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Best BBQ in Kansas City

I'm looking for the best food, not the best "experience". I am sure that KC BBQ can live up to its reputation...help me find teh best place to eat it! Thanks.

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  1. This is a really big topic, with a lot of partisans on all sides. Similar in style (if not in scope) to saying "what is the best sushi in San Francisco?" Have you been to KC before? Are you looking for excellent meat? Beef or pork? Excellent sauce? Really good sides? Where in town are you staying? Are you only planning to go to one place or do you want to do a tour?

    1. Arthur Bryants on Brooklyn is legendary Fiorella's Jack Stack and Oklahoma Joe's in teh gas statioin are also faves of mine.

      1. Thanks. Well, being in SF I can tell you there is hardly any great sushi here, so I hope great BBQ in KC is not a myth as well!
        We're stayng @ the Westin Crown Center near Union Station. I've got time for just one dinner. I associate (based on nothing but my own conjecture) KC BBQ with beef but am open to anything. No prior KC BQ experience. Strongly dislike sweet sauce, but do think sauce is important, not more imporatnt than the meat though. Meat first, then great sides (rec's would be great on best sides to get). I heard Jack Stack's is good.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Tabetai yo

          For what it's worth, here is a link to my take on the barbeque scene here (see first paragraph): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31060... You can get an idea from that what you would prefer, I think.

          1. re: Tabetai yo

            Jackstack is good and they are in the Freighthouse right next to Union Station. Good sides too.

          2. Not a myth! The food at Jack Stack is excellent, and the location at the Freighthouse is certainly convenient to Crown Center. I think you've twigged to the fact, though, that it isn't really a BBQ "experience." It's really more of a "fine-dining" BBQ experience, and it's in the same building as Lidia Bastianich's place here in town. If you go there, make sure to get the beans. And definitely try the burnt ends. They're the crispy, fatty, carmelized bits on the end of the brisket, kind of a Kansas City thing. You really can't go wrong there -- always excellent! If you're staying at Crown Center and you can only go to one place and you want excellent food, I'd go there.

            If you want to get to one of the BBQ meccas, like Arthur Bryant's, you won't have to go far. There is some debate about whether AB's is all it used to be (you can find on some other threads). I've had some variable meals there, ranging from the best ever to fatty and a little gross. So it's a little more of a risk if you're only eating one meal. The sauce is very good, but odd -- it's gritty (literally, not figuratively). You can get a jar at the airport. The restaurant is gritty (figuratively).

            Another predictably excellent place is Oklahoma Joes. Not open on Sunday, so call ahead. It's in a gas station -- not a converted gas station, but an actual gas station. Much cheaper than JackStack, but really my favorite place in town. Both beef and pork are good. Outstanding sides include french fries and red beans and rice.

            1. Oh man, I think you sold me on the "burnt ends". My mouth is watering just thinking about how good that must be. We'll try Jack Stack's. Thanks to all of you so much!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Tabetai yo

                And don't forget the beans. I CANNOT emphasize this enough. If you're going to JackStack, order the beans. They cook them in the smoker, under the spit.

                'Nuf said.

                1. re: heatherkay

                  Uh... who eats barbeque without beans?!? ;-) Try the sausage too!

                2. re: Tabetai yo

                  Also, the lamb ribs are very good. If there are 2 of you, I'd go burnt ends and a rib sampler.