HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >


One BBQ Meal in KC Can't Decide b/w LC's and Jack Stack

My wife and I are coming to Kansas City in a few weeks for a Garth Brooks concert and will be able to hit up one barbeque joint for late lunch / early dinner on Saturday. I have been trolling the boards for weeks and have narrowed it down to two choices:

1. LC's. I like the hole-in-the-wall type places that are unique and have a certain history. This is by far my top choice.

2. Jack Stack. My wife would be more interested in this type of place because she is not as adventurous as I am, and because this is a little more upscale, she will probably feel more comfortable.

I have heard that the freight house location of Jack Stack is better than the Plaza location. This is one opinion from one chowhounder on another thread from 4 months ago. I would appreciate any input on this as well.

Thanks for the input.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not a fan of Jack's Stack. To me it doesn't have a lot of flavor. I know I'm in the minority here, but that's the way it is. My vote definately goes to LC's.

    Good luck and have a great time

    5 Replies
    1. re: chileheadmike

      Jack Stack is one of top BBQ rest I have visited.
      Had BBQ in Carolinas, Memphis, Texas, every top BBQ in KC

      Simply put, this is top shelf.
      Sides, slaw, beans are great

      Burnt ends incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      LC is average at best,

      1. re: kencitadel

        Yeah, that was my opinion of LC's, though I only tried the burnt ends. Left wondering what the fuss was about. Should give 'em another try, but felt JS far better. You're right. The beans are great.

        1. re: sigerson57

          I have read several post about LC's not being consistent with the Burnt Ends. Some of the descriptions don't come close to what I've been lucky enough to get. Just curious, did the burnt ends you tried there look like this?

          1. re: Bobfrmia

            No. They were cubes. Maybe it's a question of the qualities I prefer in burnt ends. I like them chewy, crunchy or charred, perhaps something no other human being would eat.

        2. re: kencitadel

          Jack Stack is good, but I think LC's burnt ends are the better of the two, way better. Lately I think Jack Stack is a hit and miss lately, I think lately it's more about their bottom line then the food.

      2. They're both excellent, but I don't think I can recommend one over the other given your two divergent desires. The Freighthouse is definitely not a hole in the wall, and LCs requires a little more (but not much!) spirit of adventure.

        I haven't been to the Plaza location for Jack Stack, but the Freighthouse is gorgeous. Of the three options (LCs, Jackstack Plaza, Jackstack Freighhouse), it also has the advantage of being within a reasonable walking distance of the arena -- a little less than a mile. You could park somewhere in between the two locations.

        1. are you sure you only have time for ONE?
          LC's- this would be my choice- just like you state above... its a hole in the wall, its different from any other bbq in the city, they have strawberry fountain soda and you'll smell like LC's for 3 days. J Stack is fine- if you go, go to the freight house location. its only my opinion but if you're looking for bbq, comfortable atmosphere and table service are distracting- besides you can order J Stack from the interweb anytime. enjoy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: goroe

            Unless they are open for breakfast. Unfortunately, we will only have one meal in KC.

          2. Not a huge fan of Jack Stack, the food is good, but seems more like a chain. But if that is where I was going I would go to the Freighthouse location.

            8 Replies
            1. re: WyCo

              My vote goes to LC's as well. JStack....not really a TRUE KC bbq adventure.

              1. re: FergMePleez

                I kind of got the feeling his wife didn't WANT a true KC BBQ adventure . . .

                1. re: heatherkay

                  She's not as adventurous as I am when it comes to trying different places, but the main thing is that she can't do greasy, finger-lickin' BBQ, which is what I actually prefer.

                  1. re: polkcountygator

                    If she can't do greasy, finger lickin bbq, pass on LC's, at least eating in.
                    The whole place has a little film of grease in it. When you see them open the doors of that smoker, you will understand why . You will also enjoy the view into that smoker.
                    Maybe look at at gettin it to go. That's what I do now.

                  2. re: heatherkay

                    Well thanks for the clarification there HK. I got the same feeling.

