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The Wall Street Journal notes that the American Royal BBQ Exhibition will begin soon, and more than 100,000 fans are expected to attend.


Woodyard Bar-B-Que


This working lumberyard and real-deal roadside barbecue sits amid storage complexes on the Kansas border. (snip) The rib rub seasoning is "extremely unique, with ground sea salt and cloves—no sugar added," Mr. Daly emphasizes. The "burnt-ends chili" features smoked ground beef, three kinds of beans and diced tomatoes, and gets taken home by the gallon. You can also carry-out the bacon slabs and seasoned pecan, cherry, hickory and oak woods. 3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kan., woodyardbbq.com



Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue


There's formidable lineage behind the linen napkins at this K.C. fixture, which is an offshoot of the pioneering Smokehouse Barbecue. (snip) We're talking hickory-grilled steaks, bone-in beef short ribs and inspired salads. Jack Stack's sides rule, from the chunky BBQ beans to the "cheesy potato bake." You can't go wrong with the filet-tender-but-crispy burnt ends or the lamb ribs, which have a moist and gamy complexity. Country Club Plaza, 4747 Wyandotte St.; Freight House: 101 W. 22nd St.; jackstackbbq.com



Perry Foster BBQ


(snip) Mr. Foster's ramshackle roadside smokehouse, an hour's drive from K.C., is open 9 a.m. until midnight 365 days a year, seats about 75 and can be smelled several miles down the road. Big sellers are the pork spare ribs and sliced beef brisket on a sesame bun. Mr. Foster offers the traditional Midwest BBQ sauce made with tomato paste and molasses, as well as a version with a vinegar-mustard base. The beans? He drops the bone from his smoked ham sandwich in the sauce and sets the pan in the smoker for five hours. 10201 S 13 Highway, Warrensburg, Mo., perryfosterbbq.com



Arthur Bryant's BBQ Restaurant


"The single best restaurant in the world," Calvin Trillin said of the circa-1930, Missouri-side dining icon, putting K.C. on foodies' maps in the '70s. The oldest Arthur Bryant's location is a two-story red-brick storefront sprawl. When the doors open, it's like Charlie Parker just blew in with his entourage. The walls are crowded with portraits of presidents and celebrities, but there's no resting on Oval Office approval seals here. The daily-special rib tips are even more crackling on the outside and succulent within than the popular burnt ends. Slow-smoked with hickory and oak woods, the pork ribs are some of the best in town. The famed original-recipe sauce has vinegar tang and pepper flavor: We relish the Rich & Spicy. 1727 Brooklyn Ave.; other locations and products, arthurbryantsbbq.com



Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue and Catering


The darling of critics both local and national, Joe's is owned by Jeff and Joy Stehney, who nabbed top honors at national BBQ-offs as part of the Slaughterhouse Five pit master team. They then opened two of the area's most acclaimed and popular BBQ stops. Putting it in the company of the French Laundry and El Bulli, Anthony Bourdain named Joe's one of 13 places to eat before you die. Housed within a working Shamrock gas station, the original Joe's (since 1996) has a line outside by 10:30 a.m. "Innovative traditionalists," the owners do as they please. That means adding smoked provolone and fat-boy onion rings to their sweet-rub "Z-Man" beef brisket. Or serving creamy chicken gumbo. Or serving buttery buns (instead of white bread) with their Carolina-style pulled pork. Douse some chipotle-smoky Night of the Living Bar-B-Q sauce on those savory, fat-trimmed burnt ends. Antibiotic-free meats slow-cooked over white oak—that's the ticket. 3002 W. 47th Ave., Kansas City, Kan.; 11950 S. Strang Line Rd., Olathe, Kan.; other locations, oklahomajoesbbq.com



LC's Bar-B-Q and Big T's Bar-B-Q


At the fork in the road in East Kansas City you'll (barely) find LC's, a corner drive-up that diners have sought out since 1986 for its grit and authenticity. Just a block east is Big T's, no less of a BBQ destination, featuring a family-suitable dining room. In the glare of neon lights, amongst a smatter of no-frills tables, feast on triple-decker burnt-ends brisket with white bread; meaty spare ribs; tender turkey and sweet BBQ beans. LC's served our eating team's all-around favorite fries, thick-cut and crispy. Order the meats "dry," as the kitchen can over-ladle. Big T's dishes up Deep South sides and a tender brisket with K.C.-styled sauce. Both spots are cash only, but locals advise against crossing traffic to an ATM—"you won't get hit by a car, you'll get robbed." LC's: 5800 Blue Parkway, 816-923-44840; Big T's: 6201 Blue Parkway; bigtbbq.com



Gates BBQ


There are those who gripe that this K.C. pioneer has spread itself too thin. (snip) Besides the reliable short-end ribs, sliced beef-brisket sandwich and icebox-cold coleslaw, the BBQ beans at Gates and Sons are smoky perfection. We know folk here who order them by the pint as a driving snack. Naysayers, live with it. Notable locations: 1221 Brooklyn Ave.; 1325 E. Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.; other locations, gatesbbq.com





In search of the best...

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  • 6 months later...

Anyone catch The Ulterior Epicure on "No Reservations" last night? Episode was 100% BBQ in Kansas City.

I did. There's nothing like seeing BBQ in loving HD close-ups. :drool:


Oh, and it was good to see UE too. :P

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

At the Woodyard, Love love love the chili with burnt ends, if you go early, I was there at 10:30, and you sit outside you can get the chance to visit with the pitmaster as he is doing his magic.

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  • 4 months later...

I may have told this story before, but after a day of meetings in Kansas City, a male attorney and I inveigled some female attorneys into visiting Arthur Bryant's for dinner. I think they'd all been looking forward to green salads and glasses of Chardonnay. :(/>

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From what I hear, Oklahoma Joe's used to be a 'manly' restaurant (not meaning who serves the biggest portions of greasy meat, but a certain masculine affect/sensibility, which need not be misogynistic or hostile to women).


It's not anymore haha, and that's not anything against Joe's. Great ribs (though the sides are lame).


The manliest restaurant I've been to is Louie Mueller.

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