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I've also heard that Arthur Bryant's is not what it once was but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the place on my one visit to KC, about 10 years ago now. It has a fantastic dive ambience. I'm not a BBQ aficionado, though, so I know nothing. After a few days of eating BBQ in KC, I do recall going through a short lived "let's have salad and steamed vegetables for dinner" phase.

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Had some incredible beef barbeque at LC's . And those beans! I never knew baked beans could be that good. And some great running commentary from the patrons on the MTV Music Awards, which were on the TV in the corner.

40 Sardines was a bust, though. The four of us had the 4-course tasting menu, with each of us being served a different dish for each course. With 16 dishes to sample (we all ended up sharing everything), I only thought about 2 of them were any good (a tuna with soy-wasabi butter and an Indian style salmon dish), the rest being surprisingly mediocre.

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I was in Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Avenue last year. It was extraordinary! The french fries were fried in lard, just like Benny's on Maine Avenue in the '50's here. All of the Q was very good to excellent; but the real attraction is this location, the original, the one that Calvin Trilling wrote and rhapsodized about. How can someone, anyone go to Kansas City and not eat at Arthur Bryant's on

Brooklyn avenue?

But there are other Arthur Bryant's. Which are not on Brooklyn avenue. And nowhere near as good as the original. With all due respect to LC's and Gates and a whole bunch of others including Guy and Mae's in Williamsburg, KS (which may have the best ribs of all!) I cannot go to Kansas City and NOT go to Arthur Bryant's. It is mecca. Mecca is not to be missed.

Nor is Stroud's for fried chicken....but that is another thread.

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I agree that a trip to Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Ave, near where the old Municipal Stadium used to be, would be obligatory for any trip to Kansas City.

However, my family's favorite bbq watering hole is 135th St. Barbeque, in Martin City, Mo., just a smidge south of town. Martin City also sports Jess & Jim's Steakhouse (with a new fake black angus steer on the roof) and Jack Fiorella's Smokestack Barbeque. Further south on Hwy. 150 is Sneads which used to be run by the people who now run 135th St., the Keegan family. The "pit plate" at 135th St. features sliced brisket, a couple of ribs and a mess of burnt ends.

Frankly, we never were that fond of Gates and Sons, even though there is one right down the street from the family home.

Stroud's motto: "We Choke Our Own Chickens."

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We also hit Fiorella's Jack Stack, which is the swank location near the train station. If you need a run-down place for authenticity, this isn't for you (go to LC's for that). I thought the bbq was really good, though, especially the burnt ends (A KC delicacy that most bbq places serve).

Edited by cjsadler
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The family perception is that the Fiorella establishments were too expensive (formed after a single visit probably 30 years ago) and that the portions were meager compared with the local competition.

Sneads and Keegans/135 St. BBQ seemed to fit within my dad's dining out budget, what little there was. The meat was always lean (we judged quality based on how much or little fat was on the meat). Also, we liked the hot sauce (I have 2 bottles in my fridge right now).

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux
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Let me preface this by saying: I am from Kansas City, and go back often. However, I know quite little about fine dining options in the city.

Which brings me to the topic: I would like to buy my Dad and his wife a gift certificate for a blow-out dinner (non-BBQ, non-steak, both of which cuisines are intimately familiar to my family). I've found that the KC Star has awarded four stars to 5 places:

1. 40 Sardines

2. The American Restaurant

3. Cafe Sebastienne

4. Le Fou Frog

5. Sour Octopus

I've not been to any of them. (And I think the American is the only one that even existed when I lived there.)

Anyone been to any of these places?

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I'll be in KC for about a week this October, followed by a long weekend around Fort Worth (where I hope to find some beef ribs).  Recommendations?

I don't know if she still hangs around, but over on Chowhound there's a user who goes by the handle "KC-Jane" on the Kansas City boards. In all my trips there, she's never steered me wrong.

