On my rapid journey across the country once again, my buddy suggested stopping at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City. Having traversed this path before, I was eager to get back to Gates, but he said this would be worth it and I deserved it because it was my birthday. Since he hails from Kansas City and knows good food I took his word.
From the moment you step in the door, it is apparent that Jack Stack is the classier side of barbecue, down to the fact that they serve you sauce (spicy and original and both incredible) in little dishes instead of squirt bottles. Per my buddy’s recommendation we began with an appetizer of their Fire-Kissed Wings. With a Cajun and hickory flavor to them, these wings tasted nothing short of amazing. The meat was unbelievably tender and fell off the bone so perfectly that it took no effort to clear the bones. There was no need for barbecue sauce, but I used it anyway because it was so good. These were, without a doubt, the best non-buffalo wings I had ever eaten.
But then there was my main course, which I chose to be the two meat Kansas City Combo. I picked beef Burnt Ends (a Kansas City specialty) and Lamb Ribs (a Jack Stack specialty). It also came with two sides and I went with the Hickory Pit Beans (a fancy name for barbecue beans) and Cheesy Corn Bake (which is literally corn baked in cheese). Unfortunately I found out the platter came with pickles when it arrived, but at least I could pass these off to my mom.
The winner of this platter was the burnt ends which, for those of you that don’t know, are like chunky brisket. They were moist, flavorful and just awesome. The lamb ribs were also quite good, and would surely be amazing if you are a big lamb fan. I am not, but I could still appreciate them. The beans were some of the best I’ve ever had and the cheesy corn was, well, cheesy corn…so you can’t go wrong. I also got the opportunity to try some of my mom’s baby back ribs and they were stellar.
In all, Jack Stack was a great decision. It solidified in my mind that Kansas City barbecue is the best because I know it can deliver on the cheaper and fancier sides of the spectrum. Jack Stack is not an everyday barbecue kind of place, but I may very well be thinking of those wings every day until I get back to KC. In the meantime, I have a bottle of their spicy sauce to hold me over.