Hi folks - an LA 'hound here that was in KC a month ago and is just getting around to posting a report... I didn't actually NEED to ask any questions of this board because there was enough here to help me... so I want to give back.
My husband and I are affirmed BBQ 'Hounds, and Kansas City was the last stop of the "BBQ towns" so it should be pretty obvious what we ate! I used the info from this board, from a coworker who lives in KC and from GAS BBQ, which I found from a link here.
"Breakfast" our first morning was Arthur Bryant's. I've read that the sauce is a love it or leave it sort of thing - we were clearly in the Love It camp. The sandwich was beautiful - a tower of sliced meat clearly overwhelming those little wimpy slices of white bread. I was skeptical when I saw it, because I associate thin sliced meat with dry, but this was fantastic. And the fries? Were some of the best I've ever eaten. Mushy in the middle, crispy on the edges, salty - the best of all potato worlds. Washed down with a red creme soda - things were good!
Actual lunch was at LC's. We ate ribs. Big, kinda greasy (but in a good way) ribs. With a local (?) bottled lemonade that I'd like to import to CA. I liked the ribs, but I'm finding more and more that I am less of a rib girl than other cuts. That said, these were pretty tasty.
Afternoon snack was a BBQ break for Frozen Custard. Yes, in the cold, cold March afternoon. We ate it in the car... Oh, and we made it to Andre's for chocolates. Great stuff. Some of the best we've had, actually, and really nice people in the Overland Park location.
Dinner was at Fiorella's Jack Stack. It was *packed* but we managed to get a seat in the bar where we had great service and Fat Tire (another not in CA treat). Between us we tried the lamb ribs (which I loved but the husband was iffy on), the pork ribs, the brisket and the burnt ends. The burnt ends were easily the best things on the plate, though I thought the brisket was pretty respectable. The ribs were good, but not as chewy and elemental as the ones from LCs. I managed to stuff in some of their dense, hot, cooked individually carrot cake at the end, and it was pretty heady stuff. Even my husband the non-carrot-cake-eater was liking it.
The next morning we indulged in Waffle House for breakfast, and before I get any grief, I'd just like to point out that in California, you cannot get a bowl of grits the size of my head and swimming in butter. Sometimes a girl's gotta have grits.
Our last meal before we flew home was at Gates, and I think that we might have saved the single best item for last - the burnt ends at Gates were truly something special. We had the sandwich there as well, but it didn't touch the one at Arthur Bryant's - and we didn't like the sauces much there - we both felt there was an overabundance of celery salt flavor - or they were too sweet (but we're both vinegar sauce people). That said - those burnt ends were INSANE. A perfect blend of meat, fat, soft, chewy and crispy crunchy charcoal. Serious serious meat goodness.
Overall - KC gets our nod for burnt ends, all the way. I'd go back just to eat them!