Just by coincidence, I've been in the DFW area the last few weeks on travel for work. My sister-in-law lives in the area, and she tells me that the good BBQ in Texas is pretty much everywhere in Texas EXCEPT the DFW metro area. I ate at Sonny Bryan's, and it was ok, but no beef ribs.

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I'll be in KC for about a week this October, followed by a long weekend around Fort Worth (where I hope to find some beef ribs).  Recommendations?

Check out this link. I went to The Filling Station based on their review and had the best ribs I have ever eaten. I am not the biggest fan of either Bryant's, or K.C. Masterpiece, but they are serviceable.

As for Fort Worth, keep in mind, Beef ain't BBQ!!!

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Whether one is a fan of Arthur Byant's or not, the place is an institution and should not be missed. Located right off I-70 just east of downtown, it was a popular spot after baseball (Kansas City A's) and football games at the old municipal stadium which used to be nearby. Arthur Bryant passed away about 25 years ago with obituaries in several major newspapers around the country. The restaurant was highly regarded by Calvin Trillin. Recently there has been a minor proliferation of locations; there is one in the airport.

Barbeque is the city's claim to fame. There are dozen's of spots. The place I would avoid is Gates and Sons. See my post further up-thread for my favorite BBQ places.

If you do venture out Martin City way, consider stopping at Jess & Jim's Steakhouse, a Kansas City insitution. Not on a par with Ray's, but it definitely has some local character.

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Do: Go to Bryant's.

Don't: Go to the Bryant's at the airport, or in a casino, or anywhere other than the Brooklyn Ave. location, where the ancient, filthy, blackened pit guarantees luxurious meats.

Unlike JG, I do like Gates. Had a delicious burnt ends sandwich there a couple months ago. I have not been to Jess & Jim's, but have eaten at its townmate, Smokestack, more times than I can count. My grandparents took me there for my birthday for ten years running, and it's where I brought my fiancee to meet the fam. We usually now go to its -- by barbecue standards -- ridiculously upscale sibling Jack Stack, near Union Station.

One thing I like about KC barbecue is that it is less hidebound than in other cities. There are a variety of sauces, and proper respect is accorded both beef and pork.

Another landmark worth trying is Stroud's, for fried chicken. They just moved out of their old building, and I haven't been to the new place, but 9 out of 10 Kansas Citians would say it's the best fried chicken in the city. The other is a vegetarian.

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Do: Go to Bryant's.

Don't: Go to the Bryant's at the airport, or in a casino, or anywhere other than the Brooklyn Ave. location, where the ancient, filthy, blackened pit guarantees luxurious meats.

Unlike JG, I do like Gates.  Had a delicious burnt ends sandwich there a couple months ago.  I have not been to Jess & Jim's, but have eaten at its townmate, Smokestack, more times than I can count.  My grandparents took me there for my birthday for ten years running, and it's where I brought my fiancee to meet the fam.  We usually now go to its -- by barbecue standards -- ridiculously upscale sibling Jack Stack, near Union Station.

One thing I like about KC barbecue is that it is less hidebound than in other cities.  There are a variety of sauces, and proper respect is accorded both beef and pork.

Another landmark worth trying is Stroud's, for fried chicken.  They just moved out of their old building, and I haven't been to the new place, but 9 out of 10 Kansas Citians would say it's the best fried chicken in the city.  The other is a vegetarian.

As concise, as accurate, as honest, as hunger inducing a post as I have ever seen on this board!

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Strouds is definitely the best. Slanted floors, checkered tablecloths and all the michelob you can drink.

BBQ:

1.Gates

2.Bryants

3.LCs

Fine dining, well the only advice I offer is to head north towards the airport and catch the next flight to SF, NY or Chicago.

