If you’re a lover of all things involving smoked meat, you no doubt know Kansas City is one of the primary hubs for BBQ in the United States. Identified by its thick and sweet, tomato-based sauces; authentic Kansas City-style BBQ is the dominant option and choice in the Midwest. With our recent road trip for filming of “The Storage Medium”™ taking us to Kansas City for an entire weekend, the debate wasn’t whether or not we’d be eating BBQ, but rather for how many meals and in how many different spots.
While Arthur Bryant’s may have the name recognition and K.C. Masterpiece and Gates the spots on grocery store shelves, we made our first stop Oklahoma Joe’s. While Joe’s has several spots in the K.C. area, we knew it just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t visit the original location on W. 47th Street on the Kansas side of the border.
There are two things you’ll notice right off when you park in front of the original Oklahoma Joe’s. One is the long line likely snaking around the tables, out the door and into the parking lot. The other…it’s located in a gas station.
Neither should give you pause. The crew at Joe’s is efficient and the clientele is respectful enough to never loiter much past the end of their meal. So the line moves quickly and there is always a place to sit (though you may have to better acquaint with those around you). As for the gas station, well that’s just part of the charm.
We had a nice variety of choices end up on our table. The full slab of ribs was on special, making them hard to turn down to begin with, but especially so when you realize The Daily Meal just named the pork ribs at Joe’s the best in the country. A couple of us went with the brisket, one even going a step further to grab the Z-Man. The Z-Man is smoked beef brisket, smoked provolone cheese and onion rings on a Kaiser roll.
The verdict? It was definitely worth the wait in line. The brisket was thinly sliced and smoked to perfection. The ribs were pure magic. On top of that everything is moderately priced and the service is terrific.
Oklahoma Joe’s was the first stop on our weekend-long dining adventure and it set the bar at a level that would be hard to reach.