Looking for Amazing Kansas City BBQ Locations

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In 1991-1992 I lived in KC.

I liked everything about Bryants but the sauce. Back then it was a little hole in the wall - way before food tv or youtube was even a thing. But that sauce was NOT my jam.

There was some little place up in Claycomo, I do not remember the name. It was within sight of Worlds of Fun - maybe someone knows it? They were really good.
 
In 1991-1992 I lived in KC.

I liked everything about Bryants but the sauce. Back then it was a little hole in the wall - way before food tv or youtube was even a thing. But that sauce was NOT my jam.

There was some little place up in Claycomo, I do not remember the name. It was within sight of Worlds of Fun - maybe someone knows it? They were really good.
After spending a few minutes on Maps - I'm almost sure it was where the big Ford dealership is now. Probably very long gone.....
 
What about Plowboy's ? I love their Plowboy's Yardbird rub and I've heard their barbecue joint is good also ?

Mrs Okie wants to travel to KC in August. Her main interest is quilts but I want to sample the barbecue. And we both want to hit Boulevard Brewing .
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Plowboy's went out of business a year or so ago. I heard it was really good but Q is a tough business to be in.
I toured the Boulevard Brewing Co. and it was interesting and fun. Be sure to have a DD. 😄
 
I do not think Plowboys are in KC anymore. I do like their yardbird rub though and it is still sold commercially. There is a plowboys in Marshall MO but I dont think they are related.
 
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I too have been to Joe's. It was Oklahoman Joe's when we went. My kind of BBQ. Worth checking out. Also went to Jack Stacks downtown. We enjoyed it as well but it's more of a nice BBQ restaurant vs Joe's being a BBQ joint. I'd eat at both of them again.
 
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I've enjoyed Joe's and Jack Stack before. A little south of KC is some tasty BBQ at a very small local airport. Eat and watch planes land. It's pretty cool.

 
Ok I have a report. I went to Q39 and it was very good BBQ.

The atmosphere was nice, clean, and very good looking.
I got a 3 meat plate and added 2 more meats, BUT I did not get the brisket burnt ends.

Meat 1, the sliced brisket which was flat meat and was good tasting and very commendable. Never a bad thing to order.
Meat 2, sliced pork belly and it was cooked well and nice but didn't wow at all. Just nice.
Meat 3, smoked chicken. It was a a breast piece and a whole wing together. This was good smoked chicken. You couldn't go wrong ordering it.
Meat 4, chorizo pork sausage... very odd to see BUT the flavor was great! It was good for a sausage, just a little out of place with the flavor profile but I would eat it anytime someone put it in front of me hahahah
Meat 5, the pork spare ribs. These were by far the best thing I ate there. Very good all around my favorite thing there.

If I were to go back I would love to try the burnt ends but they are a whole complete order on their own, you can't add them on to anything.

Everything tasted as though it was smoked with oak.

I would go back and eat here anytime, and especially if I wanted a nice relaxing environment where I could watch a ballgame or something like that.

Next stop will likely be Joe's KC since it is near the Walmart I end up going to when I need to get household items, etc.

Slaps is still on my list too.
 
OK another report.
I tried Joe's KC on 47th street.

The burnt ends were good brisket. They were simply just cubed up pieces of point muscle not anything other than that. I love the point muscle the best so I'm good to go with how they do it, but would love it to cost the same as the flat muscle of the brisket hahaha.

It did not look like they smoke the brisket point separately and "make" burnt ends. They did not cube up the point, sauce, and return to the smoker at any point. I believe they smoked the whole packer and then separated the point and cubed it up. I mention all of this because I think people may be expecting burnt ends to be sauced and returned to the smoker, so this way they understand what they are getting.

I ordered the hog meat plate which was pulled pork, 2 ribs, and sausage. I added half a pound of brisket burnt ends to the plate.
The other plate was the chicken dinner plate which was half a smoked chicken.

In all the best was the burnt ends, 2nd best was the sausage. It was very good sausage and in a style similar to that of the kind of smoked bbq sausage we get/do in TX, the only differences was that it was about hot dog thick in diameter and were these little slices of it rather than a big honking link with thick slices. Flavor was great.

3rd best was the pork ribs.

The chicken was ok but nothing to write home about and the pulled pork was forgettable.

