"The Gas Station BBQ Joint"
A lot of people claim to have the best BBQ in the nation or even in the world and we all certainly have our favorites. For those of us who live in Kansas City’s BBQ is more than a food it’s a sport. And for this reason people can sometimes get pretty heated in who they think is truly the best of the best. Now I’m not here to tell you who I think the best are but I will say it’s pretty hard to argue against a joint that day after day and night after night put out a product that draws in swarms of people forming a line that wraps around the store and leads out the door from open to close.
This story starts back in 1991 when Jeff Stenney purchased his first smoker, got the BBQ bug and started the BBQ team “Slaughter House Five”. They quickly became a BBQ force to be reckoned with winning many Grand Championships, including the American Royal BBQ and becoming the 1993 KCBS Team of the Year. In 1996 Jeff Stenney and Joe Don Davidson opened Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City and people have been forming those lines ever since. The Oklahoma Joe’s original location is inside a gas station at 3002 W. 47th St. however the now also have locations in Olathe Kansas at 11950 Strang Lane Rd and in Leawood Kansas at11723 Roe Ave.
We arrived at the “Gas Station just before 6:00PM and the line was already out the door! After 45 minutes to an hour we made it to the counter to place our order. We ordered BBQ chicken, a full slab of ribs, pulled pork sandwich, red pig chili and we each of us got the Z Man Sandwich (slow smoked brisket with smoked provolone cheese a crispy onion ring on a toasted kaiser bun). For sides we had slaw, spicy slaw, fries, and red beans and rice.
To start we dove into the sides! The slaw was good but the spicy slaw was better. The red beans and rice were good as well a light heat and good flavor. The fries were great coated with a dry rub seasoning making them delicious
with ketchup, BBQ sauce or just by themselves. . We of course use fries as a tool in sauce testing. They have a couple of sauces one of which is an American Royal BBQ Sauce Contest Champion. All of which were awesome but if you’re a heat seeker like me try their hot sauce “Cowtowns Night of the Living Sauce”. The chicken was really good juicy and tender with just the right amount of smoke. The pulled pork was also cooked just right as was the brisket that made up the Z Man Sandwich. We pulled some of the brisket off our sandwiches to see how it holds up on its own and it most certainly did. These pit masters know what they are doing! Once we tested the brisket on its own it was time to try the sandwich as a whole. I thought this was the highlight of our visit that was until we had the ribs. To put out slab after slab after slab after slab to all those people waiting in line is one thing but for each slab to be cooked to perfection is another and that what they do. And let’s not forget the red pig chili. Some of the best chili any of us Pit Crawlers have ever had!
Oklahoma Joe’s is open every day except Sunday and judging from the packed parking lot, you better hurry up and go wait in line.