Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Beginnings of KC BBQ

Here is a good short article I read yesterday on The Restaurant Guide of Kansas City's blog.  A little history about KC BBQ and some background on some of the best and most well-known 'Q' joints in town.  

 

The Beginning of Kansas City Barbecue Kansas City's barbecue

The Beginning of Kansas City Barbecue Kansas City's barbecue cuisine began as early as the 1920's, resulting from a melting pot of sauces and traditions brought to this area from Texas and the Deep south. While Bryant's is perhaps the most famous barbecue establishment, the actual barbecue phenomenon began with a man named Henry Perry. During the Depression, Perry distributed slabs of barbecued ribs grilled in an outdoor pit and wrapped in newspaper to make ends meet.

Customers were satisfied, and the trend caught on, influencing upcoming barbecue chefs such as Charlie and Arthur Bryant, George Gates, and Otis Boyd. Each of these men added his own flavor and style to barbecue, creating the barbecue that Kansas City has become famous for:

Arthur and Charlie Bryant.
Ribs from the renowned Bryant's Barbecue had their beginning back in the early 1930's, when Arthur Bryant, migrating from Texas, was asked to work with his brother Charlie at "Old Man Perry's" place on the 19th Street. Arthur eventually bought the restaurant and made dramatic changes, the most significant one being the sauce. The original sauce was one of the hottest ever made, but has since been tamed to a moderately spicy recipe. Arthur Bryant's legacy of barbecue, frosty beers, and famous beers, and famous unpeeled fries continues to operate from the original site.

Georges and Ollie GatesThe Gates (father and son) were also influenced by Old Man Perry, their business having roots in the 1940's. The "right" sauce was discovered in 1949 and has been the same ever since, with new flavors added along the way. Gates Barbecue has expanded to include several restaurants in various locations around Kansas City. Ollie Gate's "Rib Tech" school trains his pitmasters, assuring perfection of this family's cuisine.

Otis BoydOtis Boyd began his barbecue legacy in the mid 1940's, opening his restaurant in the heart of Kansas City's jazz district at the corner of the 12th Street and Vine. Although Boyd received formal training at a chef's school in Chicago in 1939, he claims to have developed his sauce from "whatever was around the kitchen". Boyd's expertise with hickory smoking his meats may remain a well kept secret, but those who have discovered his talents claim his homemade sausage is the best in town.

Jack Stack BarbecueOriginated under the name Smokestack Barbeque in 1957 when Russell and Flora Fiorella started a traditional style barbecue house with a modest selection of 5-6 items on Old 71 Highway. Their eldest Jack decided in 1974 that he would branch off to expand the barbecue theme and opened Fiorella's Smoke Stack of Martin City at 135th and Holmes Road in south Kansas City. Jack introduced Gourmet Hickory Wood Cookery in 1977 with brick-oven cooking and created the most extensive barbecue menu in the country. From Jack and Delores' travels on the Yugoslav coast came the idea of grilling seafood over hickory wood. Thus, fresh seafood was added to the traditional menu of barbecue meats and hickory-grilled poultry and steaks.



Since 1987, Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is Kansas City's best choice for traditional, hickory-smoked barbeque that can be enjoyed in a nice, family atmosphere or can be catered or delivered to your next event. Smokehouse Bar-B-Que's pit experts have been preparing authentic barbeque for a combined total of over 30 years.


Last but not least, Oklahoma Joe's BBQ might be one of the most unique of BBQ joints in Kansas City. Located in a gas station, this Kansas City favorite is a lunchtime favorite with the locals.


This restaurant claims to have the best BBQ in Kansas City and invites you to decide for yourself! With several awards under their belt and the always crowded dining room, these are pretty confident in their product!

This article and others by the Restaurant Guide of Kansas City can be found by clicking this link. 

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