It astounds me that in the heart of the country surronded by quail, pheasant and beef that no one there has decided to adopt that. Miles and miles of agriculture, heirloom veggies everywhere and still no response. Instead the flagship restaurant of this city focuses on seafood...pan-medditeranean seafood. The fact of the matter is that there isnt a lobster, monkfish or sardine for thousands of miles around. Over Christmas I went back into town and took a look at blue stems menu: New Zealand snapper, Hawaiin Tuna and La Belle Duck. Oh my god do you know how many ducks there are around there. Its like going to Cantlers and eating dungeoness. On top of that theyre all miles behind the curve, Think NY 1984, LA 1988. I think their premier restaurant just got their first ring mold delivered by the pony express. Kansas Citians are just being dooped into thinking that it doesnt get any better.

When you go to Kansas City eat BBQ and fried chicken. DO NOT waste your money. You would be better off throwing a stick on that stretch of connecticut ave between dupont and florida.

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No one ever claimed that Kansas City was a fine dining destination. I don't get the reference to quail, pheasants and ducks. While there may be some wild game around, it is illegal to sell it. Any restaurant that sells quail, pheasant or duck is selling farm raised birds. The restaurants in Kansas City don't serve wild birds and neither do the restaurants anywhere else.

The point: Quit running down my home town.

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my hometown as well. In fact served a lot of meals there. Earlier in the thread there were questions about the dining scene; just responding to that. Wild birds, no...Im speaking of places like campolindo farms (Lathrop)who raise every type of fowl under the sun. In fact my father raised quail, pheasant and kept bees for restaurant consumption.

Im well aware of restaurants not serving wild animals, in fact I dont think I used the word "wild",Im just trying to promote the Alice Waters forager idea.

Im not trashing it, well maybe a little, but the point is that one should look for comfort foods and plastic cups rather than nouveau and polished glasses.

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Will be going to KC for work next week for 3 nights. I am planning one night BBQ (Arthur Bryant), one night Stroud's, and one night steak. Can anyone recommend a good steakhouse (or alterations to my plan)? Thanks.

Hereford's, Bentons and Plaza III are all classic KC mainstays but I might recommend Piropos or even Bluestem for a little more modern experience. (I heard Blue Stem was serving Kobe but I am not sure if they still are. If they are expect it to be $$$$$) Bluestem would satisfy those who might not want steak also. When I was in town I would always go to Capital Grill. But that is probably just because we could use my mom's dine-out credit. Jacques, you have to have some input on this

Oh and stick with Bryants but make sure and go to the original location not one of the outposts. If you are driving there don't get scared just stay the course. It looks a little ragged and is a bit out of the way of, well just about anything, but once you sit down with a plate of burnt ends it will all be worth it.

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Hereford's, Bentons and Plaza III are all classic KC mainstays but I might recommend Piropos or even Bluestem for a little more modern experience. (I heard Blue Stem was serving Kobe but I am not sure if they still are. If they are expect it to be $$$$$) Bluestem would satisfy those who might not want steak also. When I was in town I would always go to Capital Grill. But that is probably just because we could use my mom's dine-out credit. Jacques, you have to have some input on this

Oh and stick with Bryants but make sure and go to the original location not one of the outposts. If you are driving there don't get scared just stay the course. It looks a little ragged and is a bit out of the way of, well just about anything, but once you sit down with a plate of burnt ends it will all be worth it.

Thanks Blake. I did review the notes on Bryants upthread to go to the original location only. We won't be renting a car, and I was hoping to cab to these places. Is Bryants too far out of the way for this (i.e. will it be an exorbitant cab ride?)

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Sayeth Kliman in today's chat:

"Kansas City, believe it or not, is one of the best cities to eat out in in the country right now. It ain't just barbecue and great steaks -- not that there's anything wrong with that."

I submitted a request for further explanation, but it was ignored.

My father recently had a tasting menu at Bluestem (using a gift certificate I gave him and his wife for Christmas), and he loved it. When asked what he ate, he could not remember a thing. He is not a foodie, but he does love to eat.

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Sayeth Kliman in today's chat:

"Kansas City, believe it or not, is one of the best cities to eat out in in the country right now. It ain't just barbecue and great steaks -- not that there's anything wrong with that."

