KB BBQ Awards

It was almost 35 years ago.. I believe it was the first week of August in 1976 when I first tasted and fell in love with Kansas City barbeque. Since that time I have tasted this world famous phenomenon at countless different KC venues. I have seen a few of these joints close.. one in particular I was sad to see go. Kansas City has so many great BBQ joints. With this in mind I now humbly announce the winners of the KB BBQ Awards:
  • Best Pork Ribs: Ribs are at the heart of KC BBQ.. and when I say ribs I mean pork ribs.. and none of that Saint Louis cut stuff.. or Chili's Baby Back variety. The winner in this category is Gates Barbeque. My friend Bob thinks their ribs are to die for - they are very good and the very first ones I tasted in our city.
  • Best Beef Ribs: Usually I am not much in favor of the beef version of this fare. The exception is the Crown Prime Beef Ribs at Jack Stack Barbeque. These ribs are outrageously good and oh so tender.
  • Best Burnt Ends: These are the blackened, somewhat charred pieces of brisket ends that cannot be sliced. Sometimes these tasty morsels are too charred or too tough. The ones at Winslow's Barbeque (just down the street from my loft) are the best in KC. They are succulent, tender and quite delicious.
  • Best Brisket: I love a good smoked brisket.. especially in a sandwich.. it is one of my favorite lunches. I could go with several different BBQ joints but I think I will settle in on Brobeck's Barbeque. Their beef is always tender and tasty.
  • Best Pulled Pork: The Carolina Pulled Pork topped with slaw and Bubba Sauce may not be true KC BBQ but this sandwich served at Oklahoma Joe's Barbeque is one of my favorite sandwiches in the world. And no it is not related to that state just to our south.. the owners of the place are true KC area cookers. I opined about them  here.
  • Best Sauce: Since that fateful day in August 1976 I have been a sucker for Gates BBQ sauce. All year long a bottle of the sauce sits in my refrigerator. It is a tomato based sauce with the perfect blend of spices and heat.
  • Best BBQ Beans: No contest here. Jack Stack Barbeque (who used to be Smokestack BBQ) has the best beans in town. They are smoky and full of bits of BBQ pieces. I have loved these for many years.
  • Best Overall BBQ Experience: If you have never been to Kansas City and want to experience the full BBQ experience you must try Arthur Bryants BBQ. It is reminiscent of what it must have been like eating BBQ in KC 50+ years ago. I wrote about it here. The cartoon about was published in the KC Star the day after Arthur passed away.
Honorable mentions for Kansas City barbeque joints are Zarda Barbeque and Hayward's Barbecue. They were once pretty good barbeque spots but alas it has been a long time since I have frequented their establishments. And I must give a posthumous award to Jake Edwards' Barbeque - no longer in business but they once had the best burnt ends in town.

How about you? Ever had KC barbeque? Any favorites here or where you live?


  1. you should try the beans at Smokehouse BBQ in Gladstone

  2. This just isn't fair. My mouth is drooling now. Love BBQ and its my husbands favorite. When we visited KC we had some and thought we had died and gone to heaven.
    I have no idea where we were but it was sure delish.

  3. @Becky - Maybe one day I will make it to Gladstone.. it is not that far from where I live.

    @photowannabe - In truth it is hard to find really bad BBQ in KC. Next time you are in KC Ann and I will treat you to some of the good stuff.

  4. Sounds wonderful ~ My grandson Nick, 11 years old, can eat a man size platter of ribs. He would be in heaven to eat with you at one of your Kansas BBQ.....


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