The spicy sauce was the best bbq sauce but I only tried regular and spicy. Did not do the Carolina style but I'm not a Carolina vinegar sauce guy so no point in me trying it when I see it looks like colored apple cider vinegar in the bottle hahaha :D

In comparison, the burnt ends were better at Joes than the brisket flat slices at Q39 but that isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison.
Q39 ribs were much better than Joes but joes were fine.
Q39 chicken was better than Joes.
Joe's bbq sauce was better overall AND the Spicy was an above average sauce where the sweetness came down a good bit in place of a tiny bit more savory flavor and a tiny bit of spice but the spice level was what I would call mild, maybe medium for some.
Joe's mac n cheese was way better than Q39 where the mac n cheese at Q39 looks good and is made well but completely lacks flavor.

So in all Q39 beats out Joe's KC on a number of fronts with the BBQ.
Atmosphere, Q39 wins with me but mainly because you get seated and have a waitress, etc. vs joining the herd of people approach at Joes and all the people walking around/over you, etc.

Pro's and Cons to both and I would definitely go to either based on what I was looking for.

Next up, I'm going to try and fight the line at Slap's. I drove by on Sunday at like 6pm and there was a line going outside but it was father's day so I'm guessing I can get away with going on a Thursday or an early lunch on the weekend.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. You guys have not let me down! I'll keep posting as I hit more places :D
 
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OK another report.
I tried Joe's KC on 47th street.

The burnt ends were good brisket. They were simply just cubed up pieces of point muscle not anything other than that. I love the point muscle the best so I'm good to go with how they do it, but would love it to cost the same as the flat muscle of the brisket hahaha.

It did not look like they smoke the brisket point separately and "make" burnt ends. They did not cube up the point, sauce, and return to the smoker at any point. I believe they smoked the whole packer and then separated the point and cubed it up. I mention all of this because I think people may be expecting burnt ends to be sauced and returned to the smoker, so this way they understand what they are getting.

I ordered the hog meat plate which was pulled pork, 2 ribs, and sausage. I added half a pound of brisket burnt ends to the plate.
The other plate was the chicken dinner plate which was half a smoked chicken.

In all the best was the burnt ends, 2nd best was the sausage. It was very good sausage and in a style similar to that of the kind of smoked bbq sausage we get/do in TX, the only differences was that it was about hot dog thick in diameter and were these little slices of it rather than a big honking link with thick slices. Flavor was great.

3rd best was the pork ribs.

The chicken was ok but nothing to write home about and the pulled pork was forgettable.

The spicy sauce was the best bbq sauce but I only tried regular and spicy. Did not do the Carolina style but I'm not a Carolina vinegar sauce guy so no point in me trying it when I see it looks like colored apple cider vinegar in the bottle hahaha :D

In comparison, the burnt ends were better at Joes than the brisket flat slices at Q39 but that isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison.
Q39 ribs were much better than Joes but joes were fine.
Q39 chicken was better than Joes.
Joe's bbq sauce was better overall AND the Spicy was an above average sauce where the sweetness came down a good bit in place of a tiny bit more savory flavor and a tiny bit of spice but the spice level was what I would call mild, maybe medium for some.
Joe's mac n cheese was way better than Q39 where the mac n cheese at Q39 looks good and is made well but completely lacks flavor.

So in all Q39 beats out Joe's KC on a number of fronts with the BBQ.
Atmosphere, Q39 wins with me but mainly because you get seated and have a waitress, etc. vs joining the herd of people approach at Joes and all the people walking around/over you, etc.

Pro's and Cons to both and I would definitely go to either based on what I was looking for.

Next up, I'm going to try and fight the line at Slap's. I drove by on Sunday at like 6pm and there was a line going outside but it was father's day so I'm guessing I can get away with going on a Thursday or an early lunch on the weekend.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. You guys have not let me down! I'll keep posting as I hit more places :D
Funny you bring up those two places. I was at Q39 on Friday night & Joe's on Saturday night. Seems like we have opposing opinions.

The burnt ends I had at Joe's were definitely returned back to the smoker as they had actual charring, whereas Q39's burnt ends were not smoked again. Q39 had the best brisket, by far & their sauces were absolutely phenomenal. Their sauces really made the meat as good as it was. Joe's spare ribs were amazing & I could probably die a happy man eating those on my deathbed. Finally, I completely agree with you on the Mac & Cheese. Joe's was so good. I'd eat that every day if I could.

I came to the opposite conclusion as you in that I preferred Joe's much more. I'm from the Memphis region & it felt way more at home to me. Nice BBQ places are always slightly jarring as I'm used to them being, at best, mild hole-in-the-walls. Q39 also cost quite a lot of money, so it wouldn't be somewhere I visited too often anyways.
 