                  3. re: FergMePleez


                    1. re: bluesharp68

                      I have a vending machine at work stocked with Deli Express sandwiches. When I'm really busy, and can't get away for lunch, I will grab one. I've tried several, and I haven't had one, yet, that was better than the food I've had from LC'S. Obviously, I'm not trying the right ones. Maybe you could expand my vending machine knowledge by clueing me in on which of the Deli Express sandwiches are better than LC's. It would save me that 3 hour drive I have to make a couple times a year for the burnt ends.

                  4. I'm inclined to think that the best option might be to avoid the famous BBQ places all together, and go to some place that has never garnered any hype. After all, it is hard to go wrong with one of the most sublime meat experiences you can have. I've eaten amazing BBQ at humble outlets such as Gates on the Paseo. That said, when I used to live near KC, smuggling Arthur Bryant's into a baseball game was quite a pleasure. Arthur Bryant's, of course, used to be a dive, but not anymore.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ECB

                      How about the new location of Danny Edwards on Southwest Blvd. That would be justice, since he had to move BECAUSE of the Sprint Center. Payback time!

                      1. re: zataar

                        I LIKE the way you think, zataar! Plus, it settles the battle of LC's vs Jack Stack. AND, it's good.

                        1. re: GiGiWy

                          We ate there a couple of weekends ago. And it IS good. But I don't think it was better than LCs (or Jackstack, for that matter).

                    2. Hmmm, I wonder why Oklahoma Joe's hasn't been mentioned? I don't like Jack Stack's either d/t lack of flavor. LC's is really good. In case you're wondering, Barbecue is really personal. Some places have a divine rub and no sauce is necessary, others have less of a flavorful rub and need sauce. This is tough. How intense do you like flavor?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: iluvfud

                        OK Joe's isn't open on Sundays. But I would agree with you, it's one of the best. Probably in the top two!

                      2. I usually don't weigh in on the BBQ stuff. Where I grew up, BBQ is what we called Sloppy Joe's. When we moved to KC (13+ years now) - I couldn't figure out what the big deal was about sliced meat on a bun w/ some sauce - until I had Arthur Bryant's. It was an Epiphany. (I'm still not overly fond of anyone's sauce.)

                        I do like Jack's Stack quite a bit. I always, always get their Lamb Ribs - substituting beans and cheesy corn for the fries and slaw. Very nice.

                        My one experience with LC's was a disapointment. However, bobfromia posted a link to a picture of LC's burnt ends that was seriously the best food-porn I've ever seen ( at least I think it was Bob - I'm going to go ahead and give him credit 'cause I do love those Iowa boys). My substandard burnt ends definitely appear to have been a fluke. The posters who love this place know their BBQ. Trust them.

                        OK Joe's/Arthur Bryant's/Danny Edward's are all outstanding as well - but they are also a bit on the greasy-dive side. (I wouldn't consider the food greasy - just the establishments).

                        pcgator - Who's spearheading this trip for the Garth concert, you or your wife? If it's your wife - Jack's Stack would probably be your best choice. The Freighthouse location is close to the concert venue, it does have a gorgeous atmosphere and you'll get some pretty darn good BBQ - maybe not KC's best - but still pretty darn good.

                        If you prefer the greasy dive places - maybe you can make a Manly BBQ Road Trip back with some friends some other time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mushroom

                          I am spearheading the trip, but I have to keep her happy. I have gotten some great feedback and I think I'm going to direct her to this post and let her make the final decision.

                        2. I had lunch at Aurthur Bryant's Brooklyn St location yesterday (at 2pm you can walk right in!) and if you haven't had AB's you might consider it. Its not my favorite, tho it is delicious. And the atmosphere and classic, famous, historical aspect of AB's makes it worth visiting. My burnt ends were great and those fries are something else! where else do you get to see guys grab a pound of beef and slap it on a bum with such conviction?

                          Enjoy your time in KC-

                          1. We went to Jack's Stack and I had the rib combo, cheesy corn & baked beans. The lamb ribs were quite flavorful. It was excellent. My wife had the pulled pork sandwich, which is huge. We thouroughly enjoyed our meal, and will go to LC's on our next trip. Thanks for the feedback.