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Kansas City Barbeque Jaunt

Kansas City Barbeque Jaunt
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  • Post #31 - November 15th, 2005, 5:24 pm
    Post #31 - November 15th, 2005, 5:24 pm Post #31 - November 15th, 2005, 5:24 pm
    whitesnake wrote:Hi Cathy,

    Wow. Thanks for the great post! I did in fact miss that the first time around. I took the shortcut and posted. My apologies.

    What was a simple information gathering at my part this morning will now likely become a mission. I hope--two days after thanksgiving--I'll be able to coax someone, namely my wife, into driving into the city with me.

    Outstanding work. I'm much obliged to ALL.

    w-


    Try one of these the events from About Kansas City There are links to these events on the above site.

    Country Club Plaza Lighting Ceremony
    Nov 27
    Country Club Plaza, KCMO.
    Don't miss this most treasured of Kansas City traditions.
    Admission: Free.
    Lights stay on until mid-January.
    (816) 753-0100.

    Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Nov 28
    Crown Center Square
    2450 Grand, KCMO.
    5:45pm.
    (816) 274-8444.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #32 - November 15th, 2005, 5:30 pm
    Post #32 - November 15th, 2005, 5:30 pm Post #32 - November 15th, 2005, 5:30 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:Arthur Bryants was pretty good if you stick with the pork and the burnt ends. The brisket was flavorless


    In the spirit of different strokes for different folks, my opinion of Bryant's is exactly the opposite.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #33 - November 15th, 2005, 8:46 pm
    Post #33 - November 15th, 2005, 8:46 pm Post #33 - November 15th, 2005, 8:46 pm
    Where in the 'burbs are you staying? There are neighborhood joints everywhere. It's always nice to do one of the crown jewels and one that's nearby. Only a few out of the 100+ places ever get any publicity. The Woodyard on Merriam Lane right of I35 and Lamar on the Kansas side is a hidden gem. There's also Smokin' Guns in downtown NKC, just to name a couple.
  • Post #34 - November 15th, 2005, 10:17 pm
    Post #34 - November 15th, 2005, 10:17 pm Post #34 - November 15th, 2005, 10:17 pm
    I had forgot about this link to the Gastronomic Appreciation Society. This is probably the most thorough review of Kansas City bbq on or off the internet.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #35 - November 16th, 2005, 9:40 am
    Post #35 - November 16th, 2005, 9:40 am Post #35 - November 16th, 2005, 9:40 am
    i'll be staying in Blue Springs, MO.
  • Post #36 - November 16th, 2005, 10:30 am
    Post #36 - November 16th, 2005, 10:30 am Post #36 - November 16th, 2005, 10:30 am
    http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthre ... ost2610608
    this is a pretty funny thread; here's an snippet from someone out that way....

    beer bacon
    WHAT

    Avatar

    Joined: Oct 2003
    Location: Kansas City, MO

    Three places that aren't mentioned very often, but are still very good are Zarda's in Blue Springs, Smokehouse in Independence by the AMC 20, and the Walbash over in Excelsior Springs up north.

    The Walbash is a little out of the way, but their ribs are extremely tasty and well cooked. Zarda has variety of delicious entrees, but their bbq sandwiches are great. A Zarda's bbq sandwich and some cheese soup makes a great lunch.

    With that said, Jack's Stack is still my favorite. OK Joes is very good as well.

    >the first 3 are on the side of town you'll be on, as is LC's.
    Pick up some Zardas sauce, if nothing else. Excelsior springs is a neat little town you could head up to pretty quickly. The Elms Resort is there.
    http://www.elmsresort.com/
    Last edited by bbqboy on November 16th, 2005, 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #37 - November 16th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    Post #37 - November 16th, 2005, 3:26 pm Post #37 - November 16th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    Had a buddy in from Whitewater last weekend. We hit Okie Joe's Friday night for the ribs, pulled pork, and the red beans and rice, and Bryant's on Saturday for pork sand and burnt ends. Tell you what, I think the burnt ends are changing, or else this was a bad day. Just plain flat-out sloppy with sauce, the ends themselves were dried out and tough. Kind of embarrassing, truth to tell.

    Pork sand, however, was just fine. Perfectly smoked.

    I *still* think that Okie Joe's ribs are the best in town. But there has been some spirited dissension on this board* from this evaluation. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it. No dissension re: their pulled pork--excellent.

