The Shil-Shul Diaries

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Joe's Kansas City BBQ









3002 47th Ave., Kansas City, KS 66103
FROM MAN V. FOOD, NO RESERVATIONS, AND MANLIEST RESTAURANT IN AMERICA

"Winner of Manliest Restaurant in America. "Burnt Ends" (19-hour smoked beef brisket ends) "Z-Man Sandwich" (Slow-smoked brisket and provolone cheese topped with two crispy onion rings on a Kaiser roll) "hog-O-Maniac" (pulled pork, smoked pork ribs and pork sausage with Texas toast and pickles)"

"What you're getting: Ribs & burnt ends (if they have 'em)
Getting its start as an award-winning competitive BBQ team in the '90s, Oklahoma Joe's eventually settled into a KC gas station and hasn't looked back since, spawning several more locations and an endless stream of accolades. It's hard (actually, damn near impossible) to make a bad call, but don't miss the ribs, and if they happen to be serving burnt ends (availability is limited), definitely don't miss those. Also, purists might scoff at their celebrated Z-Man sandwich because of the smoked provolone that sits atop sliced brisket along with thick onion rings, all jammed into a kaiser roll, but your taste buds will not."


I will state this for the official record: this is far and away, hand down, no questions asked, some of the best BBQ I have ever had in my life.  I have been to Memphis and Texas, North Carolina and beyond, I have had mega restaurant BBQ and back roads shack BBQ, and this my friends, is the best.  It is also far and away, hands down, no questions asked the best pulled pork, ribs, and sauce I have ever had in my life.  It's in a gas station. My t-shirt reads "my favorite restaurant is in a gas station"! Sprint, do not run, you dare not walk, sprint straight to Joe's if you are anywhere withIn a 300 mile area of Kansas City.  Mind-blowing! Epic! Epically mind-blowing!

This was stop one of my road trip cross country with my brother. We were on a KC BBQ crawl trying to get to Bryants, Gates, and this place in one night (those to come later).  This was stop one, and the line almost sent us away. Two hour wait.  We have been down this road before in San Diego (see Phil's)  I made my brother wait in line at Phil's and he wont let me forget (I liked it, apparantly he didn't.)  But like a trooper, he said "no we will wait...this is your dream"...and my god.....greatest decision of our lives. 

That night after we finished the BBQ crawl, we got into bed stuffed full of meat and smelling of BBQ sauce in our hotel in Lawrence, 50 miles past KC.  I said goodnight and my brother said "Let's go back to Joe's for lunch....will be be too far out of the way?"