Thanks to Joe and Mike Pearce, Kansas City’s Barbecue Tacos Scoreboard is up by one more! Unless I’m missing a team, the score is now BBQ Tacos: 4; Zero BBQ Tacos: 97.
Although the hickory-fired chicken, make-your-own street tacos at El Pollo Rey, and Taco Republic’s wood-fired chicken with white corn tortillas aren’t typically called “barbecue” in KC, they are barbecue as far as I’m concerned. Fold some wood-fired chicken meat in a soft tortilla, and you have a first-rate, no-frills, primal barbecue street taco.
Rob Magee’s Q39 pulled pork taQos led the way in KC’s barbecue restaurant scene early this year, followed recently with the introduction of burnt end street tacos at the Pearces’ Slap’s BBQ.
Here’s what you get in the Slap’s burnt end street taco:
▪ Championship-quality burnt ends
▪ Sautéed bell peppers
▪ Sautéed onions
▪ Fresh cilantro
▪ Fresh lime wedges
▪ Super-secret taco sauce
One taco is $3, or load your bases with three tacos and a side for $9.97.
I got the triple with baked potato casserole plus two bones. Absolutely delicious, an instant winner! Instead of wondering how this artful combo of KC barbecue with sweet onions and peppers, mild spicy secret Slap’s taco sauce finished with a citrus/cilantro kiss will dance on your palate, go to Slap’s on a Thursday and give it a try.
Joe Pearce told me that for now the burnt end street tacos are a Thursday special, with possible addition to the daily menu later this year. Pulled pork tacos and spicy fried chicken tacos are also in the works.
Where else but in Kansas City can you enjoy authentic barbecue that echoes America’s Native American, European, African, Latin American and Asian heritage? We have it all, and our innovative pitmasters continue to push forward along new barbecue trails.
BTW: If there’s a KC barbecue taco not mentioned here, please let me know.
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. He is author/co-author of 11 published barbecue books and is a 2016 inductee into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.