The weekly report card is a CornNation tradition during football season...which causes an issue during bye weeks. We once did a bye week report card, but that schtick got old before the linebacker update. So this week, something a little different. A couple of years ago, we had an offseason recipe contest which featured quite a bit of barbeque, so that provided the inspiration for this weekend.
For this weekend, synergy between my daughter's fall break and the Nebraska football schedule provided an opening for a weekend trip to Kansas City. The kids get a weekend at the waterpark, and I get a weekend of barbeque. Growing up, I never was a big barbeque fan; Omaha is known for steaks, not Que. Sure, we've got a few places, but none are really exceptional. Smoke Pit and Harkert's aren't bad. Some places rely on jalapenos to cover up the inferior quality of their product. Heck, ask most Omaha's about barbeque, and they typically head to Famous Daves.
Ten years ago, my wife and I took advantage of another Husker bye week to head to Kansas City to watch the Chiefs play Bill Callahan's "Dumbest Team in America". Arriving in Kansas City on Friday evening, we decided to stop at KC Masterpiece after an evening of shopping on the Plaza. Our first taste of Kansas City barbeque was unimpressive to say the least. Pretty much like every other mediocre Omaha barbeque place. Maybe we're not barbeque people.
The next night, we decide to give another place a try. My wife had received a recommendation for this place called Jack Stack in Overland Park, so we decided to give Kansas City's barbeque a second chance.
And it only took one bite to become hooked. Since then, we've made annual pilgrimages to Kansas City...and usually left room in the cooler for leftovers. Even bought my own smoker to try and replicate that smoky goodness that's 200 miles south of Omaha. I've had some good results...and some spotty results. But the best remains in Kansas City.
So for this week's report card, we'll go off the sports grid and grade three Kansas City barbeque joints. Yes, this wasn't an exhaustive evaluation, but these are three of the biggest names in Kansas City queue. And one of these three stands out from the other two.