Road Trip For Great Barbecue!
By Burt Carey
Barbecue is such a personal thing. Choosing between mouth-watering pork ribs and a slow-cooked brisket could send a Q-aficionado into convulsions. And since there’s no shortage of those self-proclaimed barbecue experts who want to put their own stamp on a Top 10 or Top 25 list, we’ll just suggest a road trip right through the heart of the United States to try out some great restaurants where you can get your smoke on.
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, Kansas City, Kansas
Here’s your first stop for charred brisket trimmings. That’s Kansas speak for whatever those fellas from Oklahoma brought to Kansas City in 1996 issure worth a visit any one of the three Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que restaurants. I’m partial to the original location, a former gas station at the corner of 47th and Mission Street.
It used to be called Oklahoma Joe’s, but it still serves the Z-Man sandwich: brisket, provolone cheese and two onion rings on a Kaiser roll. World traveler and television host Anthony Bourdain said Joe’s made his list of “13 Places to Eat Before You Die.”
Don’t be put off if there’s a line of people waiting to eat here. It’s worth the wait. The sandwiches and ribs are top of the list.
Can’t wait til you get there? Look them up online here.
Franklin Barbecue, Austin, Texas
You’re likely to find a line forming by sunrise at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. That’s just the way it is for folks who can’t get enough of that Franklin brisket that’s been cooked low and slow for 18 hours. Tender never tasted so good! It’s best to get in line long before noon. They often sell out.
Franklin Barbecue is open only for lunch and serves ribs, sausage, turkey and sandwiches – try the pulled pork! – along with its famed brisket. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin has won the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest.
Want to see what you’ll be getting into? Here’s their website.
Kreuz Market, Lockhart, Texas
While you’re down around Austin, you might as well swing over to Lockhart and make a stop at the Kreuz Market for a bite of brisket or sausage.
Kreuz has been around since 1900, when it originally opened as a meat market. It’s now one of the Hill Country’s top barbecue hot spots. And don’t go asking for a fork or sauce; they don’t have either of those.
What they do have is brisket that melts in your mouth, pork ribs that have been seasoned to perfection with black pepper, and sausage laced with jalapeno cheese.
Just look for the big barn at the edge of town. If you get lost or want to order and have something sent via FedEx, call them at (512) 398-2361, or check them out online here.
Pappy’s Smokehouse, St. Louis, Missouri
Pappy’s isn’t exactly an old institution as far as barbecue restaurants are concerned, but since opening in 2008 it’s earned a reputation for Memphis-style ‘cue.
That means slow-cooking their meat for up to 14 hours over cherry or apple wood. Might I suggest the combo plate topped with one of Pappy’s sauces? Pappy’s Original is good and tangy, the Sweet Baby Jane sauce is, well, sweet, Holly’s Hot Sauce will get your attention, and the Hoodoo sauce is even hotter.
As with most great barbecue joints, you’ll find a line here most days – for good reason. Call ahead for more information at (314) 535-4340, or go find Pappy’s online here.