1325 East Emanuel Cleaver Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64110
Featured on Food Wars and Best Thing I Ever Ate, BBQ Paradise, and #37 on More Places to Chowdown
"Sweet & sticky hickory-smoked pork ribs smothered with thick & tangy barbecue sauce."
1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127
Featured on Food Wars, BBQ Paradise, and 101 Best Places to Chowdown (#15)
"12-hour hickory & oak slow-smoked beef brisket, pork ribs with signature vinegar-based BBQ sauce."
"What you're getting: Pork ribs, original sauce
The legendary KC joint has spawned a mini-empire, but you want the Brooklyn original (as in Brooklyn St, not NY or Decker), where you'll tear into a slab of still-amazing ribs that has sated great Americans from Harry Truman to the one and only Bryant Gumbel."
One word...one syllable...MEH.....
Both of these places are meh. They are mediocre...at best. Their meat is overdone. I had the KC specialty at both, burnt ends. Their sauce is more terrible canned tomato sauce than BBQ sauce. It's like overdone meat drenched in spaghetti O's sauce. They don't compare to Oklahoma Joe's when it comes to BBQ in KC. They don't even deserve a argument with Oklahoma Joe's.
However, Bryants and Gates are landmarks in KC and it is blasphemy to speak ill about either. These places are institutions in KC and you will get slapped if you bad mouth them (I have had this happen with my friend Bess who told me I didn't know BBQ or food if I don't like Gates or Bryants). My mom is from Memphis and she said while people knew of Elvis being a womanizing, drug addicted, alcoholic, nobody from Memphis could bad mouth him because he did so much for the city. Gates and Bryants have done so much for KC that you can't speak ill of them. People say respect your elders. I respect these places for their history, I don't like their food!
When you go to KC, skip these two and just wait in the three hour line at Oklahoma Joe's.