First off, I’ll have to educate you on the little I know about the barbeque scene in Kansas City. Basically, barbeque in Kansas City has been a thing since Henry Perry invented it in the early 1900s.Kansas City is special however because they use a wide variety of meats–you’ll find beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and more. But the burnt ends are the most unique part of Kansas City and those are the crusty tips of a brisket of beef or pork–and they are as good as they sound.
Joe’s Kansas City Barbeque was the first barbeque place I visited in when I first came out to drop off my then boyfriend now husband. I hadn’t had much experience with barbeque before, so I didn’t quite know what to expect; all I knew was that I was hungry, I loved ribs and pulled pork, and I was pretty sure this BBQ joint would make my life better.
We were busy seeing the sights in KC, so we ended up eating lunch a little later than we all would have liked–at around 3 PM, we wandered into Joe’s to find a huge line. And I was shocked. How in the world was there a line of this magnitude in the middle of the afternoon? And, to top it off, the restaurant was in a gas station. Funnily enough, the gas station was even functional, and there were people pulling through to fill up their cars every once and awhile.
We waited about a half hour–a half hour of hangry Hannah–before we placed our order. And with the service functioning a lot like any of the other barbeque places in town–cafeteria style–we received our food pretty quickly. And boy was it impressive.
Because there were seven of us–we were there with Michael’s family–we got most of the menu. Ribs, brisket, burnt ends, and pulled pork sandwiches were just a few of the things we tried, along with their impressive side dishes like BBQ beans, cole slaw, and the best fries you’ll ever taste. But, the most popular thing at Joe’s is called the Z-Man.
The Z-Man is a brisket sandwich topped with onion rings and a side of fries. It’s to die for. Smothered in their original barbeque sauce and topped with the crunchiest onion rings, it’s really the perfect sandwich.
It might also be the perfect sandwich and I have a really hard time deciding between the two when I go. And, as mentioned in the “side note,” Kansas City is famous for its burnt ends, but Joe’s makes it a little difficult to try them–they only serve burnt ends on Mondays and Saturdays at lunch and Wednesdays at dinner.
If you want arguably the best BBQ in the country (maybe the world), and something you have to eat before you die (according to Anthony Bourdain), you’ll need to stop in at KC Joe’s to fill up your stomach–and your car!