Chow Town

Plowboys brings barbecue back to downtown Kansas City

Green beans, cheesy potatoes and a half slab baby back ribs at Plowboys downtown.
Green beans, cheesy potatoes and a half slab baby back ribs at Plowboys downtown. Special to The Star

Remember when Danny Edwards fed hordes of hungry downtown crowds at his Lil’ Jake’s Eat It & Beat It at 1227 Grand Blvd.?

You could get it to go or you could wait for someone on one of the 18 seats along four narrow countertop rows to eat it and beat it.

When Lil’ Jake’s had to make way for construction of the Power & Light District, Danny moved to larger quarters at 2900 Southwest Blvd. and rebranded as Danny Edward’s Blvd BBQ.

Danny still packs them in by car or by foot at lunchtime for his famous wintertime Mexican chili and his classic brisket, burnt ends, ribs, pork, sausage and sweet potato fries.

Now, thanks to Plowboys Barbecue, downtown Chow Town workers and visitors in or near the Town Pavilion have a refreshing barbecue option less than a mile from the former Lil’ Jake’s.

It didn’t take long for hungry lunch crowds to discover Plowboys championship barbecue for dine-in or takeout.

Plowboys’ specialty pulled pork, brisket, turkey, pit ham or sausage sandwiches are daily fare, plus salads, loaded potatoes, barbecue nachos, chips, pit beans, mac & cheese, cheesy potatoes and green beans.

Ribs on Tuesday and Thursday. Burnt ends on Wednesday and Friday — some of the best, tender, juicy, ribs and burnt ends in town.

Instead of the spareribs found in most Kansas City barbecue joints, Plowboys’ ribs are meaty baby backs in the Memphis tradition with a Kansas City accent. “That’s what we win our awards with, and that’s what we’re sticking with,” Todd Johns, pitmaster/co-owner, told me.

Since opening in Blue Springs a year from last September, Plowboys is going strong with fantastic barbecue, sides and service. You can taste their love for barbecue in every bite.

Want lunch on the fly? Not to worry if there’s a line when you arrive. It moves fast. Keep calm. You’ll soon be eating barbecue.

Kudos to Todd and Audrey Johns, Todd Johnson, downtown manager Blair Cragg and the entire Plowboys team for plowing new ground on downtown Chow Town turf that was starving for more great barbecue.

The new downtown Plowboys is at 1111 Main St., Suite 115, Kansas City. Its telephone number is 816-221-7569.

Ardie Davis founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub & Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on food shows and writes for barbecue-related publications. His most recent release is “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”