KC BBQ: The Emperor's New Clothes
Just returned from a week in KC and visited three much vaunted BBQ joints: Jack Stack's Fiorella, Gates, and Arthur Bryant. Sad to say, from this southern boy, that none were anything special. I had wanted to go to Bryant's since I read of it more than 25 years ago. The meat, particularly ribs, were great. Brisket sandwich very fatty and I did not like the sauce. What's with the grit?? The other two were just okay. Not bad, but certainly would not go out of my way for them. If they were near my home town, I would not cross town to go.
On another note, of steak, Plaza III was okay and Majestic was indeed majestic.
I understand that you might have been disappointed with your choices. Bryants is hit and miss, Gates has become mass-produced and Jack Stack is really Johnson County (suburban KS) BBQ. At this point LC's remains the real thing with Jilly's (on Wednesday's) pulled pork following close behind.
I'm a big fan of LC's and I hit up Oklahoma Joe's on occasion as well. I'd say the Night of the Living BBQ sauce at Joe's is the best in KC. I always go down there or Hy-Vee to get more sauce when I run out of it at home.
I never really cared for the sauce or the meat at Bryant's. It was always a little overhyped for what you ultimately get.
Gates, however, is like manna from heaven for me. Which location did you go to? The one on 32nd and Main is where I go, and it's never let me down yet.