I've been meaning to write about this for awhile now. A couple of months ago I went home for a few days and tried some new and old spots. I went to the Hereford House, a KC staple: dark wood moulding, oil paintings of John Wayneesque cowboys and scattered remington stautes to go with your ribeye and twice-baked potato. Nothing more/less than what you expect, it's very consistent.

Did some pretty awesome bbq and went down to sw blvd for some really good, really cheap mexican food.

The big finale of the trip was to meet up with a friend from LA, who is veteran of restaurants like Luques and Zuni(I'm writing this to lend credibility to his opinion later on in this post) to have dinner at bluestem. We were both pretty curious about the idea of a Kansas City native leaving the city learning the trade and returning to share their knowledge with the city. Traditionally in KC what you have is one alteration of the same simple boring recipe after the other: 1995 crabcake with aioli/2000 crabcake over slow roasted garlic saucei/2004 maryland(OMG?!?!) style crabcake /2007 crabcake with savory remoulade. In fact most independent restaurants take their cues from the larger, crappy chains. For the most part it's all of the same thing over and over, crabcakes, calamari and scallops. I know Kansas Citians love their seafood and think I have a theory on this: no one is serving interesting product from the region. So I had hopes that Bluestem would be different.

It's not.

New Zealand this, Maine that, in fact at one point the server bragged about their milled polenta from georgia...errrrghzzzzssshhhhh(record scratch). Georgia, wait, are we not in corn country? You could almost throw baseballs to Kansas from the front door of Bluestem. It's literally 12 blocks away. Georgia corn...awesome. It's almost as awesome as Idaho beef tartare in Kansas City. Throughout the meal my friend learned to love broccolli, as it was in nearly every dish brought to the table. He also cringed at the prospect of ordering a harvey wallbanger made with tang, not because it sounds etrocious but because of its name...wait for it the "TANGBANGER". So here is a restaurant that takes itself very seriously and wants to be taken very seriously; you have to sit down in your sunday best and look a stranger straight in the eyes and say "I'd like a tangbanger please.". There was so much more: compressed watermelon with poprocks(the server actually told us to lean in to listen to them). Compressed watermelon, does anyone know how you compress watermelon? I do, because the server enlightened us. You simply take a piece of watermelon and put it in a vacuum sealed bag and suck out all of the air. El Bulli look out, here comes bluestem right behind you. Lets talk about sauce. When our entrees came, there were three of us with three different dishes, they took a little saucier pot and poured the same demi-glace on each dish. It didn't matter that I was having steak and my girlfriend was having lamb and my friend was having chicken. Sauce is awesome and it makes everything better that its on. At least thats what they want you to believe. That's enough about the food.

What I'd really like to let you all know about is the attitude. Now please don't interpret this word as snooty, in no way what so ever was it like the stereotypical maitre'd who says "yeeeeeeesssss". It was more like we're the WD-50 of Kansas City or Alinea's got nothin on us. They never exhibited exclusivity, they just came off like they felt they had reinvented the wheel. Now having said this, I want to make sure (just in case this is read by any staff members of Bluestem) that the server was really, really good. She was warm, intelligent and knew what she was talking about. My beef with the service was the technique, which I am certain was put in place by the GM. Our server had to describe each dish, which is fine; however she also had to describe the experience with each dish, which is not fine. "In this course you will have a little bounceback of texture from the beef and the demi-glace will provide a beefy-saltiness that you won't get from beef...". Jesus, just tell me what I have in front of me and let me figure out the rest on my own. I felt bad for her because she was doing her job, the GM or maybe the chef had given them these scripts. There should be nothing scripted about the dining experience, it's an art not a science.

Actually now that I think about it Bluestem is different from other KC restaurants. It's more like the original Barnum and Baileys, every course should read EGRESS. Once you try something, you realise that you've been had.

Go to the Hereford House. It's not amazing, but it wont let you down. Scratch that.

