Do you like BBQ? I like BBQ. And not mediocre BBQ either. I've been eating the stuff since before I could walk if you put a plate of just so so ribs in front of me I'm burnt out on the things to the point I'll probably just eat the bread that goes with it and call it a night. Same thing goes for even modestly good pulled pork. That being said I can't go into a city without trying their smokey goodness at at least two different places. Typically I go to the cities 'best' and the runner up to see what they have to offer. Typically it's good not great and I end up wondering why am I eating BBQ again when I don't really enjoy it. There are a small handful of exceptions.
I made my way into Kansas City for a spell one summer and everyone raved about Oklahoma Joes BBQ. It's run out of a gas station and I've never been when their wasn't a line running out the door and that's during church hours on a Sunday. I drove past during lunch on a Saturday once. No Barbecue is the worth the wait I saw. This place has won oodles of awards and is generally considered awesome right up there with Jack Stacks (I wasn't fond of this place so no paragraph for them.)
Oklahoma Joe's was somewhere I could go and have some pulled pork and baked beans and enjoy my meal with modest satisfaction. It was good, not the best I ever had but good. Then traveling with the man like I do we mozyed on over to Independence, Mo. You know birthplace of Harry Truman. Big historical site all that jazz. Stopped at a little bbq joint with no reputation no awards yet and had the best barbecue I have had in years. Apple Wood BBQ (http://www.applewoodbbqkc.com/#) was absolutely delicious. They had sauces that had some heat they they had some with the tangy but my favorite turned out to be the apple bbq sauce. I saw it in the line up and decided why not, best choice I ever made. I loved the stuff. Then I got mine with a baked sweet potato with honey butter and brown sugar. My man got rib tips with the fries and baked beans and a burnt end sandwich. We went halvsies. It was all delicious. The rip tips were cooked perfect. The fries weren't the out of a bad steak fries these were honest to god fries. Everything was so delicious. I'll admit the burnt ends were not my favorite but I've never been a super fan of them.
Then about that time where we know we're about to eat to much we know we should stop but it's so good you don't want to. The owner comes on over and says "I hope you saved room for rum cake."
My man replied, "I don't think we have room for desert."
He nodded, "I'll bring you a sample then let you decide."
So a moment later he came back bearing two small squares of rum cake and I had decided. I needed me a slice of his aunts rum cake. I hadn't had a rum cake that good since I was a little girl. I think the best part was we ate til we were stuffed. Spent $20 between the two of us and had enough leftovers I got to do it all over again for breakfast this morning. Compared to the rest of the barbecue we got in Kansas City, it was a steal.
So if you ever happen to be doing the tourist thing in the Kansas City area hop on over to Independence. It's a cute little historical site with BBQ that is just as good if not a bit better (close call) than the cities best. So help keep deliciousness in business.
Apple Wood BBQ
Later in the week I'll talk about the Varsity in Atlanta. Don't let me forget.
Corset missing the rum cake.