    Sunday Morning we went to Ortega's for menudo. It's a terrific family place--a cantina with about 10 tables in the back of a tiny c-store. Old time KC traditional latino families come there on Sunday mornings, it's a warm happy place. There's usually a long line of folks holding stock pots, gallon jars, etc. waiting to load up on menudo to take home. I asked Sra. Ortega once how much menudo she makes on a weekend: "Eight hundred gallons" she said. It's excellent menudo.

    http://listings.pitch.com/gyrobase/Best ... id%3A22011

    And yeah, visiting City Market on a Sunday is the best of all possible worlds: everything is open, but there's no crowd. In the market, in addition to the places already mentioned (esp. the grilled+smoked Italian sausage guy at the north end, and the Middle Eastern place on the west side) there's a Vietnames restaurant that makes very very good phô. Plus their sweet potato+shrimp appetizer is awfully good as well.

    Forget the lighting ceremony at the Plaza: the average annual crowd is c. 500,000 people. I live exactly one mile west of the Plaza and parking sometimes gets out to me.

    The Truman Library in Independence (not far from where you'll be staying) is simply awesome.

    Geo



    Ortega's Mini Mart
    2646 Belleview, 816-531-5415

    *http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=21404&sid=827f13bfa866ad656456ed2616c4f235
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #38 - November 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    Post #38 - November 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm Post #38 - November 16th, 2005, 3:32 pm
    Geo wrote: We hit Okie Joe's Friday night for the ribs, pulled pork, and the red beans and rice, and Bryant's on Saturday for pork sand and burnt ends. Tell you what, I think the burnt ends are changing, or else this was a bad day. Just plain flat-out sloppy with sauce, the ends themselves were dried out and tough. Kind of embarrassing, truth to tell.


    I agree with you about Bryant's burnt ends. I think they have been going downhill for a couple of years now. That's why I've been talking up the burnt ends at Lil' Jakes for a while now. I think they are the best in town, closly followed by LCs (on a good day).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #39 - December 27th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    Post #39 - December 27th, 2005, 10:45 pm Post #39 - December 27th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    Image

    The vagaries of Christmas travel brought me a chance to reenact, in my own small way, the epic Kansas City barbecue jaunt planned by Will and Cathy2 in the thread above, and finally reported upon in this one. My plan: to meet up with a couple of old friends in the KC area (one of whom had kids I'd never seen, nor he mine), make my first trip to Arthur Bryant's in eons (at least a decade, though I don't think there's been a day in that time that I didn't have the sauce handy) and also to try one of those places I never tried because I was such a Bryant's fan. No, not Gates, I tried Gates plenty of times and it never did it for me. My choice, based on posts here, was Lil Jake's.

    The trip was fraught with potential for you-can't-go-home-again disappointment, since I've spent the last year or so learning the intricacies of homemade barbecue, including such exotica as the infamous wagyu brisket. One of the things I've learned along the way, of course, is that BBQ isn't really all that suited to the demands of a restaurant; it's suited to being eaten on its own schedule, not yours, and in fact it's not hard (if not exactly easy, either) to make barbecue that's much better than most restaurants', just because you have the time and the lack of commercial demands to do it exactly right, and don't have to worry about having meat but no customers at one time, and customers but no meat at another.

    So anyway. How would these two places meet the challenge? Lil Jake's takes a venerable approach I first associated with R&S Barbecue in Wichita, long recognized as the best, but hardest to eat at, barbecue place in that city. Specifically, it's only open for a very short time, which is when the barbecue will be at its peak of perfection. You show up during that window, you eat it-- an' then you beat it and they shut down for the day.

    Since we had lots of folks, including kids, I ordered just about one of everything. Burnt ends, which came with a side of jambalaya:

    Image

    Ribs, with a side of beans:

    Image

    Pulled pork, Southern style:

    Image

    And also a straight brisket sandwich, I think with another side I forgot. Let's cut to the chase here. Sides: all dispensable, jambalaya was quite sad, like Malt O Meal with a slice of andouille in it, beans passable. Pulled pork was nothing special, though the slaw was pretty good. Ribs were quite good, a little too falling off the bone for my taste, but good flavor, visible smoke ring, you'd have been very happy to have made these yourself. Brisket sandwich, excellent, moist, tender brisket, handmade (you'll see why I used that word in a minute).

    And the burnt ends? The burnt ends, you should just go straight to the Southwest site and book a ticket already, I mean, for crying out loud, look at the picture, read the things people have said, for $79 you could go eat scallops on cod brandade tapenade with braised bernaised leek root escabeche and be snooted at by some louche shaven-headed waiter in a black T-shirt, or you could drive to Midway and in about two hours have this plate in front of you! Is that even a CHOICE? If it IS, what are you doing on THIS site?

    Except they're closed for another week or so for the holidays. And in a year or so they'll be bulldozed for the new stadium and gone forever, maybe. Get your butt down there now. Plus, they're real nice folks, and you can get an Eat It An Beat It T-shirt, as I did for my wife. Go there! You won't be sorry, no matter what it costs!

