Ignorance is not Bliss:

I know next to nothing about KC bbq. I’ve been to Smokehouse BBQ and to Arthur Bryant’s and liked both fine. But because we usually eat in at the in-laws’ house, I have much less sense of the scene in KC than, say, Kansas City. Where do I need to go?


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

13 thoughts

  1. Jack Stack is a little swanky for my tastes. Oklahoma Joe’s is the current rage. It holds up. I also like LC’s on Blue Parkway, but it is pretty sketchy, though it has a loyal following. A lot of people like Gate’s, but I’ve never seen the appeal.

  2. A second vote for Jack Stack. Yeah, it’s a little posh, but it’s the best BBQ there…and that’s an accomplishment (says me, who grew up on central Texas BBQ in the Lockhart/Luling axis). But Oklahoma Joe’s is fine too.

    Meanwhile, [url=http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/02/americas-best-bbq.html]here’s a raving review of Lonnie Ray’s in Harrisburg from an extremely unlikely source…a Chicago School economist.

  3. LC’s was closed down in Feb for health violations. I would have recommended it too.
    I don’t know the current status.
    We had some good q at Brobecks in Overland Park-a strip mall kind of thing but good. I do like the lamb ribs at Jack stack too. Ok Joe’s is OK but I was really tired and worn out when we ate there so that may have negatively my perception of the place.
    Almost every place has their following. I would like to try BB’s lawnside.

  4. My husband has tried 99% of KC BBQ and thought Jack Stack, LC & Ok Joe was pretty good but still paled in comparison to Arthur Bryant’s.

  5. I probably know the answer to this, but does anyone know of a good BBQ source that uses locally-sourced/independently-raised meats? Our household has a rule against eating feedlot meats in any circumstances, but I’d love to try a place that was using good meat straight from the farm. It’s a niche market, maybe, but such choices have made inroads elsewhere, and I’m curious if the push is showing up in BBQ yet.

  6. If you like Arthur Bryant’s style and sauce, that is the place to go. However, it is not really what most people consider KC BBQ.

    I used to like KC Masterpiece, but since it went so commercial/main stream/chain, it has gone downhill. Their Onion Straws are still good and their BBQ probably better than we can get around here on most days.

    Zarda BBQ has been around KC for a long time, but it has been years since I have eaten at one.

    Jack Stack’s is pretty darn good. Try to go to the orginal one in Martin City. I have not been to Oklahoma Joe’s but have heard really good things.

    If you want something other than BBQ, and they are open (Hours: Mon – Sat. 11 a.m to 3:00 p.m.), try a Mario’s Meatball Grinder in Westport. They are by a fantastic cooking store – Pryde’s of Old Westport.

    Mario’s is a cozy little Italian deli featuring a varity of pastas and sandwiches, always great choice for lunch serving-up the best meatball grinder in Kansas City since 1976.
    204 Westport Road
    Kansas City, MO 64111

  7. Thanks for all the ideas. I have some real work ahead of me.

    Eric, I don’t know of any bbq place using locally-sourced meat, though I wonder what Mike’s reaction (Lonnie Ray’s) would be if you offered to provide or pay extra for local meat. He might be down for an experiment.

  8. Tried Gates on the recommendation of a few KC residents — I think quantity was confused with quality. *sigh*

    Jack Stack’s is great — I thought the white tablecloths were posh, but didn’t think the prices were out of line for BBQ. Took a group of friends and we did just fine, no one feeling they spent too much.

    Eric, good question. Considering we’re in pig farm country.

    Where is Arthur Bryant?

    Husband has not found a BBQ to his liking – but he was raised on NC bbq.

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