Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stop# 11 The Stack

The Stack
8920 Wornall
Kansas City, MO 64114
A couple of weeks ago, our group decided to try out one of Kansas City's newest barbeque joints, The Stack, which has moved into Smokestack’s old location near 85th and Wornall. Unfortunately, The Stack didn’t fare as well as Smokestack on our rating scale, but it did have a pretty strong showing. It ranks 6th out of the 11 places we’ve been so far.  

We were all pretty impressed with the food at The Stack. I had the ribs, and they fell off the bone—just what I was looking for! Jeff and Grace really enjoyed the burnt ends. Jeff said, “Burnt ends did not disappoint, and watching Nick enjoy his ribs led me to the conclusion that they were exceptional!” (In my opinion, Jeff is correct.) The sauce also drew positive reviews. They offer three varieties of sauces, and Nick said, “All three sauces were very good. All distinct, and good.”  The sides drew lower scores in comparison to the other categories at The Stack; Grace commented that the cheesy corn was “not the best … but the beans were really flavorful!”
Overall, we had a pretty positive experience at The Stack, and a few of us have been back for more since we originally tried it out. Here are the details on The Stack’s review:
     Flavor             4.4
     Consistency   4.3
     Quality           4.2
     Flavor             4.3
     Consistency   4.0
     Distinctiveness 3.3
     Variety            3.4
     Flavor              3.9
     Service            4.3
     Atmosphere    3.0
     Value              3.9
Overall Experience  4.1

The total score for The Stack was a 3.91/5. I think that’s a pretty solid score for a relatively new place. The inside of the restaurant hasn’t changed much from the Smokestack days, and the food is almost as good (according to our rating scale), but we all enjoyed ourselves and would definitely go back. The Stack is definitely worth a try.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Smokestack on Wornall Closed

Sad news in Kansas City barbeque ... Smokestack BBQ, located at 8920 Wornall Road in Kansas City, MO has closed.

Smokestack was tied for 4th place in our BBQ challenge. So, according to us, the loss of Smokestack is a big one for KC barbeque.

Smokestack is not gone forever though. The president of Smokestack says that the company intends to introduce a retail line of Smokestack's barbeque. It will be sold fresh in area grocery stores.

For more information about the restaurant closing and Smokestack's new line, please read this article by Joyce Smith, from the Kansas City Star.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stop# 10 Jack Stack Barbecue

Jack Stack Barbecue

4747 Wyandotte St.

Kansas City, MO 64112

Our 10th stop of the BBQ Challenge, took us to Jack Stack, on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. Jack Stack has four locations throughout the Kansas City area, making it easy to find one close to you!

Some people think Jack Stack is lacking when it comes to a true “barbeque experience,” but what it lacks there it makes up for in its high quality, delicious food. Although Jack Stack was unable to overtake current leader, Oklahoma Joe’s, it did enough to put itself in a close second place.

As I said, Jack Stack offers a unique barbeque experience—Mitch said “great restaurant, not a BBQ joint.” Joint it is not, it definitely has a higher end feel, but the food stands up to the atmosphere.

Jack Stack offers some of the best sides I have had with a barbeque meal, and I was not alone. Many of the people around the table echoed my sentiments. The cheesy potato bake comes highly recommended—it is a cravable menu item.

Although the sides stole the show, the main dishes were nothing to turn your nose up at. In fact, they have your traditional barbeque staples done at least a notch above most of the rest as well as some unique menu items, only found at Jack Stack.

Giving a nod to its consistency, Jeff said, “Everything is good, every time. The Crown Prime beef ribs are the best food item of all BBQ restaurants.”


Flavor 4.6

Consistency 4.4

Quality 4.7


Flavor 4.1

Consistency 4.1


Distinctiveness 4.1

Variety 4.3

Overall Flavor 4.5


Service 4.2

Atmosphere 3.4

Value 3.8

Overall Experience 4.4

Jack Stack’s total score was a 4.2 out of 5. It was definitely hurt by its higher price point and the higher end feel of the restaurant; however, it’s worth stopping in for some of what ranks among the best barbeque in Kansas City (so far!).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stop# 9 Woodyard Bar-B-Que

Schloegel’s Woodyard Bar-B-Que

3001 Merriam Lane

Kansas City, KS 66106

A couple of Saturdays ago, we headed out to try Woodyard Bar-B-Que in KCK. It was a beautiful day for it, and we had a pretty good meal to pair with it. Woodyard is in a pretty industrial area, and from what I hear draws a pretty good weekday lunch crowd. It wasn’t too crowded this particular Saturday, so we didn’t have to wait too long. Woodyard offers a great patio for dining and smokes its meats right out in front of the building so you can watch while you eat.

One fair warning about Woodyard: they do not have air conditioning; so dining here on an extremely hot day would not be ideal. Otherwise, they offer a great place with plenty of seating and good service.