    Image

    Then off to Bryant's. I'd heard discouraging things about it shall we say gentrifying under less shall we say soulful ownership. Had The Man stolen Bryant's jive? More to the point, could a place which cooked dozens, maybe hundreds of briskets a day (and other stuff too) really maintain the standards of quality, of handmade artisanal barbecue excellence, that I'd seen at a much smaller operation just moments before?

    Image

    So it was with trepidation that I handed a plate through the window, asked for the standard "beef san with fries" that 90% of the customers order, and watched as mine was painted with the Rustoleum-colored sauce whose corrosive effect on the wimpy Wonder bread I once likened to John Coltrane's version of a saccharine Rodgers and Hammerstein tune when it comes to demonstrating the overwhelming, annilhating superiority of mid-20th century black culture over the mainstream white culture of the same time.

    Look, a barbecue elf!

    Image

    So who won, Lil Jake's, Bryant's or my own barbecue? There are no losers on an expedition like this. Lil Jake's' artisanal 'cue was outstanding where it was outstanding, and there's no question that if you put a plate of their burnt ends next to a beef san from Bryant's, the meat alone would win. But Bryant's is a total package experience and cannot be discounted. The unique sauce (which is very much an acquired taste, but loved by me), the fresh-cut cooked in lard fries which are about as good as you'll have anywhere (and can't even be talked about in the same breath as Lil Jake's' perfunctory sides), the show behind the glass which drips such old-school barbecue atmosphere, the history all around you make Bryant's one of a kind experience and one I was glad to have again-- even if, pressed, I'd have to say Lil Jake's, purely on food, is the best barbecue I've had in Kansas City.

    Image
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  • Post #40 - December 27th, 2005, 11:17 pm
    Post #40 - December 27th, 2005, 11:17 pm Post #40 - December 27th, 2005, 11:17 pm
    And in a year or so they'll be bulldozed for the new stadium and gone forever, maybe.


    As if one needed another reason to hate Missouri baseball.

    Thanks, Mike. it sounds like I'll need to add another chapter to the great barbeque jaunt to fully explore the bounties of Lil Jakes Eat It and Beat It.
  • Post #41 - December 27th, 2005, 11:18 pm
    Post #41 - December 27th, 2005, 11:18 pm Post #41 - December 27th, 2005, 11:18 pm
    If you are going to follow Mike's advice and head to Kansas City via Southwest, go onto the website and download the Southwest DING software.

    Quite often, you will be able to score RT fares at $84 to Kansas City (and most of the midwestern cities served by Southwest.

    Earlier this week, there were DING fares to NY's Islip-McArthur for $85RT and Tampa for $112 (which I booked and canceled the $138 fare that I had previously booked.

    Back to food..
  • Post #42 - December 27th, 2005, 11:53 pm
    Post #42 - December 27th, 2005, 11:53 pm Post #42 - December 27th, 2005, 11:53 pm
    Except they're closed for another week or so for the holidays. And in a year or so they'll be bulldozed for the new stadium and gone forever, maybe. Get your butt down there now. Plus, they're real nice folks, and you can get an Eat It An Beat It T-shirt, as I did for my wife. Go there! You won't be sorry, no matter what it costs!


    Say it ain't so! I'm hoping you're being lyrical or is this count down time?
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #43 - December 27th, 2005, 11:56 pm
    Post #43 - December 27th, 2005, 11:56 pm Post #43 - December 27th, 2005, 11:56 pm
    It's the rumor, according to my friends. Not sure how solid it is.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #44 - December 28th, 2005, 12:46 am
    Post #44 - December 28th, 2005, 12:46 am Post #44 - December 28th, 2005, 12:46 am
    Mike G wrote:It's the rumor, according to my friends. Not sure how solid it is.


    It will be voted upon in the April 2006 elections there. Many a deal such as this has fallen through and many of the variables of exactly what needs to move for expansion are negotiated down to the wire. No doubt someone down there will perform as admirably as Illinois' own "Big" Jim Thompson and protect this venerable establishment as vigorously as "Big" Jim protected McCuddy's across the street from Comiskey Park. Gosh, I love going down to Comiskey before the game and having a few drafts at McCuddy's. Oh wait, I'm dreaming, there is no McCuddy's and there is no Comiskey. Yet somehow, and I'm NOT drinking, I can't get the image of my governor holding a woman's panties up to the TV camera out of my head. Let's hope that the powers-that-be in KC perform better.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #45 - December 28th, 2005, 4:35 am
    Post #45 - December 28th, 2005, 4:35 am Post #45 - December 28th, 2005, 4:35 am
    Mike G wrote:I'd have to say Lil Jake's, purely on food, is the best barbecue I've had in Kansas City.