Go to the Hereford House. It's not amazing, but it wont throw you up in the air, catch you and perform a suplex on you.

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and went down to sw blvd for some really good, really cheap mexican food.

El Bulli look out, here comes bluestem right behind you.

It was more like we're the WD-50 of Kansas City or Alinea's got nothin on us.

I love southwest blvd. Eating at Ponak's (although not my favorite Southwest Blvd choice now) used to be a New Years Eve tradition when my brother and I were little kids. Aside from all the good mexican joints there is also a pretty good tapas place called La Bodega, I believe. Just like the posts above though, I wouldn't expect anything you haven't seen before. The menu is probably identical to Jaleo's from 2001 but I enjoyed the few meals I have had there.

Any chance you have heard of this BBQ place Fat Charlies? It is a little trailer type thing with a huge pile of asasorted wood out back that sits in a Sav-a-Lot parking lot out near the stadiums on 40th and Blue Ridge Cutoff. Perfect for a pregame bbq feast. Bring gloves if it is cold though because you either have to take it with you or eat at the picnic table they have. My dad is a cab driver and if people ask him for good BBQ he usually takes them there or to Arthur's. For all the non Kansas Citians who want to try some BBQ you have to try Bryant's but if you are headed to a show or something and are dressed a little bit nicer I would definitely go for Jack Stack. It is a cool area and a little "classier" than the slightly rundown (proper state for a good BBQ joint in my opinion!) stand in line style of Bryant's.

By the way I quoted you on the Bluestem comment because I couldn't agree more. I was going to take my sister there last time I was in town and after looking at the menu and reading some review or something where he was talking about "testing culinary boundaries" we opted for Re:Verse on the plaza. Great great place to have a few cocktails in nice weather. They have giant windows that open up (like ceviche in Silver Spring) and the cocktails are all pretty good. I can't speak to the food because we just got an assortment of small plates due to a large lunch.

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Before I went back I did a google search for cocktails/mixology/cool drinks in KC and this is what I got. A bunch of drek.

You know what really ticks me off, I busted my chops comin' up in KC, my old man owned a restaurant there, I worked at Cafe Allegro and J.J.s and I can remember people acting like it was the big time. Once I moved to L.A. I started noticing that people were doing some pretty cool things, then I moved here and went to work for Frank Ruta. I remember the first Palena dish I ever laid eyes on: Caeasar with a coddled/truffled egg(you know the one where he cooks it in a film so it forms this little free-standing crown of egg white around a runny yolk) with marinated sardines that looked like edible chrome and slivers of bread with garlic rubbed on them. That dish changed my life, it put so many things in perspective about food and the way it should be served. It also made me angry at all of those assholes back home that had/have a nearly 1.2 million people fooled into thinking that they're forerunners of the food culture. Even going back the people that I know still involved with business believe that they're on par with the Laundry. Furthermore those same people like Gates, they like Bryants, they like Strouds; they don't appreciate these places though. All the KC expats I know(including a bartender at Central) love these places and miss them.

I don't know. I had been gone so long that I had forgotten about this bubble or I least I thought it had popped while I was away. Seriously, not too long before I went back I read a NYTimes article about the "blossoming KC restaurant scene". I remember telling my girlfriend that we should move there and get involved now that KC was becoming a force to be reckoned with nationally. I went home and it was nice being on the plaza, it felt good to go down to Bryants and then Bluestem went and ruined it all.

For any Kansas Citians reading this, don't get me wrong. I love home and eventually I want to raise a family there, I want to spend the rest of my life there. I just hate the fact that something I care so much about is being so improperly handled there. I love Kansas City restaurants, just as long as it cost less than twelve dollars a head.

So Blake, to answer your question go to Kellys, Gilhoullys or the Hurricane. The day after get some Go Chicken Go or LCs.

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Before I went back I did a google search for cocktails/mixology/cool drinks in KC and this is what I got. A bunch of drek.

