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What is your favorite barbecue joint?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 24, 2010

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Photo of Greg Scott

“My kitchen.”

Photo of Kim Moore

“My dad’s house.”

Photo of Nick Fertig

“The Montgomery Inn located in Cincinnati, Ohio The ribs, the sauce, it’s some of the best sauce I’ve ever had, but the ribs are killer.”

Photo of Kaitlin Beals

“It’s in Memphis, Tennessee, and it’s called The Original Corky’s … it’s this little hole in the wall, same guy is there every day, great sauces. … They just do a great job with their meat.”


Stuart Evans 7 years, 10 months ago

it's terrific if you like parking your car in the hood and walking a couple blocks to a school lunchroom type setting. the screen door is a nice touch. However, after standing in line for half an hour, then stooping down to give your order through the tiny window to a man who has never been taught the finer points of customer service, leaves much to be desired. Sure it builds anticipation about the food you're about to receive, but it also builds up a false sense that the food would be phenomenal. Good yes.. worth the trouble. nope.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 10 months ago

yeah, i've been getting up too early. I should save my commenting until after my coffee

b22 7 years, 10 months ago

a couple blocks?? you obviously haven't been there recently, its like a 30 second walk from the parking lot

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 10 months ago

He must be more of a whine and cheese kinda guy!

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 10 months ago

I second your vote. Gates on Main is a close second.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

across from the cadillac dealership? yeah that place is BALLS! I love the sweet sauce and I love the spicy sauce.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

Arguably Bryants DOES have some pretty fantastic beef and pork. But it about stops there. As has bren mentioned, the ambience is about that of an old town gas station, the huge handprint where some guy's hand mashed the sandwich down, and worst of all - BBQ sauce that sits fermenting in the front window and that tastes like janitor in a drum, all in all, leaves much to be desired. Why Bryants has ANY reputation is impossible to imagine.Do they still have a fly swatter by each table?

frankenstien 7 years, 10 months ago

I agree. Bryants BBQ sauce has always reminded me of turpentine. Too nasty to believe. For my money the best is Jacks Stack. Love it.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

Mega dittos on the Zarda's. It has the absolutely best restaurant ribs in the world. And that is from about 3 decades of gnawing rib bones there. The sauce is without peer anywhere (and I have tried scores of them). Not to mention my favorite sandwich in the world - the humongous beef and pork Roundup. It is almost all I can eat.

The fries there are also among the very best. They are the generous 1/2" cut fries and they are perfectly cooked so that they are firm and crispy on the outside, and nice and soft on the inside.

I have over the years become a rather accomplished BBQ'er, and to this day, Zarda is the standard I try to acheive. Although I am getting to the point where I prefer my own Q to theirs, they remain one of my all-time fav stops whenever I am in Lenexa.

Another pretty good Q joint is Famous Daves. They feature ribs there that are more competition style (they serve St. Louis style, Zarda serves whole slabs with the brisket bone still attached - more meat), and they have some pretty good sandwiches. I love the 1/3# burger with the scoop of pulled pork on top. Their sauces are pretty good, and it is interesting to me that my favorite Dave's sauce (the spicy one) is very nearly Zarda's.

davidsmom 7 years, 10 months ago

Rudy's in Albuquerque...authentic Texas barbeque (this restaurant started in Texas, but I happen to love Albuquerque.) A true Texan knows that barbeque is about the meat, not's about the cut and the quality and the way it's smoked or cooked. If you have to mask the flavor of your meat with sauce, you must have low-quality meat, or you don't know how to cook it right.

Jay Keffer 7 years, 10 months ago

Nice thing about Rudy's you can mail order their sauce. Some of the best sauce out there, worth a try - you won't be disappointed!

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 10 months ago

My sister is getting ready to open a new barbecue joint in Leavenworth, Backwoods BBQ.

I can only tell you that that the barbecue she did in the restaurant she shut down to come here was to die for. Give 'em a try.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kernal 7 years, 10 months ago

Where was the restaurant she shut down?

workerman 7 years, 10 months ago

Sun City is a nice place. Last time I was there, only a restaurant/grocery was the only business in operation. It was basically a ghost town. I hope the town is doing better.

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

good lord how many times has this been the ots question?? i have been a member here far too long. my faves? 'burg, g&m's....and a "new" one to me we tried a few weeks ago, that little place in burlingame-oh MY it was excellent!!!

Kathy Theis-Getto 7 years, 10 months ago

Favorite BBQ joint - right here in our backyard.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

No offence but (don't you hate it when someone starts a sentence like that?) Oklahoma Joe's is not BBQ. It has various stuff that others smoke and THEN call it BBQ, but OKJ's is remarkably devoid of the blessed smoke. That's why they call it Oklahoma Joes, rather than Kansas City Joe's.

feetup 7 years, 10 months ago

Daniels in tongy is good. they put one in eudora, but the restaurant got blindsided when the city tore up the main drag and closed them! Rosedale in KCK, Quick's in kck.....but nothing in lawrence even comes close to what my taste buds want in bbq.... oh, and I've been to corkys in memphis. Memphis wet or Memphis dry bbq, either way is awesome.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 10 months ago

Daniel's in Tonganoxie is shut down also.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

Quick's is one that seldom gets mention, and without cause. It IS an excellent BBQ. One of the best smoked chickens in the world. And their hot pickles will knock you right out of your socks. Quick's used to be my all time favorite back in the good old days.

