickory House
    5959 Broadmoor
    Mission, KS
    (913) 432-0777

    El Pollo Rey
    1101 Kansas Avenue
    Kansas City, KS
    (913) 371-4243
  • Post #30 - January 6th, 2010, 7:11 am
    Post #30 - January 6th, 2010, 7:11 am Post #30 - January 6th, 2010, 7:11 am
    Great god, Buddy. Just when i thought I knew all there was to know about Kansas City Q, you expand my universe. Thanks for those additions to my list.

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