So Blake, to answer your question go to Kellys, Gilhoullys or the Hurricane. The day after get some Go Chicken Go or LCs.

You know how most good chefs occassionaly take sabbaticals abroad to go on tasting tours and to look for inspiration? I think a lot of Kansas City chefs do that in NYC or Chicago instead. I have this image in my head of the Bluestem chef reading through 4 year old Per Se menus ala McDowell in Coming to America.
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Any recent reports? It's looking like I'll be there next week for the first time, probably just for a meal, maybe two. Thinking I should just go get a burnt ends sandwich at Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn, but I'm open to other thoughts after the last two years of silence on the matter.

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Went recently.

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ -- very good, nicely smoked meats. Delicious. Certainly something to seek out if you are in town.

Stroud's -- A little disappointing. Got the fried chicken, but it seems they either forgot to season the chicken at all, or seriously underseasoned it. The sides were fine as was the rest of the experience.

Niecie's -- Soul food. Mainly for breakfast. Fried pork chops were stunningly good as was the sausage gravy and biscuits. Their sausage omelete is all about the sausage. their oatmeal is really good and their pancakes as very nice. And their fried chicken wings were far superior to the bland chicken we got at Stroud's.

Le Petit Rouge Cakes & Dainties (inside of the children's bookstore, The Reading Reptile) -- Their cupcakes are quite, quite amazing. And they make marshmallows, too. Very much worth seeking out.

Christopher Elbow -- a chocolatier that is well worth the visit. Their various liquid chocolates are warm and delicious. And their turtles and small chocolates are very, very fine. The balsamic caramel stuffed chocolate is worth the price of admission alone.

Blanc Bottles & Burgers -- Very good beer list. Good burgers. Well priced for somewhat higher end burgers. Fun, noisy. Worth a look.

Andre -- another chocolate place that does pastries and other things -- chocolates are not quiiiiite as good as Christoper Elbow, but their pastries are sublime.

Julian -- A small, kind of quirky neighborhood joint. Very good food. A bit noisy, great service. Really, really enjoyable meal. Decent wine list. Very much recommended overall.

Classic Cup -- Diner food in a very nice higher end feeling place. A bit overpriced. What is weird is that the 'fritata' I had was more like a mac and cheese and egg thing. Bizarre.

Pizza Bella -- A great pizza joint with classic thin crust pies very similar to pies in Italy. Simple pies to more extravagant toppings but all done with a self edited hand. Very much recommended.

LC's BBQ -- Clearly some of the best BBQ on the planet. My dining companions all more or less declared it as the best BBQ they have ever had. By the slimmest margin, I rate Smitty's in Lockhart, TX better (but this is splitting hairs and seriously, who cares? This BBQ was insanely good!!!). 500 feet away driving up in the sleet, you could smell the smoked meat smell emanating from the smallish restaurant. We ordered way too much -- burnt ends, and a ribs and two meat combo, but you only live once, right? I think we all sat back at various times, drool running down our chins, mouthing the words 'Oh my f#$^@&ing gosh!' followed slack jawed befuddlement that only zombies could look like. Were we BBQ zombies? I have no idea. If zombies crave human brains as much as I crave LC's BBQ, I think I understand their obsession.

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LC's BBQ -- Clearly some of the best BBQ on the planet. My dining companions all more or less declared it as the best BBQ they have ever had. By the slimmest margin, I rate Smitty's in Lockhart, TX better (but this is splitting hairs and seriously, who cares? This BBQ was insanely good!!!). 500 feet away driving up in the sleet, you could smell the smoked meat smell emanating from the smallish restaurant. We ordered way too much -- burnt ends, and a ribs and two meat combo, but you only live once, right? I think we all sat back at various times, drool running down our chins, mouthing the words 'Oh my f#$^@&ing gosh!' followed slack jawed befuddlement that only zombies could look like. Were we BBQ zombies? I have no idea. If zombies crave human brains as much as I crave LC's BBQ, I think I understand their obsession.