    I'm glad to hear you liked it. I've been touting Lil' Jakes for around here since the board began (although I agree with you about Bryant's being a "holy shrine" to BBQ). Thanks for bumping this post up to the top again. I'm getting ready to make my annual 2 week trip to KC in mid-January and this is just what I needed to start getting me excited. Between Lil' Jakes, LC's and Bryant's (not to mention Stroud's for fried chicken), I'm going to be eating pretty good for a couple of weeks (not that I don't already).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #46 - December 28th, 2005, 7:14 am
    Post #46 - December 28th, 2005, 7:14 am Post #46 - December 28th, 2005, 7:14 am
    I'm going to KC next week and will definitely hit Lil Jakes. Bryant's is my favorite KC joint and I hope to get there too. Unfortunately, my parents are not fond of Bryant's so I have to sneak away for a meal by myself.

    For those who are visiting Kansas City here is a great resource you might use to choose BBQ places to try.

    Gastromical Appreciation Society

    On another note I was talking to my father last night and he told me Stroud's is closing and moving to a different location.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #47 - December 28th, 2005, 8:39 am
    Post #47 - December 28th, 2005, 8:39 am Post #47 - December 28th, 2005, 8:39 am
    Bruce wrote:On another note I was talking to my father last night and he told me Stroud's is closing and moving to a different location.


    They have two locations. Which one is closing?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #48 - December 28th, 2005, 9:03 am
    Post #48 - December 28th, 2005, 9:03 am Post #48 - December 28th, 2005, 9:03 am
    stevez wrote:
    Bruce wrote:On another note I was talking to my father last night and he told me Stroud's is closing and moving to a different location.


    They have two locations. Which one is closing?


    I believe the original location is being torn down for some development. They are suppposed to reopen somewhere else. Closing is scheduled for the end of this week.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #49 - December 28th, 2005, 9:28 am
    Post #49 - December 28th, 2005, 9:28 am Post #49 - December 28th, 2005, 9:28 am
    Bruce wrote:I believe the original location is being torn down for some development. They are suppposed to reopen somewhere else. Closing is scheduled for the end of this week.


    Ouch! http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/entertainment/columnists/hearne_christopher_jr/13425604.htm

    Customers are coming from near and far to pay their last respects to the eatery, which will close at the end of business Dec. 31 to make way for the widening of 85th Street. Stroud’s hopes to relocate ASAP to suitably un-swank digs nearby. Meanwhile, Stroud’s north of the river expansion at I-35 and Vivion Road will remain open for those with a penchant for fried comfort food.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #50 - December 28th, 2005, 9:42 am
    Post #50 - December 28th, 2005, 9:42 am Post #50 - December 28th, 2005, 9:42 am
    Nice post, Mike. I’ve been craving a revisit to KC lately and you just sealed the deal! Trix and I have been to KC on a number of BBQ trips and I have to say that your assessments, from my vantage point, are dead on. After all’s said and done, we’ve always considered Lil Jake’s brisket sandwich to be the most memorable morsel in town. Unfortunately, in the few times we’ve been there, the burnt ends were not available.

    We’ve also had various levels of happiness with the pork and beef sandwiches at Arthur Bryant’s. However, I must say that at this point, there’s no minimizing the psychological influence of the legend of Arthur Bryant’s and its impact on one’s discernment. I would say that going to the original Bryant’s location would be a massive success solely on the legacy of the place alone. Whether your personal selections match up that particular day with that majesty is another story. But we ALWAYS go there when we’re in town just to take in its wonderful barbeque ambiance as well as witness the excitement of other patrons that relish in their moments of being in the presence of perceived greatness and barbeque history. The enthusiasm is contagious and is, frankly, one of the main reason we do BBQ tours throughout the country.
  • Post #51 - December 28th, 2005, 11:28 am
    Post #51 - December 28th, 2005, 11:28 am Post #51 - December 28th, 2005, 11:28 am
    PIGMON wrote:Nice post, Mike. I’ve been craving a revisit to KC lately and you just sealed the deal!


    YOu guys should try to plan the trip to coincide with my 2 week stint there.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #52 - December 28th, 2005, 11:36 am
    Post #52 - December 28th, 2005, 11:36 am Post #52 - December 28th, 2005, 11:36 am
    Steve,

    When are you going to be there?
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #53 - December 28th, 2005, 2:38 pm
    Post #53 - December 28th, 2005, 2:38 pm Post #53 - December 28th, 2005, 2:38 pm
    Bruce wrote:Steve,

    When are you going to be there?


    I will be there 1/18 - 2/1 (but working much of the time)
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #54 - December 28th, 2005, 7:57 pm
    Post #54 - December 28th, 2005, 7:57 pm Post #54 - December 28th, 2005, 7:57 pm
    I'm there from 1/5 to 1/8, mostly because of my father's philosophy that "company are like fish, they both stink after 3 days". It does tend to keep there visits short too.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!

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