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I've seen it mentioned a couple times, but I definitely echo about Joe's KC. Z pig sammie is awesome. Even the fries need mentioned. Stay clear of the Gates and other chains. Bryant's is good. Meat cooked very good. Not a fan of their sauces, though.
 
Funny you bring up those two places. I was at Q39 on Friday night & Joe's on Saturday night. Seems like we have opposing opinions.

The burnt ends I had at Joe's were definitely returned back to the smoker as they had actual charring, whereas Q39's burnt ends were not smoked again. Q39 had the best brisket, by far & their sauces were absolutely phenomenal. Their sauces really made the meat as good as it was. Joe's spare ribs were amazing & I could probably die a happy man eating those on my deathbed. Finally, I completely agree with you on the Mac & Cheese. Joe's was so good. I'd eat that every day if I could.

I came to the opposite conclusion as you in that I preferred Joe's much more. I'm from the Memphis region & it felt way more at home to me. Nice BBQ places are always slightly jarring as I'm used to them being, at best, mild hole-in-the-walls. Q39 also cost quite a lot of money, so it wouldn't be somewhere I visited too often anyways.
Nothing wrong with differing opinions hahahaha :D
We all have different backgrounds and tastes so things will surely be experienced differently by folks :D

If I get a chance to go back to both Joes and Q39 I'll get brisket at Joes and burnt ends at Q39 so I can do apples to apples comparisons. I only had 1 sauce at Q39 that came with my plate and it was a thick very sweet sauce which is not my preference. The less sweet and less thick leaning to some savory and some spice is always going to be best to my liking.

Other things at Joes I failed to mention but were great!
The Texas toast was surprisingly good when everywhere else it's not even a memorable thing. I know that may sound funny, but they did it right. I only had a few nibbles but I can't remember tasting a better Texas toast (I've been keto for a while now). Also Joe's seasonal veggies was a cup of slightly creamy corn with a tiny bit of jalapeno mixed in and some kind of grated cheese on top. It was excellent for the few tiny nibbles I had! It wasn't quite the same as elote but was like 3/4 of the way there minus the mayo, extra cheese, and lime juice.

Here's more detail on my Joes atmosphere experience and why it scores low for me.
I never mind a line if I know I'm going to a BBQ place or a restaurant where it's expected.
However I am very put off by people, staff, children, walking in front, behind, left/right, and all over me while I'm in line. The Joe's I went to on 47th was that x10 and is all a product of how the place is laid out inside.

We had people walking around us early in the line to just get into the store part of the building.
Then people walking back through/against us in the line so they could go buy beer.
We then had people walk through and against us in line so they could get fountain drinks, untensils, sauce, and napkins.
We had people walk crossways through us in line to go find seating, or to come from seating areas to get more drinks, utensils, etc.
We had people then walking crossways through us in line once they get their meals or to come get their meals and then again to return to their seating that they had run to save for themselves (not a lot of seating in the place compared to people who want to eat).
This was constantly going on due to how the place is laid out. It was nonstop except in a couple of spots in line where people don't have to cross your spot to get to what/where they need to go.

Then we become those people. We had to walk against the line and then crossways through the line to get our drinks and then to get seating, so it's something that is going to happen to everyone in line and then something everyone in line is going to have to do to others in line when the time comes.
Finally after finishing the meal, we have to cross through the line and against people in line to leave the seating area where we ate. If the line extended into the entrance walk way or entrance doors we would have had to walk against them on the way out of the building but the line was not extending into the doorway area at this point.

This is much more chaos and walking over people than I want to do, or have done to me in any circumstance hahahaha :D

At Q39 we didn't have a line. If there was one, we would have been in line until seating opened up. Then been seated or taken open seating at the bar area and the waitress/bar tender would have handled the rest. No getting walked over or walking over people. Worst case it would have been like a busy night at a Chili's restaurant kind of experience.

There is a price difference for sure where I paid more at Q39. I just don't recall how much more but I do know why in my case.
The girlfriend got an alcoholic drink at Q39 and I added 2 meats onto my plate, where at Joe's she got the the much less expensive $15 chicken dinner plate, I only added 1 meat to the plate, and no alcoholic drinks. Alcohol costs so much it's like ordering a meal for an extra person in drink costs alone hahahha.

This is a bit more context to my 2 visits so far.
 
