Smokey and Saucy

Kansas City is known for having the best barbecue in the country. But, of course, for every amazing barbeque restaurant, there is an equally awful joint. So, I went to four recommendations for barbecue restaurants and ate at each one. Here is my honest opinion so that you can eat authentic Kansas City barbecue with confidence in the food and quality of service. Enjoy!

rating out of 5 BBQ sauce bottles*


Q39 on Antioch has a reputation for having incredible, delicious barbecue. Well, after my experience there, I can only confirm this. I was quickly seated at a booth and the food was brought to me an appropriate amount of time after ordering. On the menu, I looked for the meals that had a blue ribbon next to them to signify award winning burgers, steaks, and more.

I ended up ordering the Burnt-End Burger, a burger cooked medium with burnt-ends and coleslaw on top, served with a side of fries. While the fries left something to be desired in terms of flavor and texture, the burger itself was absolutely wonderful. The only thing that took away from the eating experience was the knowledge that if I set the burger down, it would completely fall apart, resulting in the shameful act of eating a burger with a fork.

The last thing that I can’t recommend more highly is the classic Q39 zesty barbecue sauce. I found that the sauce was perfect for dipping the burgers and the fries into! To recap, the service was excellent, the burger was exquisite, and the fries lacked the necessary kick to justify being the only side. Because of these reasons, I award Q39 four out of five Barbecue Sauce Bottles and would recommend this restaurant to anybody looking for some great Kansas City barbecue.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

I walked into Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que on Strang Line expecting their usual mile-long line but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a slow night, so I got my food very quickly! The woman behind the counter was very bubbly and polite as I ordered their brand new menu item, The Rocket Pig.

The Rocket Pig was a pulled pork sandwich with fried jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and hot sauce. I’ve always been extremely impressed with Joe’s food in the past but this sandwich took the cake, without a doubt.The Rocket Pig was an honor to eat. It didn’t have an overwhelming amount of heat, something most spicy burgers have to mask the lack of seasoning, which was a welcome change; the flavor of the meat was equal to that of the toppings.

The only thing I wasn’t completely blown away by was the over-seasoned french fries. I discovered, however, that if you dip them in Joe’s signature Night of the Living Barbecue Sauce, the seasoning indiscretions can be looked past. Due to its impeccable service, mesmerizing food, and excellent atmosphere, I award Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que five out of five Barbecue Sauce Bottles and would highly recommend this award-winning restaurant to anybody and everybody.

Burnt End BBQ

The third establishment I visited was Burnt End BBQ on Metcalf. I had been long before but due to my lack of total recall, I was going at this totally unbiased. Walking in, I was relieved the see that the line wasn’t long! The first thing I noticed was the menus; the grossly hard to navigate, ugly, inaccessible menus. While most items on the menus looked tasty, I got lost in the over-crowded display of the screens mounted up on the wall that listed the entrees and sides.

After ordering the Two Meats & Two Sides (I chose brisket, burnt ends, fries, and onion straws), I found a seat.The food was out very quickly but not too quick, which was appreciated. I started with the meat which is the namesake of the business and found that both it and the brisket, though cooked well, were rather flavorless. The barbecue sauce, however, rectified this issue.

The sides were the best part of the meal, in my opinion, which is no stab because the sides were delicious, especially the onion straws! The line was unnecessarily slow, the entrees were fine, but the sides were addictive, while this was a definitely positive experience overall, I award this restaurant three out five Barbecue Sauce Bottles. Burnt End BBQ wouldn’t be myfirst place to recommend but it definitely makes the list!

Smoke ‘N Babes BBQ 

When I arrive at Smoke N Babes BBQ, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never eaten there before so all I knew was that it was right by Olathe North High School. You can’t miss it! Once I was at the truck, recognizable on account of the goofy, loveable pig that is their logo, I ordered a brisket sandwich with a side of baked beans. I had already decided what I was going to order based off of their easily accessible online menu. The wait was wonderfully short.

The first thing I noticed about the simple meal I had ordered was the presentation; it looked absolutely perfect. I wasn’t remotely disappointed.The meat was very tender and flavorful, needing almost no barbecue sauce, which if you read the previous reviews, is something I value. I only wish that the beans had had a little more kick to them, being too sweet. I definitely plan on coming to Smoke N Babes BBQ again and I would recommend this food truck to anybody and everybody that is in the mood for quick, scrumptious, authentic Kansas City barbecue. It is because of this that I award Smoke N Babes BBQ four out of five Barbecue Sauce Bottles!