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May 20, 2007 09:26 PM

KC - a little BBQ help for first-timer please

We'll be in KC for 2-3 days and want to try as much variety (in style, atmosphere, location, etc) as our stomach's will allow. I definately want to try Woodyard for lunch, since lunch is all they do. Also want to try Jack Stack (original location) and Oklahoma Joe's. Is the Filing Station worth a trip to Lees Summit (wherever that is)? And what about LC's, Arthur Bryant's, Gates, and Smokin Guns?

Winstead's also allures (not bbq, of course).

Any can't miss places in KC - upscale or downscale, any cuisine or scene whatsoever is fine (really).


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  1. I live out the Left Coast, but from all I've heard the very first place I'd head to would be Arthur Bryant's. Calvin Trillin: Best eatin' place in the U.S.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mpalmer6c

      I think I would go to Town Topic before Winsteads. Winsteads food is good, but no atmosphere. Food is pretty similar at both. There is one at 2021 Broadway in KCMO.
      There is an Arthur Byants out in western KCK at The Legends shopping center as well as the original one downtown.

    2. My pic for downscale would be the Woodyard BBQ. The proprietor is a very nice lady that sat down w/ me and we talked about Q in general. On Thursday, I think they have their won smiked slamon w/ dilled cream cheese sandwiches. I da the ribs and chili w/ burnt ends...Mmmm

      1. Went to 8 places in KC... took notes and pics (from the notes link, click through to pics. I had a horrendous experience at Bryant's. They were rude, they served me on a plastic tray without a plate, the meat was dried out... it was the worst experience among 27 places visited in 4 cities in 12 days. And the pics prove this out. Having aired that out, I liked Danny Edwards downtown, LC's on the Blue Parkway (true downscale), BB's Lawnside for live blues as well, and others... Below was my plate at Edwards.

        1 Reply
        1. re: woodburner

          The first thing you need to know about KC is it is really spread out. You can literally drive an hour in one direction and still be well into the 'burbs of KC. That in mind. You may want to reconsider your adamant position about visiting the original Jack Stack. Don't get me wrong it's great food in a cool restaurant, but even us locals sometimes have a hard time finding it if we don't already know where it is. The Crossroads location is just as beautiful and has the same great food and it is central to everything else you are looking to do. The Plaza location is a good bet, it's the newest location and when we went there we found to service and food still sparkling.

          Personally the Filling Station in Lee's Summit is not worth the trip, I found their BBQ sauce too much like ketchup and their beans uninspired.

          LC's on the other hand is THA BOMB! Be warned it is kinda in the ghetto. Their is another location in OPKS but again unless you know where you are going it's kind of hard to find. But if you get the chance definitely go to LC's.

          Don't know anything about Smokin Guns, in fact never heard of it.

          the others are great places also, though I am not a personal fan of Arthur Bryant's--too vinegary for me.

          I would also personally reccomend Smokin Joes on Southwest Blvd.

        2. You have to do LC's - the second location in KS shut down, so the original is your only, and best, choice. Jack Stack and Okie Joes are also excellent. If you do OK Joe's, you have to do the original one in the gas station. I'd do the freighthouse location for Jack's Stack as well. No need to drive all the way out to Martin City. I love the sauce at Gates, but the meat can be hit and miss. Bryant's is an institution, but not at the top of my list. If you're at Woodyard, see if they have their chicken wings available. They catered a party I went to and the girlfriend and myself could not pry ourselves away from these wings!

          Town Topic or Westport Flea Market over Winstead's for burgers.

          For fun, funky pizza and chessesteaks, try Grinder's on 18th ST. Really good pizza, but the service is usually bad.

          7 Replies
          1. re: KCRob

            I second the recommendation for Westport Flea Market. I love their burgers and tenderloin sandwich!

            1. re: KCRob

              Question for you, KCRob: We seem to agree generally on the above, but why does no one ever mention the Danny Edwards downtown? I had an excellent plate of pulled pork and a rib down there... is it still open?

              1. re: woodburner

                Thanks to everyone! Based on a distillation of the collective wisdom - and my own hunches - I think we're going to aim for LC's, Ok Joe's (original), Jack Stack (Freight House), and Woodyard. As well as either Town Topic or Westport Flea Market.

                (we'll also keep an eye open for Danny Edwards) and report back

                1. re: Skillet Licker

                  I would skip Town Topic and do Winstead's on the Plaza. Town Topic is a dive diner and that does have some cachet, but the food is pedestrian at best. Winstead's has nice seating, nice waitstaff and good shakes and burgers.

                  1. re: steveb

                    I like them both, but being in a Winsteads is a bit like being in any fast food place. And honestly, the food is pretty much the same at Winsteads and Town Topic. There was a place in Argentine called Wolfburgers that had that same food too. For a hamburger I would go along with the Westport Flea Market, it is divey too though, but lots of fun.

                  2. re: Skillet Licker

                    If you've got time, there's also Stroud's for famous fried chicken. the original location is now sadly gone, but the northland location is still open. Haven't been there in a while myself, but it's always a top recommendation.

                    If you like pork tenderloins, check out Jerry's Woodswether Cafe in the West Bottoms.

                  3. re: woodburner

                    Danny Edwards is still open, but not for much longer. Although I live downtown, I've never eaten at Danny Edwards since they're only open for lunch during the week. I need to find a way to at least try it once before it closes (being shut down as part of the massive downtown redevelopment).