The food at Woodyard was pretty good as well. They have a great selection of main courses and sides—including a smoked salmon sandwich, which is unique for a barbeque restaurant, but I ordered it and tasted pretty good. There were some complaints about some of the meats being a little dry and Mitch did not think the bread stood up to his sandwich. They also didn't have french fries, but their other sides were pretty good. Other than that, I think we were all pretty happy with our meals. Woodyard scored a solid 3.9 out of 5 on our scale putting it in 6th place over all.


Flavor 4.2

Consistency 4.0

Quality 4.1


Flavor 3.8

Consistency 4.1


Distinctiveness 3.4

Variety 3.5

Flavor 4.1


Service 4.0

Atmosphere 3.8

Value 3.5

Overall Experience 4.0

We all really liked Woodyard. Personally, I think it deserved a higher score in the atmosphere category. All in all, we would recommend this place, and would definitely go back.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stop#8: Oklahoma Joe's

Oklahoma Joe's

3002 W. 47th Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66103

Well folks, we have a new leader! Oklahoma Joe’s has beaten out Gates by 2 tenths of a point. A couple of weeks ago, we ordered take-out from Okie Joe’s and headed to Kelly’s Westport Inn for our dining experience.

Oklahoma Joe’s is quite an experience. Attached to a gas station in Kansas City, KS, its appearance is deceiving. It even ranks among Anthony Bourdain’s 13 Places to Eat Before you Die. According to Bourdain, “It’s the best BBQ in Kansas City, which makes it the best BBQ in the world.” So far, our group agrees.

For anyone who has never been to Oklahoma Joe’s, you’ve never experienced the line that wraps around the building as soon as the restaurant opens for business on Saturdays (and many weekdays, for that matter). It’s definitely an experience, but not necessary more than once. Thankfully, Oklahoma Joe’s has great carry out service.

We called our order in around 12:30, and, as promised, it was ready by 1:00. Our meals were (as reflected in the scores) delicious! We had a wide array of sandwiches around the table as well as sides. Oklahoma Joe'shas great specialty sandwiches in addition to traditional BBQ faves.

Oklahoma Joe’s did not disappoint when it came to the sides either. The French fries are among the best I’ve ever had. They also offer quite the variety including spicy coleslaw and gumbo.

We did not rate Oklahoma Joe’s on service or atmosphere, but I can attest that both are worth the wait in line. Oklahoma Joe’s totaled up at a 4.3 out of 5. Here’s how the scores came out:


Flavor 4.4

Consistency 4.3

Quality 4.4


Flavor 4.1

Consistency 4.5


Distinctiveness 4.3

Variety 4.5

Flavor 4.6


Service N/A

Atmosphere N/A

Value 3.8

Overall Experience 4.3

Oklahoma Joe’s is one of my personal favorite BBQ joints in KC, and this time around it did not disappoint. Jeff put it best saying, “Okie Joe’s is always good. No different today.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

KC Barbeque Article

I am a pretty big fan of Kansas City Barbeque; for those of you that need a little confirmation, look no further than the Wall Street Journal. They have done a fabulous write-up on what Kansas City Barebque has to offer, and why it deserves its spot among the best barbeque in the country. They also offer reviews on some places we have visited as well as some places we haven't been yet --- read up!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stop #7: Arthur Bryant's

Arthur Bryant’s

1727 Brooklyn Avenue

Kansas City, MO 64127

A few weeks ago our group headed down toto test (or, in most cases re-test) one of Kansas City’s most well known barbeque joints, Arthur Bryant’s. I’m here to tell you, it deserves all the talk. Arthur Bryant’s has been featured on the Food Network and a variety of other food programs and publications.

Arthur Bryant’s has 3 metro locations; we chose to go to the original near 18th and Vine. The restaurant is relatively large and has an order-at-the-counter format. The food was delicious and the sauce was also pretty tasty. Just a fair warning, Arthur Bryant’s adds sauce to their pulled pork, burnt ends, etc. (I prefer to add my own sauce). I ordered the pulled pork and was slightly disappointed until I reached over to my husband’s gigantic combo sandwich and ate about ½ of his turkey—juicy and delicious! The only other guest that had anything specific to say about his or her meal was Jeff (of course):

“Loved the burnt ends, although I could have used a little more.

Fries were great. Awesome piece of KC BBQ history at the original location.”

Our group gave Arthur Bryant’s a 3.9/5, which is good enough for fourth place so far. Here are the details:


Flavor 4.4

Consistency 4.4

Quality 4.5


Flavor 3.8

Consistency 3.9


Distinctiveness 3.6

Variety 2.6

Flavor 4.1


Service 3.8

Atmosphere 4.6

Value 3.3

Overall Experience 4.3

Gates, another Kansas City staple, still leads the charge. Arthur Bryant’s has a lot to offer and is nestled in one of Kansas City’s most unique neighborhoods. 18th & Vine is home to Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum and venues offering some of Kansas City’s greatest jazz music. So, if you’re looking for some good eats and unique entertainment in Kansas City, Arthur Bryant’s is a great pick!