Majestic42 7 years, 10 months ago

OK Joe's FTW. Nothing like a huge grocery sack full of delicous BBQ.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

There used to be a little joint in Fort Scott right next to the railroad tracks that did some darned good ribs.Unfortunately, they closed a decade & some ago. :(

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

hey that place is still open! just was there two weeks ago. gooooood cold beer.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 10 months ago

you might try the new BK ribs. I hear that they're as awesome as you can imagine!

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

Autie, I lived in Nevada, MO for 4 years back in the 80s/90s. Go back there visiting every once in a while. I'll try to remember to look for the place in Elsmore next time.

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

:) still there still open. can't speak for the food but the beer is cold. and yes i am ocd can't help but reply every time i see ya's post on elsmore...

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

bc i can't help myself-BOTH. i am an equal opportunity fried chicken enthusiast, i think they're both good! :)

countrygirl 7 years, 10 months ago

We love BBQ but tend to like our own cooking the best. Boss Hawg's in Topeka is pretty good though.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

not bad, but miserly portions and exhorbitantly high prices

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 10 months ago

The best 'que joints will scare you. If you feel safe, it may not be that good.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

In the last century, I ate some darned good pig at Fresh Air BBQ in Georgia. They use a vinegar-based sauce.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 10 months ago

You gots to have an open mind about some things, TOB.

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

Leroy's in pomona is good-i hear he used to cook at G&M's

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

the original aurthur bryant's is tough to beat.

if you can't handle the location, you can always go to the nice clean legends location-just be careful not to spill that bbq sauce on your skirt.

Jeff Cuttell 7 years, 10 months ago

I heard the one at the Legends is closed.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

I made some pretty authentic Texas BBQ once. I took an old tough piece of beef, boiled it for about three days, ran it through the garbage disposal, threw it down on the floor and pee'd on it, and slapped it between two pieces of stale bread. Oh, and asked if they wanted fries with that.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

funniest borderRuffian post ever, for a minute I thought you were giving out taco bell's recipe

gphawk89 7 years, 10 months ago

Another vote for Oklahoma Joe's in KC.

BruceWayne 7 years, 10 months ago

a greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray

salad 7 years, 10 months ago

Aurthur Bryants, no contest. Gates can't touch AB.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 10 months ago

I know it went downhill fast the last couple of years it was open, but there was a time I would move heaven and earth to eat at Vermont on Mass.

I also remember Miss Shorters Ribs she cooked in her front year from time to time off 12th street, till the city decided we had too much of a good thing.

mom_of_three 7 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, there really isn't anything really good around here. A couple of years ago, at some fall festival thing, we ate some really good ribs. I think they only catered, and I can't remember the name.
We have tried the rib place in Baldwin a few times. Oklahoma Joes isn't bad.

Best ribs I can remember - the Pig on Beale in Memphis..... to die for....

irvan moore 7 years, 10 months ago

All American here years ago was great, Best bar b que ever was when John Galloway was doing up ribs in that hole in the wall on east 21st in Topeka. On the right day you can still find some dang good ribs cooking down on the corner of 12th and New York.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 10 months ago

Clikker's response was my first thought: the ribs at Guy & Mae's in Williamsburg. Vertigo is right, too, that Wyandotte BBQ (on State Ave. more than the one on 75th Str in OP) is delectable. I'm pretty fond, though, of Jack Stack, and am partial to the location in Martin City.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 10 months ago

I've heard that back in the day, they used to give you burnt ends at AB's for free...they'd just throw them on your plate!

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 10 months ago

It might not be fancy or fast enough for whiners like AreUNorml though...

BorderRuffian 7 years, 10 months ago

That is absolutely hilarious. I'd be laughing out loud if'n it weren't so durned true.

kristyj 7 years, 10 months ago

for anyone willing to venture into Jefferson Co, I'd recommend the pulled pork sandwich at Chunky Dunkers in Oskaloosa

LoveThsLife 7 years, 10 months ago

Thanks Kristy I am going to have to check them out!

number3of5 7 years, 10 months ago

Any body in the know will tell you that the best food always comes from Kay's Kitchen.

Randall Barnes 7 years, 10 months ago

randall's bbq and mexican.the slaw is awesome and the habanero/honey beans need i say more.

pace 7 years, 10 months ago

For ribs, Grandpappy's at 18th. and haskell, Worth the price. for pulled pork sandwich, Beamers on 8th. great and a bargain. For ribs, beans, slaw and service, alas, the old Michigan St. BBQ

rbwaa 7 years, 10 months ago

i was wondering when someone was going to mention michigan street...favorite memory of barbeque

Amanda Woodward Davis 7 years, 10 months ago

For great BBQ in Lawrence, try Biemers. They have awesome brisket. Not a huge fan of the ribs, but their other meats are incredible and theyr fried pickles are to die for!