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I've seen it mentioned a couple times, but I definitely echo about Joe's KC. Z pig sammie is awesome. Even the fries need mentioned. Stay clear of the Gates and other chains. Bryant's is good. Meat cooked very good. Not a fan of their sauces, though.
I have Slaps and LC BBQ on my list. I ruled out Gates and Bryants in favor of getting these other two into the mix. If I have more time I may run by a Gates or Bryant's for the hell of it but would rather revisit some of the better places if I want to do more apples to apples comparisons on things I wasn't able to get the 1st time around at each place :D
 
OK just got back from Slaps a bit earlier and here's my report.

I ordered the Burnt End combo plate where I added Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage as the 2nd meat. I then added on 2 ribs and 2 Chicken quarters (they do quarters, don't think I saw a white meat option).
Sides were Mac n Cheese and Coleslaw.

Now for my take on the food.

The Good
Everything was good and consistent. I didn't have a bad bite of anything I ate.
I would eat anything I ordered if given to me as an option for a meal.

The sauces were both good, regular and spicy. Again I preferred the spicy profile as it was less sweet. Also this is the 1st place that hasn't had super thick sauces and even the regular was only about 3/4 or less as sweet and about 1/2 as thick as the other regular sauces I had at Q39 and Joes.

They didn't use Oak! This is more of a me thing as I've been worn out on Oak from a lifetime of having it all over. They had some hickory in their smoke but it tasted like a competition blend of some kind where there was hickory in it and no oak.

They opened at 11am and I was in line at 10:47am as the 7th person there. It seems the first 12 people is where you want to be in the summer time as that is about as many people as can fit in the shade while waiting.
The inside was nothing but ordering and they work to move you through well and then you eat on a patio that is covered and enclosed by screens to keep the bugs out, while sitting on picnic tables. All very efficient and flowed well.

Finally, the prices were the best so far. There is a chance they may have messed up charging me because there was some confusion that I was not part of the order of the 6 people ahead of me but I got all that food, and a water for a charge less than $21!!!!


The "Bad"
Not really anything much bad. If you don't want to stand in line in the summer heat's direct sun then get their 15-20 minutes before they open on a regular Saturday morning. Also parking is limited so another reason to get there early.

The Ugly
Everything is good and consistent BUT nothing stood out. Nothing I ordered underwhelmed either but nothing stood out. I'm not one who cares much about the visual appearance over the flavor of an item of food BUT the Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage did not look good. It was grey color and the casing looked like it was soggy and separating a bit (probably steam heated to warm up) BUT the flavor and texture was perfectly fine and enjoyable. So just a heads up on that particular sausage. I didn't order or even see the other sausage options.


Comparison
Q39 ribs were miles better and the best thing I had there (didn't get to try the burnt ends though). Q39's brisket flat slices were a noticeably better flavor than Slap's burnt ends. Not exactly apples to apples but if a brisket flat slice beats out a brisket point bite then I am pretty confident that says all I need to know hahaha.

Joes burnt ends were way better and the best thing I had their. So that is an apples to apples comparison.

Slap's did not have a single underwhelming item that I tried from meat to sides to sauces so if you want a variety (of the meats I tried) that is going to be tasting perfectly fine and not disappointing then Slaps seems to be the jack of all trades options.

Next on my list is LC's BBQ if/when I get a chance.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I'll keep trying to go through a number of them, and I greatly appreciate them. Also, I don't expect my experiences and takes to be the "end all, be all". We all have different backgrounds, experiences, and preferences which makes for a wonder variety that is wise to appreciate :D
 
Great thread tallbm tallbm ! It is interesting on other peoples take on really good Q. Woodward's BBQ on 75th St on the KS side not only has really good Q but the atmosphere may be to your liking as well.
 
Great thread tallbm tallbm ! It is interesting on other peoples take on really good Q. Woodward's BBQ on 75th St on the KS side not only has really good Q but the atmosphere may be to your liking as well.
Thanks! I'll keep it in mind. My stay is winding down and my girl is getting some groceries so not sure how many more BBQ runs I will be getting in hahaha.

I want to hit LC's for sure since it was on my initial list. I'll have this one after LC's. I am still a little bugged that I haven't been able to compare Q39's burnt ends to the other places. It's just an annoying comparison gap and I don't like things to be incomplete like that hahhaha :D
 
OK everyone, my rambling update time.

I went to LC's BBQ.

