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KC BBQ road trip- Recap

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Finally back from our trip and here is a recap. First of all, we took I88-I80-I35 and straight down. No problems at all with flooding, tho we did see some along the way. Highlight: the Iowa80 truck stop, largest in the world!

We ate dinner Tuesday night at Fiorellas Jack Stack, in the Freighthouse. One big reason for starting there was the walking distance from our hotel (Westin Crown Center). Daughter got salmon, which she loved, her friend the brisket sandwich and potatoes au gratin. She liked both alot. The brisket looked a little dry. I got the 3 meat dinner- crown rib, baby backs and burnt ends. My husband got the 2- lamb rib and baby back. We both thought they were ok, but all overly salty, especially the crown rib. The crown was super tender, alot of meat. The lamb rib was very good- I liked it more than husband. He like the burnt ends alot. Again, just all a bit salty. I didn't care for the cheesy potatoes at all. We completely over ordered and were beyond stuffed when we left.

The next day we had breakfast at Harvey House. That was fun- good food at reasonable prices in a fun environment. The whole of Union Station is beautiful, and Harvey House is nicely in period.

Lunch we hit Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn. Figured in case we burned out on BBQ after lunch at least we went there. It was very, very good. We learned from the night before and split a combo baby backs and brisket. Both were excellent. Really liked the sweet sauce, too. Beef was very tender, ribs were just right. Way better than Jack Stack.

We recouped our strength by dinner and after agonizing over choosing one last place to go we decided on Oklahoma Joe's. Extremely good choice. We got lucky also that it was Wednesday, when they have burnt ends. We chose there partly because of the burnt ends reputation, but hadn't realized they didn't have them regularly. We got there in a rain storm, and the line was snaked around to the door. After waiting in line about 35 minutes we went with the combo spare ribs/burnt ends, coleslaw and hubby tried the red beans and rice (which he didn't care for). Third times the charm because we thought OK Joes to be the best of the 3 places we tried. The spare ribs were large and meaty, and the burnt ends melted in your mouth. Sauce was very good, as well. Enjoyed it more than Bryant's and no comparison to Jack Stack. Our favorite of the 3 places we tried.

Thanks to all for all the help and recommendations.
Side note: ate the best french dip of my life in a gas station right off I35 in Decatur City, Iowa. Thick cut, home made roast beef. To die for!

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  1. Nice report. But you gotta give the goods on that gas station french dip roast beef sandwich! It gets discovered here, then gets national TV exposure on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and then becomes a famous national destination and landmark. All because of you. C'mon, you have to have a credit card charge for gassing up there -- dig out the info and fulfill all of your Chowhound responsibilities.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      Ok I think it is Country Corners. I can tell you that it is attached to the first (only?) gas station off I35 on the north side of the road to the west as you exit. Cash only, so no receipt. The kids had a burger and curly fries, which they loved. The burger was a hand made patty- not prefab. It's an 8 table kinda place, so not even sure it would quaify for the D,Di,D !!

    2. You needed to try Gates. Of all three places that you went, Gates would have been in the fight for the top spot.

      Sauce is much more savory than sweet and their burnt-end sandwich (which you can get every day) is by far the best in town. To go to Oklahoma Joe's and not get a Z-Man or Carolina Pork Sandwich is like going to San Francisco and not getting sourdough, or Maryland and not having a crab cake, or NYC and not getting a slice: You missed out! Oklahoma Joe's has a really good half-chicken too. Their sausage is money too.