Our B&B in Independence, MO is located just a few miles from Kansas City which is known as the BBQ capital of the Midwest. BBQ or bar-b-que or barbecue means something different depending on what part of the country you happen live in or visit. But there are three main ingredients to BBQ no matter which part of the country where you’re eating. The three important items are 1) meat 2) wood smoke and 3) the BBQ sauce.
Most often, the meat is pork. That can mean smoking a shoulder to have pulled pork or pork ribs for some yummy, finger-licking fun food. Beef and chicken can also be smoker cooked.
Different types of wood produce a variety of flavors in the chosen meats. Hardwoods such as mesquite, hickory, oak, and pecan create a rich, smoky flavor. For a milder, almost sweet flavor, the meat is cooked with fruit woods such as cherry, apple, pear or maple. Chefs often “play” with various woods to flavor their meats. But the availability of the wood in each area of the country has an impact on the luscious foods!
The third important ingredient – or not, because it is sometimes left out completely – in barbecue is the sauce. The sauce is truly different by the part of the country where it is produced.
Some Carolina BBQ sauces are clear vinegar-based, peppered mixtures. Mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and spices are included in another Carolina version of BBQ sauce.
Memphis-style BBQ is generally made into a sandwich topped with sauce and coleslaw. The pork is pulled (not cut) after being cooked. Texas, Oklahoma, St. Louis, Virginia, and Kentucky all have their own version of BBQ or barbecue or bar-b-que.
But Kansas City style BBQ is something special! Important factors in Kansas City style barbeque include the signature sauce and French fries. Typically, the meat is smoked with a dry rub and the sauce is served at the table. Kansas City style sauce is usually a tomato-based barbeque sauce ranging from sweet to tangy, to downright hot! But the typical sauce at a restaurant is both sweet (often from molasses) AND spicy (from cumin or paprika). The French fries and other interesting sides – include cheesy corn – round out the meal in most area BBQ restaurants.
A Little BBQ Joint, located just seven minutes from our B&B, is at the top of the Trip Advisor list of barbecue restaurants in Independence. MO. Comments from dining guests include: “What’s not to love”, “Down home and GOOD”, Best BBQ in Independence”, and “Excellent Burnt Ends”. Burnt Ends are a Kansas City style BBQ specialty. Check out the menu that includes a unique dish – Brisket Chili. The sides include an area favorite too: Cheesy Corn. The cheese in this dish is cream cheese, so it’s not only cheesy, it’s creamy too. Their sauces bow to the ladies in the family. “Sweet Sister” is a mild version; “Mad Housewife” is sweet & spicy; “Mean Mother-in-law” is spicy!
Smokehouse Barbecue is located 15 minutes from the B&B. The menu is quite extensive and includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, ribs, platters, and side dishes. One of the interesting appetizers, Sweet Corn Nuggets, is sweet creamed-style corn, deep fried, and served with ranch dip. Smokehouse Barbecue includes eight different choices of rib platters on the menu. The dinner menu lists choices that will serve two or three people in your group. Try the Sampler Platter including spare ribs, ¼ chicken, and a sliced beef or pork and served with three side dishes.
We will not serve BBQ foods to you at breakfast time – save that for your adventure around Independence. Make a reservation for a getaway and plan one of your lunch or dinner meals at these special Kansas City style BBQ restaurants!
Photo credit: Jon Tyson on Unsplash