Yeah, this place was crazy good, especially the sliced beef BBQ sandwich. If you're in KC, you need to go here.

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Looks like I'll be in Kansas City at the end of the month, sadly for just one night. I'm thinking/hoping I'll have a lunch and a dinner to plan.

I'm sorry to say I'm not hugely into barbecue, fried chicken, or steak, though I like them all well enough. Assuming Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Avenue is still good I'd happily go there for some burnt ends, maybe for lunch on the day I fly home. Any other current recommendations? I'll probably be staying near the convention center. I'm not sure if I'll have a car, but I'd be happy to Uber reasonable distances. I read about Stroud's but think I'd rather seek out great steak rather than great fried chicken ... or something else altogether. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Also, I found two threads on Kansas City, one for Kansas and one for Missouri. It seems like they should be combined? There are only a few posts in the Kansas City, Missouri, thread, mostly about Arthur Bryant's.

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17 hours ago, dracisk said:

Looks like I'll be in Kansas City at the end of the month, sadly for just one night. I'm thinking/hoping I'll have a lunch and a dinner to plan.

I'm sorry to say I'm not hugely into barbecue, fried chicken, or steak, though I like them all well enough. Assuming Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Avenue is still good I'd happily go there for some burnt ends, maybe for lunch on the day I fly home. Any other current recommendations? I'll probably be staying near the convention center. I'm not sure if I'll have a car, but I'd be happy to Uber reasonable distances. I read about Stroud's but think I'd rather seek out great steak rather than great fried chicken ... or something else altogether. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

Also, I found two threads on Kansas City, one for Kansas and one for Missouri. It seems like they should be combined? There are only a few posts in the Kansas City, Missouri, thread, mostly about Arthur Bryant's.

Oddly enough I was just there last weekend. I ate a LOT of BBQ while in town.  I had a similar strong memory of AB's on Brooklyn, and I hate to say it but the thrill is gone. Still a great location, still and awesome paprika-y sauce that you should grab a bottle of, but the meat itself was a shadow of its former glory. I wanted Arthur Bryant's to be my favorite of the weekend but it came in last. They were chopping up rib tips off the rack to order though, and that was cool.  You'll be better served at Joe's and WAY better off at Jack Stack. Jack Stack had some perfectly cooked lamb ribs (very hard to pull off), a badass 2 inch thick short rib, and the best burnt ends I ate all weekend.  Only miss there was the pork ribs - Joe's won there.

To be honest, the thing I'm remembering most from all the BBQ were the pit beans, smothered in drippings and pieces of meat.  Joe's and Jack Stack are doing amazing beans, simultaneously hearty with meat/fat and ethereal from super tender legumes.  I'm not saying you should make a meal out of just those, but I'm definitely saying you could.

Did a nice more upscale meal at Rieger Hotel - solid cocktails and good midwestern fancy(ish) food. Pork soup (!) and an overgrown relish platter were both very well done, and the cocktails were more than reasonably priced and well executed.

Uber ain't great there, but if you have a car and a lunch to spare, definitely consider Kitty's Cafe.  It ain't that pretty but the triple decker pork tenderloin sandwich, thin cut in a katsu-ish batter and smothered in hot sauce, is a goddamn treasure.

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50 minutes ago, ad.mich said:

Oddly enough I was just there last weekend.

Thank you so much for this! I've spent the last couple of hours doing food research. I haven't made any travel arrangements or thought for more than 30 seconds about the presentation I'll be giving, but I'm trying to maximize my food options!

Looks like I'll hopefully have three meals to play with, two lunches and a dinner. I'm thinking Mexican for one lunch (El Camino Real in Kansas City, KS, so I can tick Kansas off as a state I've visited ... it's the important things in life), The Majestic for dinner (I've read great things about the Rieger Hotel, but I've come around to the idea of steak, and apparently The Majestic is known for that; plus they have live jazz), and barbecue for lunch before I fly home. Your post is causing me to reconsider Arthur Bryant's. I'd like to go to Joe's, but Jack Stack would be a lot more convenient and I love burnt ends! The Freight House location is closest to my hotel -- is that where you went? I'm reading about long waits for a table. Was that your experience? This would probably be for an early-ish lunch on a Friday. I'm happy to sit at the bar if necessary.