Jeff Cuttell 7 years, 10 months ago

The best thing they have is the giant spud with sour cream, butter, cheese and your choice of meat on top......for $5.00!

MIke Mallory 7 years, 10 months ago


BigPrune 7 years, 10 months ago

Oklahoma Joes in OP. I have never gotten sick at that place.

FredGarvin_MP 7 years, 10 months ago

Leroy's in Pamona, hands down, best pork ribs!!

Mike Hatch 7 years, 10 months ago

I like Biggs. I've tried to go to Biemers a few times but they've always been closed up pretty early when I've tried (good sign if they've run out of BBQ for the day I guess). I wish that place was still Sandy's, though.

My vote for worst is The Smokehouse downtown.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 10 months ago

Stay away from the Smokey Joe! Trust me!

Mike Hatch 7 years, 10 months ago

You got me curious, so I had to do a search to find out what that is.

"Smokey Joe BBQ Sandwich (chopped meats in BBQ sauce)"

Sounds kinda questionable..."meats"?

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 10 months ago

Look up "sweetbreads" and "tripe."

Has nothing to do with Smokey Joes, but will amuse me.

Jeff Cuttell 7 years, 10 months ago

Bigg's and Buffalo Bob's are real good. Large portions.

puddleglum 7 years, 10 months ago

strouds is completely out of control....well, it used to be...the one at 85th & troost was prolly the best place to get fried chicken in the entire world... so one day I was raving about stroud's and my wife had never been there so we went to the new Stroud's on shawnee mission totally blew...3 hour wait, I built it up and up and up for my baby, and the chicken was cold and didn't taste anything like stroud's. not to mention that the location totally sux. big let down. the one up north is still going, so i will have to talk her into second chance someday.

LadyJ 7 years, 10 months ago

Sigh...Can't post on the best place to go since there is always so much BBQ in the fridge it would be silly to go buy it somewhere. Got up early to hit the 2 day sale on ribs at Hy-Vee for $ .99 lb. Should have enough to last the summer. There was cartloads of frozen ribs going out the door by 7 am.

LadyJ 7 years, 10 months ago

Heck we even cook up a couple of packages of bacon on the smoker whenever we fire up then stick it in the fridge to microwave later. Only way to cook bacon.

Liberty275 7 years, 10 months ago

Sonny's. Barbecue done right with vinegar-based sauce, None of that nasty KC sugar sauce

Liberty275 7 years, 10 months ago

LOL. I'm an extended tourist here, Original Bob. And Mr Multidisciplinary, take my word for it, when the housing market comes back and we can get better money for our house, the door won't even get in the ballpark of my behind on the way out. I had enough of the cornfield.

But seriously guys, how can you stand that sauce with all the sugar in it? It's like dipping your ribs in syrup... YUCK!

While I'm on the subject, why is it almost impossible to find a good serving of grits in this flyover country?

Randall Barnes 7 years, 10 months ago

another good place is famous daves at the legends

erck85 7 years, 10 months ago

No love for Grand-daddy's? Come on, even if you're a food snob you gotta love locally owned, always friendly and meat that can stand on it's own without the sauce.

jaywalker 7 years, 10 months ago

There's a place in downtown Ft. Worth, can't remember the name, absolutely no frills, cafeteria style check out, ....AMBROSIA!!! They've got an apple, sweetened sauce that'll make your knees go weak, best brisket I've ever had. Mouth's watering just thinking about it.

trinity 7 years, 10 months ago

oops i nearly forgot to mention another great bbq place-entertaining, too, you can watch planes land&take off (small ones)..."we b smokin'" out at the miami county airport puts some pretty darn good food on the table; and their sunday breakfast til 1 p.m.-oh my. ham steak off that big ol' smoker-wow. just wow. well worth the drive!

banksie 7 years, 10 months ago

Oklahoma Joe's, Arthur Bryant's, and Smokehouse

sassykansan 7 years, 10 months ago

Guy and Mae's Tavern...definitely worth the drive to Williamsburg. I heard that Doc Severenson had their ribs flown in to celebrate Johnny Carson's birthday back in the day.

jaywalker 7 years, 10 months ago

I"ve heard that place spoken about reverently, gonna have to try it out.

Jimbecile 7 years, 10 months ago

I used to work in KC. I sold my home in Lawrence and moved to Oregon two years ago. Reading about all this BBQ brings tears to my eyes. Thanks everybody!

purplesage 7 years, 10 months ago

Smokehouse on N. Oak Trafficway in KC. Burnt ends platter. The beans are great, too.

redmorgan 7 years, 9 months ago

Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ in Orlando, Fl. It is the best I've ever had. I have yet to find a bbq joint here in Kansas with good side items. Any decent bbq place should have fried okra, collard greens and black eyed peas as sides, but I can never find them here. Also, the bbq sauce here is always too sweet. I prefer it more spicy than sweet.

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