Visiting Kansas City in a couple weeks for work and am looking for recommendations for the BBQ restaurant not to be missed. Do not eat pork or beef so the menu should include poultry and fish options. I have heard there is over 100 BBQ restaurant but have limited time in the city. Will be staying downtown.
Thank you in advance!
If you don't eat pork and beef, probably your best bet is Fiorella's Jack Stack. They have plenty of seafood and chicken options. You won't be able to eat the beans because they are extremely beefy, but I guess most beans probably have pork in them, so that would be out anyway. You won't be able to eat the cheesy corn either, because it has ham in it. Are you sure you want barbeque?! ;-) The vegetable kabobs were pretty good the last time I had them there.
Wow, that's like ordering hollandaise without egg yolks and butter. I don't think I've ever ordered chicken in a bbq place. Jack's Stack is probably your best bet.
Arthur Bryant's also had smoked turkey last time I was there--verrry good, but not as good as brisket (or ribs, I'm told--I can't eat pork either, gives me asthma.) It's a bit of a dive, but an institution, and you can check out the 18th and Vine area and museum, if you like. I second the rec of Jack Stack in the Freight House, too. Verrry good as well. If you're here on Sunday morning, Lidia's next door has a good brunch for $20pp, lots of entree options and buffet for everything else, beautifully done.
Just to be clear -- and I'm sure you already know this -- when folks in KC are talking about BBQ, they are talking about a low-temperature, long-time smoking-type cooking, rather than grilling. Most poultry and fish can't really stand up to the cooking times we're talking about. I know I've seen chicken on most BBQ menus around town, but it's usually an afterthought rather than the main attraction. And I don't think I've ever seen fish on a BBQ menu as BBQ, per se.
That being said, I think the BBQ restaurant not to be missed -- in general, if you are only eating at one place and you are staying downtown -- is Fiorella's Jack Stack in the Freighthouse building. And I'd say that for anyone. I've checked out the menu, and they do have some grilled salmon entrees. But that's not really BBQ. I've never tried the BBQ chicken at Jack Stack, but everything else there is outstanding, so I'm sure the chicken is as well. I assume when you say you don't eat beef or pork that lamb is out as well? Jack Stack has some highly regarded lamb ribs.
We just ate at Jackstack and the meal and room and service were great. And we dined on a Sunday night when everything else was closed or closing, it was the place to be. When you enter the place, you are probably breathing pork and beef smoke, so order the cheesey corn casserole and don't worry about it. Dem beans, dem beans are killa.
I am totally guessing, but no pork or beef sounds more like a religious dietary restriction than a personal preference in the case of our future Cowtown visitor. That being said, I totally agree with heatherkay, chicken and fish would both come under the grilling category and not the low temp, slow cookin' KC BBQ. Even if they are slathered in BBQ sauce, it does not make it so. My recommendation would be to forget BBQ if pork and beef are out, as you will not be able to taste true KC BBQ with chicken and fish. Kansas City has many other wonderful restaurants to check out in the downtown area outside of BBQ. The Mango Room on the corner of 12th and Main has terrific Jerk Chicken, Arun's Thai Place on the corner of 7th and Walnut has exotic seafood dishes that tempt, The Blue Nile Cafe Ethiopean restaurant in the heart of the River Market on 5th Street has vegetarian dishes. Lots of fantastic restaurant choices in the Crossroads too. Come to KC and tell everyone that you skipped the BBQ but discovered another world of hidden restaurant jems.