Moving right along:
Last time we chatted, I mentioned that a certain category of signs got denser (I guess that’s a word). Seems the closer you get to Kansas City the more you see:
Including this beauty:
Seemed kind of odd to me that they tout "KC" Baby Back Ribs. Around here (Maryland) we are accustomed to seeing on meat markets and menus “St. Louis Style Baby Backs..”
I have not been to other meccas for BBQ such as Memphis, San Antonio, Raleigh, Oklahoma City and so forth but Kansas City has to be prominent. They appear to love their BBQ.. KC style is supposed to be slowly smoked meat, slathered with tomato-based, sweet, spicy sauce with tangy flavor profiles. I’m not sure I found that to be the case, most of what we had with FOJTY was indeed smoked, but generally sauces were in those messy squeeze bottles on the side. Of course since I’ve been there twice now, I’m an expert. However, FOJTY is pretty close to an expert. He’s thoroughly scouted the area, and eats and cooks a lot of the smoked beef and pork.
Once you’re past the signs and actually in KC, “Que” restaurants (seems like I shouldn’t call them “joints”) abound.
And as evidence of the popularity of BBQ, most of the “famous” ones always have lines such as “Joes Kansas City Bar B Que” Original Gas Station (not to be confused with the "knock off" above) is where we've been on a previous visit
and besides the outside lines inside is generally packed
Apparently waiting in lines is expected and accepted just to get their fix. Most don’t have table service, you wait in line (like the Soup Nazi), read the board, give somebody your order, shuffle down the counter to eventually pick up your order, look for an open chair, sit down and enjoy.
On this trip we drove by several venues including Joe’s but didn’t eat there this time, also past Q39, with the line outside
One of TY’s favorites is
Which follows the common model, and we stopped in for a late lunch, and fortunately there was no line
Until you got inside where you kind of had to squeeze in the door, then snake around the perimeter until you got to the pressure point.
If you’re a “regular” like the TY’s, you know what you want, but I always strain to read the board (usually unsuccessfully). Doesn’t help that they use “cutesy” names for the sandwiches and describe the actual dish in 2 point font below
To avoid holding up the line and stammering, I’ve developed a strategy of positioning myself behind FOJ, and then employ the “when Harry met Sally” ploy of “I’ll have what he’s having”. Can’t go wrong emulating him, he’s the connoisseur.
So I wound up with a combo of Ribs and “Burnt Ends”:
A traditional part of Kansas City barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. the entire brisket is cooked whole, then the point end removed and cooked further, or the point and flat are separated prior to cooking. Due to the higher fat content of the brisket point, it takes longer to fully cook to tender and render out fat and collagen. This longer cooking gave rise to the name "burnt ends"
Anyway, the guy behind the glass sliced the ribs
The “ends” were added and I chose “sides” of beans and potato salad so here’s my "light" lunch
Ribs to the left, ends to the right.
Served “Just Right” style with butcher paper and a red paper basket and waxed paper for the food, Styrofoam abounds and plastic cutlery. The down side of the “Harry and…” technique is that FOJTE can put away more food in one sitting than I want or can consume, so he usually gets my left overs, which he did on this occasion.
The food was very good, and with sauce on the side I could regulate the heat, and one of the bottles did contain the kind of milder sweet variety. Good food. Even the beans and potato salad was (I hope) not from the Sysco truck but in house made. What could be better than good food, Royals baseball, and an enthusiastic crowd that was attired “just right..”
On the way out, we stopped by the (idle) smoker
While we’re sort of on the subject of Burnt Ends, although it didn’t follow the "Slaps" meal the next day we hit another popular spot for dessert, Betty Rae’s (hand dipped) Ice Cream. After waiting in the apparently necessary line outside
You get in another Soup Nazi line, with a chance to look at the “menu board”
And the reason I include this is the “new” ice cream entry at the top of the list
While waiting in line it was all the talk “have you tried it yet?” “hey, honey look at that” and it was a popular choice. So once again you gave your selection to the lady behind the glass who relayed it to the “scoopers” who prepared your cone or dish
Note the “backhand” technique
Of course FOJTY had the burnt ends
And gave me a lick. Indeed, it did have a smoky, BBQ flavor, I’m just not convinced it’s a combination worth making. But, of course it is Kansas City where they are apparently BBQ obsessed.
Oh, after our dainty lunch at Slap’s another edition will show what we had for dinner that night.
with ever hopeful Smoke watching closely
aside (for maybe KWW): did you know my lightroom photo program doesn't do "red eye" on dogs?
And obviously at least at the BBQ places, there isn’t much of a code for