Ordered the half pork burnt ends and half beef burnt ends meal with a side of spicy green beans (which are actually breaded and fried. I thought they would be just green beans with some spice lol).
Also got a plate of Ribs. The order was not a full slab but an order of "Shorts" (fattier tastier section) along with a side of coleslaw.
I also tried to get some sausage but they were out. They were also out of "pork" which I guess is pulled pork. The sign just said pork so I'm guessing it's just pulled pork but not 100% sure due to the limited descriptions of the food on the menu.

The Good
The BBQ here is hands down the best so far.
The ribs had the kind of flavor I'm looking for and the flavor was amazing. THOUGH, the texture could have been more tender. It was JUST in the realm of bite off the bone. A little less tender and they would have been undercooked but they were bite off the bone just enough to not cause any issues so not going to count it against them due to how good it still was!

The pork burnt ends and beef burnt ends were fantastic! I'm not sure which was better and thinking one was better than the other would change from one bite to the next between the two.

The smoke flavor and meat cooking are exactly what I like. They seem to also use a smoke blend. The blend may be some hickory and a small amount of oak, if any. There may some maple in there too.
They definitely are not using only Oak and again, the smoke flavor is great!
The cooking style seems to be going unwrapped for a good long while (I'm guessing) and not so "wet" smoked. There is good bark on the food and it's not overly sauced. I think they may just rub sauce on at the very end or they simply just use very little sauce. OR, they lightly sauce after it's done being cooked.
This kind of BBQ smoking makes for super bold and flavorful meat. This seems to me to be more Texas style and the way I definitely prefer my BBQ. It's also similar to the way I cook my BBQ.

The price wasn't too high either compared to other places.
The BBQ sauce was a pleasant surprise. It was not super thick and not super sweet and had a little kick. It has a much different taste than many other sauces, especially KS sauces. Though it's different it is a bit familiar to me because the "difference" is the use of chili powder. The sauce seems to get a little bit of spice from the chili powder. It could probably use about 1/3 or 1/2 less of the chili powder to better suite people's tastes. I can tell that the amount of chili powder is probably a bit forward for a lot of people but I have no issue with it at all since it is close some kinds of Texas and/or Mexican BBQ sauces out there.


The Bad
Cleanliness
The place is simply dirty and nasty. I rationalized sitting and eating with the idea of "they are busy and hopefully this is just a bi product of them having to move fast", but in reality it's likely not the case, but this thought got me through the meal and I experienced great tasting BBQ.

The box where they pull those paper-like slips that go into the bottom of a styrofoam to go box was crusted all around with grease and bbq sauce where the meat cutter would grab from the box. I have a feeling the box of paper slips had been there at least since the day before and was not new to the day.
The meat cutter was also the person who put the food into the same containers that are given to you. His gloved hands are covered in all of the meat and sauce he is cutting and putting into the container. By the time he grabs your container, fills it, closes it, and puts it into your carrying bag, there is not a clean spot on any bit of the containers. They are just coated with meat, juice, and sauce all around lol.

The place had no people bussing and cleaning tables in the dining area. Tables then had plenty of grease, bbq sauce, and other mess on them that you clean up yourself. In fairness you are meant to put your items in a trash bin and such to clear the tables but due to the containers being a mess, the tables are then left a mess with no one to wipe them down. You will need to do so yourself or just sit with a sloppy, messy table.

The signs and other things on the walls are covered in dust and grime and needed a dusting and a wipe down 10 years ago lol.

The floors are tile and are covered in condensation and anything else that seems to fall to it. This makes EVERY tile SLIPPERY AS HELL!!! This makes sense why there are so many walking rug matts in the place. Seriously be mindful of the slippery tiles. This is not something you really run into these days and wouldn't think about.

The station (a wire rack) where you grab your soda/water fountain drink was grimy as well. The cups are stacked upside down, rim down. I would not use any cup that has it's rim directly on the rack. Just grab the top cup off of the stack of cups and you can avoid the grime.

Menu
The menu is an old sign/board device where they place each 2inch letter/number on it to spell things out. This is not an issue BUT they abbreviate with like 2 letters in some cases and you have no idea what the hell something may be if you're a first timer hahaha.
The menu is also no clear in other ways. Such as "spicy green beans"... they are breaded and fried but there is no way to know this if you've never been there. Hell all of the sides are actually fried as far as I can tell except the coleslaw.


