Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in KC: It Ain't Home, but It's Almost Worth the Wait

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Last week after the All-Star Game, Kansas City barbecue got the full hash tag treatment from visiting sports writers. I just so happened to be in KC this weekend and, based on Twitter-sphere, recommendations from friends and an editor, I told my hosts I had visit to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. They didn't argue.

Oklahoma Joe's recently made Men's Health Manliest Restaurant ballot -- going up against Tim Love's Woodshed. And Anthony Bourdain included the gas station spot in his list of 13 places to eat before you die. Billy Butler even showed up at the Leawood location (which is supposedly not as good as the original) on Friday.

When we arrived around 1:15 p.m. on a Friday, the line stretched all the way through the dining room, out the double doors and about 20 feet along the sidewalk. We placed our order at the counter at 2 p.m. Normally, I wouldn't even slow the padded wagon down for a line that was out the door. But, I had been previously warned so was mentally prepared for it.

The good thing is, you get your food almost immediately after you order. The bummer was that they didn't have burnt-end sandwiches, which I'd heard was a regular weekday lunch special. So, instead I went with the Z-Man Sandwich with thin slices of smoked brisket, melted provolone and three crunchy, thick onion rings on a toasted Kaiser bun. I know -- cheese and onion rings?. Sounds crazy for barbecue, but I didn't have my Texas-barbecue hat on. I was trying to be open-minded. Clean slate. Actually, you could say my standards were lowered because I've eaten KC barbecue before (boom!).

I slathered on the molasses-rich sauce and devoured every morsel of the sandwich. It wasn't a transcendental experience or anything, though, because the waiting situation would make anyone ravenous once she finally got to sit down and eat. But I thoroughly enjoyed the sandwich. Admittedly, I'm a total homer when it comes to barbecue (Zimmerhanzel's in Smithville, Texas, to be clear), but this is a pretty cool spot for a KC visit. Here are a few more pics.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.