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NAME: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

PLACE: Kansas City, MO

DATE: November 6th, 2017

WHAT: Kansas City BBQ

ADDRESS: 3002 W 47th Ave, Kansas City, KS 66103

WEBSITE: www.joeskc.com


WHAT TO EAT: Baby Back Ribs, Burnt Ends (if available)



I was zipping down 47th Avenue looking for the famous Kansas City Joe’s. I got to the address, and I found a gas station, not a worn-out BBQ joint or even a strip mall. I was a little shocked, it wasn’t next to, or attached to a gas station, but they’re actually located inside of a petrol station. Maybe I’m a food snob, but a question emerged in my head, can truly great food be found in a gas station?


It was close to noon, and I fully expected a line. So, when I walked in the door and didn’t see people waiting, I was perplexed and relieved. I was actually going to stroll right up, order and grab lunch. Then I saw it, it stretched around the counter, through a cabled area, arched around the dining area, out a double set of doors (the ones that I missed) and down the side of the building, the line was massive. I briefly found myself questioning if I should even wait? I decided to get in line and see how fast it moved before I did anything rash like leave. I have no idea why I even thought I would get lucky like that.


I was hungry as hell, I’d been smelling the ambrosia and watching all these lucky bastards in front of me eat their BBQ for the last hour as I sat in line, and now I was jonesing for good BBQ. I stuttered out my order of a half rack, burnt ends, and a Z-man; their famous smoked brisket sandwich. The young lady working the counter laughed, the fact that I thought I could get burnt ends was amusing to her, the humor was lost on me. Reluctantly I settled on smoked sausage in replacement. The words barely out of my mouth and it was already through the efficient production line and waiting for me at the pay window. My plate looked magnificent, ribs with a slight glistening of sauce, moist crusty brisket, and a monstrosity of a smoked meat sandwich with golden onion rings topping it all off, it was just taunting my growling stomach.I grabbed that tray and scanned the packed room of small lightly-colored vinyl tables. Suddenly a spot opened up and I jumped on it; you need to bring your hustle to the game if you want a table at Joe’s.


With my ass plopped in a wooden seat, I settled in on the tray of smoked meat in front of me. I manically yanked a bone off the rack, it gave way easily, oh so easily. I’m going to admit it, at this point I drooled a bit in the excitement of what I knew was coming. The meat was so tender it practically fell off the bone and into my mouth. The first bite was down, sweet juicy BBQ gloriousness bum rushed my frontal lobe. The ribs were lightly glazed and each mouthful is savory and sweet all at once. Within seconds my face and fingers were covered in the sweet sticky red sauce, and I was deep in a meat eating frenzy, my mind was swimming, analyzing the amazing flavor. For a brief moment I snapped out of the meat trance just long enough to take a look around and enjoy the moment. The room was packed with people, happy people, all with stained red fingers and faces, all enjoying some of the best BBQ this country has to offer. I made a few guttural grunts of approval and quickly turned my attention back to where it belonged.


I sat alone at the little table in the middle of the packed dining room with a tray full of empty bones, a pile of dirty napkins, a newly stained t-shirt, and a tiny bit of shame. I found myself thinking, all this meat nirvana exists perfectly inside a gas station, in fact it belongs in this gas station, and wouldn’t be the same anywhere else. That shouldn’t take away from the fact that the food at this little hidden rib shack is close to ambrosia. It easily gets four pig stars, and is one of my top BBQ picks in the country, and will always be a must stop for me when I’m in town. Long live Kansas City Joe’s.


The Pig is formally trained in the culinary arts, a graduate of the C.I.A., worked in the food industry for over 40 years and currently travels the country as a research chef searching food trucks, street vendors, little restaurants and hole in the walls, seeking out the best this country has to offer. For more great articles, culinary travel guides, and tips on travel and cooking follow us to our website.


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About Pig

Call me Pig, it's not my real name, but it will do for our purpose.  As you'll find out, I'm a research chef, not a blogger. I travel the country looking for new trends and documenting great American independent restaurants.

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