Service
They could have been short staffed but this was at like 1:15pm on a Saturday so still in the peak of the lunch hour rush, though we were probably the last 1/3rd of the rush.
They had 2 guys working the meat and 1 girl taking orders, money, and calling out/handing out orders.
She was confusing as hell. She would stop in the middle of taking your order to then turn completely around walk 2 steps away and call out an order to be picked up. Then she would come back and ask again what you wanted. Then she would take your money and do the same. Then when she would come back, she would have to figure out how much change you had or refigure out how much money you gave her or start asking for your order all over again. This happened the entire time we were in line and to us as well.
This was not happening because they were busy. This happened because she just wouldn't stop finish one action before switching to the next action. She just had to finishing taking an order and doing the money, THEN turn around and hand out/call out the next order. The meat guys had no issues stacking up orders together and into bags as they worked each order she called out.
Finally, there was no bussing or cleaning of tables. Very messy and dirty tables but you've already read about cleanliness here


The Ugly
The place seems like it may be short staffed or just doesn't care about things as long as people are coming in and buying BBQ. I mean their BBQ is the best I've had so far in KC but it is not like the best I've had in my life or in that category so they should still be concerned about losing business.

For example a clear case of not caring. They had a TV on and that's fine. The TV was showing some movie BUT all of a sudden this movie breaks out into a fairly hardcore sex scene with boobs, moaning, etc.
I don't know if there were kids in there right that moment, and with how load it is in the place, many people wouldn't have noticed. However, there WERE kids in there there earlier when we were in line and this situation is something that should just not happen. A simple solution, don't put it on HBO or whatever channel it is. Put it on a regular or safer channel so people aren't eating their lunch while someone is loudly getting jack hammered on the TV lol.

You stack things up like the TV, no one bussing tables, floors that are slippery as hell all over with condensation, and what my girlfriend says she was icked out about with the women's restroom and it all stacks up to a place that just doesn't care enough.


Conclusion
The rib flavor and BBQ rib style beats out Q39, BUT they ribs were not cooked as well as Q39. So I would need to do a side by side test, but if it's that close then that is a great thing flavor-wise.

The burnt ends beat out Joe's KC burnt ends for me. Joe's was great but LC's smoke flavor was NOT 100% oak like Joe's and that is always a better to me for smoke flavor. Also the richness and boldness of LC's flavor beat out Joe's. LC's were also a little more tender and juicy than Joe's. When it comes to taste and flavor, I'd eat either places any day of the week, but I at least know Joe's burnt ends came from a way cleaner place.
Also the Pork burnt ends at LC's were amazing and I feel like they even beat out Joe's beef burnt ends... which seems odd since I don't know many cases where pork is going to beat out good beef in my world, but they were that good.


I'm glad I got to experience LC's and happy that the BBQ was that good, but I don't think I will suffer the "ick" factor of the place again when I could get great ribs at Q39 and great beef burnt ends at Joe's KC. Q39 and Joe's have no legit cleanliness issues or service issues that I encountered.

Again, we all have different experiences and backgrounds etc. so please feel free to go out and experience the LC's for yourself. My experience and opinion is not anyone else's and I do not expect anyone else to ever accept my opinion as the end-all, be-all of things hahahah. The best we can do is share and hope it helps others :D

What's next? I might be able to squeeze in 1 more BBQ meal before I go and I think it will be a quick pick up order on Q39's burnt ends to remove any mystery of something I haven't tasted there that I ate at all the other places. As you can tell I'm still bugged that is the only place I DIDN'T get burnt ends to compare to all the others :D

This has been fun for sure! :D
 
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Funny you bring up those two places. I was at Q39 on Friday night & Joe's on Saturday night. Seems like we have opposing opinions.

The burnt ends I had at Joe's were definitely returned back to the smoker as they had actual charring, whereas Q39's burnt ends were not smoked again. Q39 had the best brisket, by far & their sauces were absolutely phenomenal. Their sauces really made the meat as good as it was. Joe's spare ribs were amazing & I could probably die a happy man eating those on my deathbed. Finally, I completely agree with you on the Mac & Cheese. Joe's was so good. I'd eat that every day if I could.

I came to the opposite conclusion as you in that I preferred Joe's much more. I'm from the Memphis region & it felt way more at home to me. Nice BBQ places are always slightly jarring as I'm used to them being, at best, mild hole-in-the-walls. Q39 also cost quite a lot of money, so it wouldn't be somewhere I visited too often anyways.
I think Q39 has the best brisket, but KC BBQ joints rise and fall constantly. Slap's is currently popular, but their sauce is SO sweet (and that isn't a compliment).
 
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