Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Three Little Pigs in Kansas City, MO

Three Little Pigs brisket sandwich
Tonight I visited Three Little Pigs BBQ and Catering in Kansas City, Missouri, located in the food court at Crown Center.  According to their website:

"Chris Marks is a nationally recognized elite competition barbeque chef and barbeque business leader from Kansas City.
Chris has won more than 43 national barbeque championships, and over 600 individual awards including the Jack Daniel’s World Championship BBQ Sauce Championship, and the Grand Daddy of the all the American Royal in Kansas City Grand Championship 8 times.
He has been featured on the Food Channels “Taste of America” with Mark De-Carlo, Travel Channels “BBQ Battle”, and numerous other local and regional BBQ shows."

I arrived close to 5:00 on Tuesday. Crown Center is dead around this time, as there were only a couple of other people walking around.  I walked right up to the counter and ordered.  Like any food court, you order at the counter and they serve you right there.  They have both a regular brisket sandwich and a jumbo.  At first I asked for the jumbo and the server explained that it is a huge sandwich and that the regular sandwich might be enough.  She said I could watch her make it and if it wasn't big enough she would give me the jumbo sandwich.  Well, she was right.  They give you a hefty portion of meat on the sandwich.  The total for the regular sandwich and drink was about ten dollars.

The brisket is served shredded on a bun with sauce on the sandwich.  I received my order right after ordering and had a seat.  The meat tasted a bit "stale" like it had been sitting out a while.  It didn't have any real flavor to it and was pretty dry.  The sauce they put on the sandwich was decent.  Not too spicy or too sweet.  The sandwich didn't come with a side dish, but did come with a pickle.  The meat definitely needed sauce in order to eat it.  It would have been way too dry otherwise.

This place has won a bunch of awards on the competition barbecue circuit, winning the American Royal contest numerous times.  I must have gone on a bad day.  What I had was definitely not competition style barbecue.  It was just what you'd expect of a food court barbecue sandwich.

Photo of Three Little Pigs BBQ
This makes visit number 44 on my quest, which just so happens to be my age.  I had to remove one from the list, Back Porch Barbecue in Kansas City, Missouri, as they have closed.  That means I've got exactly 30 more to go.  That could easily change, as new places are popping up all the time and others unfortunately close down.

Don't forget to follow along on my Facebook page.  Thanks again for reading and following along.  Till next time....

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Big T's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri

Big T's brisket sandwich
Today I visited Big T's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri off of Blue Ridge Blvd.  I met my buddy Vince for lunch.  Vince is a huge barbecue fan and wanted to join me on one of my tour stops.  Big T's has two locations.  This one on Blue Ridge and the other location off of Blue Parkway.  It's hard to find information about Big Ts online.  They don't have an official website and I haven't been able to find any history about the place.

We arrived around noon on Saturday.  This is a restaurant where you order at the counter and they prepare and serve your food there.  I ordered the brisket sandwich and fries, which was about 10 dollars.  Vince ordered some beef ribs and burnt ends that came with corn on the cob and greens. We got our food in about five minutes.

The brisket is served on a bun and thinly sliced with their barbecue sauce on the sandwich.  The meat was very tender but the sandwich was also a bit soggy and messy.  The meat was lukewarm and was kind of bland.  The sauce was really good.  Not too sweet at all and had a little peppery flavor to it.  The fries were thick cut slices and didn't have any noticeable seasoning on them.  I dipped them in the barbecue sauce and it was a really good way to eat them.

I tried one of Vince's ribs and burnt ends as well.  The ribs were a little tough, but had a great smoke flavor.  The burnt ends were a bit fatty but had a good flavor as well.

This is a place I'd go back to if I was in the area.  I had never heard of it before doing research for my quest and adding it to my list.  Seems like they've been a round at least a little while.

This makes visit number 43.  I added one more to the list today, so I've got 32 more to go!  I posted my "Top 10 So Far" blog yesterday, so follow along on my Facebook page to check that out.  Thanks for reading.  Till next time....

Friday, April 6, 2018

Top 10 Standings (So Far) for Best Brisket in Kansas City!

I'm getting asked more and more to reveal my current standings, so I decided I'll reveal the top 10 barbecue brisket restaurants so far...in alphabetical order!

I've visited 42 Kansas City area barbecue restaurants so far in search of the best brisket in town.  I've got 34 more to go.  As a reminder, I'm just judging the meat.  What I'm looking for is appearance (smoke ring), texture (moist and tender), flavor (smoke flavor, rub), and a plus for a crunchy bark. My reviews include many other details and observations within each restaurant, but for the purposes of the quest I'm strictly judging the brisket.

Here is list all of the places I've visited thus far:

Arthur Bryants
Bates City
BB's Lawnside
BBQ Shack
Berbiglia’s Roost
Big Q
Blind Box
Burnt End
C. Frogs
Char Bar
Crazy Good Eats
Danny Edwards BLVD BBQ
Fireside BBQ
Fritz’s Meats & Superior Sausage
Hickory Log
Jack Stack
Joe's KC
Johnny's BBQ Olathe
Jon Russell's
K &M
Little Pig BBQ
Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que
RJ's bbq
Rosedale BBQ
Scott's Kitchen at Hangar 29
Slap's BBQ
Smokebox KC
Smokin Guns
Smokin' Joe's
The Rub Barbeque
Tin Kitchen
Wyandot Bar-B-Q

That's 42 restaurants.  Here is the current top 10, in alphabetical order.

Blind Box
Char Bar
Danny Edwards
Fireside BBQ
Jack Stack
Scott's Kitchen at Hangar 29
Tin Kitchen

Who do you think is in first place so far?  It might surprise you.  Notice some "heavy hitters" that are not in the top 10?  I know.  It surprised me, too!  I'm going to reveal the finalists in order when I've completed the quest.  I'm not letting the cat out of the bag...yet!

Is there anyone on my "to-do" list that you think will bump any of these places out of the top 10?  Here's a list:

A little BBQ joint
Back Porch
Back Rack
Bandanas Bar-B-Q
Bare Bones
Big T's
Brickyard BBQ
Chops BBQ
Filling Station BBQ
Hawg Jaw
Johnny's in Mission
Jones BBQ
KC Baby Back Ribs
Mudhole BBQ
Oden's Family BBQ
P Moore and Moore
Pork and Pickle
Porky's Blazin'
Pullman BBQ
Ray Rae's
Smoke Brewing Company
Summit Hickory Pit
Tender Butts & Smokin Thighs
Three Little Pigs
Vigs BBQ

There you have it!  Let the arguments and strong opinions commence!  Till next time....