Thursday, July 21, 2011

adventures in bbq

Apparently, Kansas City is known as a barbecue city. (Note: I mean the beef or pork kind of barbecue. Not a cookout on the grill at someone's house, which non-Southerners refer to as a barbecue. Weird.)

So, while in Kansas/Kansas City area a few natives told us we should go to Arthur Bryant's if we wanted real KC style barbecue. Okie dokie. So tonight, we went.

We get there.

It's totally not what I expected. It's basically a dive. It's REALLY old and sort of in a run-down part of town. It was also clear that aesthetics weren't very important in the restaurant because of the um...decor. BUT, it was pretty packed so we figured that was a good sign.

This is what we were greeted to when we came in. Oh, let me apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. They were taken with my phone and on the DL so as not to appear touristy. Which is good because we quickly realized that this was one of those places where the people working there aren't super friendly. It's just part of the atmosphere, you know? It was apparent that you order the food a certain way and relatively fast or you get, well, called out. We get up to order and the cook was like, "What do you want?". Um, okay. Thankfully I was able to passably order well enough and quick enough that I avoided scrutiny.

Another good sign when we walked in? This guy...

Again, sorry for my photo quality here. I didn't want to tick him off right as he sat down to a delicious looking barbecue pork sammy. As we're waiting on our order, I glance to the wall on my right and I'm stunned at the number of celebrities that have eaten at this location. Their pictures are framed (and some even signed) and hung on the wall. MAJOR celebs and public figures have been there. Steven Spielberg, Morgan Freeman, Kate Capshaw, John McCain, Will Smith, Bryant Gumbel, Sarah Palin and John Ritter just to name a few. It made me even more excited to get my sliced pork sammy with fries...

I couldn't quite capture the sheer enormity of this sandwich. I could only eat half. It was as tall as half of my head. (probably literally) It was good and I even got a souvenir cup to bring home.

All in all I'd say Arthur Bryant's food was delicious but the atmosphere (to me) was way cooler. I guess I can now say that I've eaten at a Kansas City legendary restaurant. Has anyone ever been here before? Any of my midwest readers?



  1. Love this post. Love the sneaky pictures. I've never had KC bbq, but I hear it's big. I bet that's how they named the KC BBQ potato chips, right?

  2. You know, it only recently dawned on me that the KC in KC Masterpiece BBQ stuff stands for Kansas City. HAHAHHAAHAA!

  3. I've not been to KC nor have I had KC Bbq... but I LOVE your NOTE in the first sentence. Growing up in the North East we used to cookout all the time, but I don't recall my family calling it a BBQ... but now that I've lived in NC for years, that's the only BBQ that has my heart, pork BBQ with a vinegar base, yummms.

  4. Melissa, pork bbq with vinegar based sauce is my fave NC kind of bbq!! Oh man, my mouth is watering now.

    Depending on where you live in NC, you NEED to try Cookout's (the restaurant) bbq. For real.


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