I love BBQ. My family loves BBQ. In fact when they come down to visit KC, that's always something they expect. But where is all the good BBQ?
It is not Arthur Bryant's. As I write this, I'm recovering from my lunch there. I remember the first time I tried that place, I wasn't very impressed. But I decided to give it another try. Today I tried the Burnt Ends and they were terrible. It tasted like stewed meat, covered in mustard BBQ sause. The fries were cold and rather bland. I can't understand the popularity of this place. It was way over priced, and I didn't even want to take the left overs home.
Then there is Gates which isn't too bad, if you like being yelled at when you walk in the front door. "May I Help You!?" is yelled everytime when I walked in. Once you get past that, the food isn't so bad. Probably not for everyone.
Wyandott BBQ isn't too bad either, as long as you get it in Wyandott (which I happen to work down the street from) The meat is usually juicy and fries are nice and salty.
Hayward's is pretty bad. I remember their ribs are really fatty.
Zarda's is pretty good. Usually their BBQ is pretty safe (meaning it's not too mustardy or oily). I think anyone who enjoys BBQ would enjoy Zarda's. I haven't tried Rosedale or Johnny's recently to give it a fair review. Overall, I didn't think they were the best.
So what is my favorite? Oklahama Joe's. I usually get the Z-man sandwich. It's hard to want to try anything else when you have "sandwich perfection" like the Z-man. That onion ring they add makes all the difference. Their fries portion is huge and zesty. Some of the best fries around. You can't beat that gas station atmosphere either.
Right up there, would be Jack's Stack- if you want nice-sit down BBQ. I may get in trouble for this, especially with loyal KC BBQ people, but I've always liked "Famous Daves". Their meat is not too gristly and sause is good too. At least at Famous Dave's, I don't leave regretting I ate there.