After getting out of Memphis, our next planned stop was lunch in Columbia, MO. There were two diners and Booche's that I'd honed in on after doing lots of research.
We were prepared to leave Booche's (rated one of the top 10 burger joints in the Country BY WHO?),if we did not like what we saw and go to The 63 Diner. But, when I saw this guy in the window placing fresh meat on the griddle, I told my buddy "this is the place." WRONG!
It's basically a bar with a pool hall that serves a few limited items off a very small grill situated at the front of the bar. It was an upscale crowd on that Saturday afternoon. Again, they were all
Service was very slow. When the waitress finally did arrive, I asked that my burgers ($2 per) be made medium rare. She said "We only do them one way" so I said to myself...Even if the meat is cooked medium, the fact that it is fresh will be fine. So, I did not argue with her. I let her tell me how my burger was going to be cooked...shame on me!
When the burgers arrived, they were literally flat stones! All that good fresh juice and perhaps some of the tasty fat were gone. All their efforts in providing a fresh meat burger were totally wasted. I mean gone!
This dude, I believe the owner, just takes his spatula and keeps pressing down and down on these poor patties until they look like HE LIKES THEM TO LOOK. Hey, he's the owner. Screw the customer's desires.
How anybody could rate this place anything but one of the absolute worst burger joints in the USA is beyond me. Absolutely horrendous. The operators in NYC who go to extremes to provide their customers with quality, fresh meat burgers (PJ Clarkes, etc) would cringe at the sight of how this guy was cooking these burgers. McDonalds' were better...trust me.
The town of Columbia was ok and the campus at U of Mizzo ok as well...Nothing special in either case. Nothing like Oxford, MS and U of Miss where we'd been several days before.
We left our terrible lunch and headed for Kansas City and Arthur Bryant's. If this place did not meet our expectations, our trip of 2300 miles was going to be a failure.
As it turned out, we had nothing to worry about.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST BBQ I HAVE EVER HAD AND I'VE HAD PLENTY! No, I have not had "Q" in NC, TX or OK...yet. But I've been all over the rest of the South. Been to enough places over the past 5 years to voice an educated opinion on the subject.
I am going to write an article on Arthur Bryant's that I hope somebody will publish. So, that's all I am going to say right now about it...It's the best!
Went on to Denver..I went to college there. Boy, that town has changed a lot. By time I arrived, my body was crying out for veggies. And so, for two nights, I tried two of the City's best Chinese offerings. They were both excellent - Imperial and Little Ollie's. Very, very good.
One last thing, if I may. I must tell you that I stayed at an incredible, well located hotel that was so reasonable...The Warwick Hotel in Denver. They deserve a plug. Thank you.