I'm sad to hear about Uber. I assume cabs aren't particularly easy to come by, either. Hopefully I'll have a car (although I'd rather just Uber!).

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18 minutes ago, dracisk said:

The Freight House location is closest to my hotel -- is that where you went?

Yes - went to the Freight House location (walked there from The President).  Got there around 7 on Saturday and they quoted an hour+ wait for the two of us... and it is a large restaurant.  Fortunately, around the back of the building is a separate entrance for takeout orders. We had a massive order ready in 15 minutes and ate in a nearby park. Your mileage may vary but I don't need much for atmosphere when it comes to smoked meats.

Majestic looks good but I will point out that we had beers at Anton's, which is kind of in between the Power & Light district and where Jack Stack's Freight House location is.  Reminded me a lot of The Partisan - it's a fully working butcher shop with some really nice dry aging going on and a super tempting looking cooler case that made me wished I'd packed a cooler bag for the trip home.  The other half of the building is a tap room with a full steakhouse style menu serving most of the same stuff from the case. No jazz, and not the traditional steakhouse menu/atmosphere, but if you like local beer and steak this looked like a very valid option.

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I'm not a beer drinker, but I saw Anton's recommended for steak elsewhere, and it's very close to my hotel, so I'll consider it along with The Majestic. Great tips about Jack Stack. I'll be a solo diner at lunchtime, so hopefully the wait won't be prohibitively long (considering I'll need to be en route to the airport following lunch -- or maybe I'll do Jack Stack the day before so I don't have that constraint), but if it is I'll have options. Thanks again!!

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On 9/14/2016 at 2:21 PM, dracisk said:

in Kansas City, KS, so I can tick Kansas off as a state I've visited ... it's the important things in life)

We were there over Labor Day weekend primarily for this purpose - had never been to Missouri or Kansas.  Have now been to 48 states.

We had great barbecue at Q39, which has the major advantage of taking reservations (I don't handle hour plus waits well).  We had wanted to go to Bluestem but couldn't get in, and instead went to Rye, their new Southern comfort food outpost.  An excellent meal but not upscale (specialty is fried chicken).  Our upscale meal was at Story, which was a big disappointment, service issues not overcome by food that was just okay. 

 

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1 hour ago, jpbloom said:

We were there over Labor Day weekend primarily for this purpose - had never been to Missouri or Kansas.  Have now been to 48 states.

I've never been to Missouri or Kansas, either. I have a ways to go to get to 50 (I've been to 30 but about to make that 32!).

Thanks for the dining feedback!

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We arrived late afternoon on a rainy day in Kansas City.  We stayed at the very nice Fontaine Hotel along Brush Creek and the nearby museum district.  The hotel had nice rooms with king sized beds and a good 7th floor bar which opened out onto a terrace with a swimming pool.  I'd stay at the Fontaine again. 

Unfortuantely, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art was closed by the time we arrived so we walked around the grounds and sculpture park.

It was getting late and the hotel had a deal with the next door Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar.  Yikes seafood in Kansas City...the place was pretty solid.  It's the sister branch of Jax in Denver and has multiple certifications for sustainable sourcing (if you believe these certifications).  Anyhoo.  Good oysters, especially the Wellfleets.  A solid bowl of crawfish and sausage gumbo.  Excellent fries and tasty golf ball sized hushpuppies.  The JAX margarita was medicore.  

The next morning we went to the very busy on a Friday morning Classic Cup Cafe.  We ordered take-out and the Everything Bagel with bacon, egg, and chive cream cheese hit the spot, pretty good cubed home fries too.  It was close and convenient.      

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