Kansas City Barbecue: When Pigs Fly

Beef breast plate, $ 22.95.

Beef breast plate, $ 22.95.

SSomehow, it seems to me I’m stuck on a barbecue kick. Just can not get enough of it. Take tonight: Twilight, and I look across the street at the long, low-rise barbecue of Kansas City, the last one-story building on Harbor Drive, I swear. And certainly, the Drive’s brightest lights. I mean, how can you resist? There are probably more classic joints around these big old women, the Marriott and the Hyatt. But no one has the life that sucks from KCBBQ right now. His patio is lit, it’s crowded, TVs flashing hoops. You want to be there.

I’m crossing. The game UNC Vs. Kansas. Always loved KC BBQ, especially after his brave reaction to the fire that shut him down in 2008. Everyone said this place was like, history, for him. “It will come back when pigs fly!” Someone said. But come back it happened. Tonight, 40 years after it was originally built, it looks exactly as it should have in 1983.

Fan Stephanie drives Jayhawks’ support for the UNC-Kansas game.

The location is great because the Seaport Village trolley station sits right behind it. I can go home straight from the door. And right now, up front, where his porch faces the harbor harbor, you have the bonus of a glowing sunset lawn, downtown! So right now, people are filling the porch. Others stand in line for an opportunity. I, I turn straight in, there, yes, Top gunThe piano scene of Maverick and Goose took place. Also the bar, the one where countless Navy sailor hats dangle from the ceiling, is surrounded by tossed bras that revolve around, attached to rotating fans.

The reason I really want to be here? I grabbed the sign at the entrance to the porch that said “Special: St. Louis-style ribs, and buffalo chicken thighs.” The amazing thing: each one costs $ 6. (Six dollars! This is the second time in two weeks. Remember BBQ House, OB?)

I walk past the cuts of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis, where you fill the holes in your head with your mugs for photography, and go into the inner vertices of the main bar. The place is shaking! Bartender Chris pours, mixes, slams Lincoln’s tips into the jar, and you better not wait for him when he comes to invite you. “Bud bud,” I say. It’s $ 5.


Or a human being. The guy will disappear and turn around on the other side if I do not speak.

I know, the $ 6 deal, but I can not resist peeking at the menu in front of me. Pork ribs for baby, $ 19.95 (this one with two sides like McKinn Cheese and Slough), or a one-side sandwich version for $ 12.95. Then a plate of sliced ​​beef breast priced at $ 22.95, or a pulled pork sandwich plate at $ 11.95. They have lots of other things, but I want to capture Chris as long as I have him. And who but a fool would ignore these $ 6 tips? I do not. Soon, given the crowd, he placed in front of me a plate full of them, plus a beer next to me. Ah. I look at maybe a dozen hot chopped ribs drenched in St. Louis sauce. People there in the Midwest take these things seriously. It turns out that the owners of this place, Martin and Cindy Blair, have roots there.

Cool: Exterior porch.

That is, I do not expect high-level perfection. The marina district is an absolute tourist trap territory, after all. But I have to say, this St. Louis-style hint has a sexiness that you can’t get enough of. And a real cultural background. They do not cook only on the hickory tree; They make toppings, like provide you with white bread to soak up your sauce.

It is said that St. Louis and Kansas City are sisters under the skin, at least in terms of barbecue sauce. In the late 19th century, both flourished in the heart of America as important river ports. KC was also “the crossroads of two of the busiest railroad tracks, and the final stop of many cattle rides,” the menu says. (to think A lone pigeon.) “Many joints like ours have made the Kansas City barbecue famous. Burnt edges are a Kansas City delicacy.” Huh? Burnt edges? I had not heard of such before. They are “breast pieces taken from the spot and cooked some more.” I see a “when available” plate costs $ 21.95 (this with two sides; $ 13.95 with one side).

Chris, the Lightning Bartender.

Need to try it sometime, but not now. It’s hard enough to get chewed between chats like this. So much bar talk is going on: Shane from North Carolina on the left, Mike from Kansas on the right. Shane at a sitting conference. Yes, sitting. Mike here at the Technology and Education Conference. “Teachers will not disrupt themselves!” He complains.

If I let my mind drift, I can see this place as a backdrop for a movie. Oh, hey, this Was The set for the film. But I’m thinking of a spy movie. A John La Carre-type meeting place, where shadow figures pass notes at a bar, is covered by the tumultuous conversation that always seems to erupt at this hour of the night.

“It’s great!” Scream beautiful. “This is the closest thing to a bar in North Carolina outside of Greensboro!” He shouts about the game between Kansas and UNC. (And yes, his mom and dad called him “Shane” after the movie.) “Go to the Jihuks!” Stephanie shouts. She is this girl wearing a blue and gray jihuk suit and wearing giant jihuk red gloves.

I will definitely be back, if only for the good company. But also to those burnt edges, and even more, to my rib tips. For $ 6, here in the city center in the tourist center, it is impossible to beat these delicious little babies, moist, soft, almost boneless.

It’s hard to leave. But now I’m behind the back of the Kansas City BBQ, waiting for the Green Line trolley. Suddenly I feel surrounded: on their back wall, someone has painted an entire herd of pigs. Flying pigs.

  • the place: Kansas City Barbecue, 600 West Harbor Drive, Marina District, Downtown, 619-231-9680
  • Prices: Rib tips, $ 6; Pork loin for baby, $ 19.95 (with two sides like McN’s Cheese and Slough); Sandwich version, one side, $ 12.95; Beef breast plate, $ 22.95; Pork Sandwich Plate at $ 11.95; Smoked sausage, $ 6.95; Half chicken, $ 9.95; Chili Mac, $ 8.95; Burnt edges, when available, $ 13.95
  • wagon: Green line
  • Nearest trolley station: Marine Village

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