Listed in the 1,000 Things to See Before You Die, is Arthur Bryant’s BBQ. Being a lover of barbeque, I still go to barbeque places even though I don’t eat meat because let’s face it, these places make the best side dishes – french fries with bbq sauce, macaroni and cheese with bbq sauces, cole slaw mixed with bbq sauce, pickles in bbq sauce. You see what I mean, I like bbq sauce. Honestly, I was very excited to have some meat with my bbq sauce.

Bryant died in 1982 - Even God loves BBQ!

On the first night in Kansas City, we made the trek to the original Arthur Bryant’s on 18th and Brooklyn for our first BBQ of the trip. We quickly parked along the side of the restaurant and briskly walked inside and tentatively to the famous counter in the back.

The place looked like it still belonged to the 1960s with the Formica tables scatter about, articles touting it’s deliciousness along the walls mixed with celebrities who have eaten there – though most of them were famous only before I was born. Only a few tables were filled but, seeing it was 5 p.m. on Thursday night, the dinner rush probably hadn’t quite started yet.

We perused the menu not sure what to order since it’s been so long, but we knew we wanted some ribs. Kimmer picked the rib tips with fries (all the customers had fries, so I figured they must be good). Then, I decided to get the burnt ends open face sandwich. I had no idea what a burnt end sandwich was but it sounded good, so we officially got in line.

The famous counter.

We were saved from the embarrassment of asking “how do we do this ordering thing?” by a nice middle-aged couple in front of who told the counterman “We’ve never been here before” and he responded “Where you been then!?,” laughed and said “You tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you.” Seemed simple enough. Kimmer placed our orders, they slapped down two pieces of bread, slapped some meat on top, threw in some fries and we were ready. We both ordered iced tea, it’s a requirement with southern BBQ, right?

The total cost of the meal was $27 which seemed more expensive then it should have been, but did I mention that I’m cheap?

We found a spot and dug in. My burnt ends open face sandwich took up the whole plate and already had Arthur Bryant’s famous bbq sauce on it. It was delicious. I especially liked it when the sauce soaked the bread below. It was even better with pickles. Dang it, I should have grabbed more pickles from the plastic container next to the register.

Kimmer put some bbq sauce on his plate for his ribs which came “dry.” There were a couple of different options – he eliminated one quickly as it was too hot and not sweet enough. He finally soaked his ribs with “Sweet Heat” sauce which may have been the same on my sandwich.

We were splitting both meals so we could enjoy them both. I loved ribs when I ate meat, was able to find several of pieces of meat not on a bone and it was very good. But the other small pieces of ribs we very hard to eat off the bone and were fatty (standard for ribs). On the whole, the rib tips were a bit disappointing.

But between both entrees, we both got our fill of off BBQ, enjoyed it, but I don’t think it will be the best we’ll eat on this trip.

Plan your trip today: