Chow Town

Company is coming: Get up to speed on your KC barbecue IQ

The pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and fries at Danny Edward's Boulevard Barbecue
The pulled pork sandwich with baked beans and fries at Danny Edward's Boulevard Barbecue

The New Year will bring thousands of new visitors to Chow Town for conferences, business meetings, weekend getaways, concerts and vacations.

Most will have barbecue on their agenda. You know you’ll be asked, “Where’s the best barbecue in town?” You’re on your own with that one. I suggest you tell them about some of your favorite places and dishes.

Since you live in the “Barbecue Capital of the World,” you’re expected to know some barbecue basics and some Chow Town-specific basics.

Here’s a quiz to get you up to speed.

2015 Chow Town BBQ Quiz

True or False

1) Oklahoma Joe’s is now Joe’s Kansas City Barbeque.

2) Lil’ Jake’s Eat It & Beat It moved to Southwest Boulevard and is now Danny Edwards Blvd Bbq.

3) All Kansas City barbecue sauces are sweet.

4) For the best barbecue in KC, take Interstate 35 south to Lockhart, Texas.

5) What makes KC barbecue unusual is the total lack of influence from Texas, Memphis and the Carolinas.

Multiple Choice

1) Who invented KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce?

A) Gary Berbiglia

B) Rich Davis

C) Johnny White

D) Rod Master

2) Kansas Citians judge barbecue on the basis of:

A) Appearance

B) Tenderness

C) Taste

D) All of the above

3) Burnt ends are meaty/crusty portions of meat from:

A) Any barbecue meat

B) The tri-tip beef muscle

C) The point end of a barbecue beef brisket

4) The short end of a pork spareribs slab is:

A) Meatier

B) Less meaty than the long end

C) As meaty as the long end

4) The Kansas City Barbeque Society is the largest organization of barbecuers in:

A) Kansas City

B) America

C) The world

D) All of the above


(Match the barbecue restaurant with the menu item for which it’s best known.)



Joe’s Kansas City

White bean cassoulet


BYOS — Bring Your Own Sauce



Char Bar



Poor Russ


Average Joe Sandwich


Ol’ Smoky

Jack Stack

Blues & Barbecue

BB’s Lawnside

THE Sandwich!

Danny Edwards Blvd

Burnt Heaven

Fill in the Blanks

1) _____ _____ is known as the “Father of Kansas City Barbecue.”

2) ______ and the _________ closed in 2014.

3) ______, ______ , _______ and _______ joined the Chow Town barbecue restaurant scene last year.

4) When you enter any _____ Bar-B-Q restaurant, you will be greeted with, “Hi, may I help you?”

5) _______ ________ humbly called his world famous barbecue restaurant, “just a grease house.”

Remember your manners. Treat our guests with Chow Town hospitable respect. Avoid polarized debates about which city or region has the “best” barbecue. Cut them some nonsnobby slack and most will reciprocate. When barbecue is on the table, everyone is a friend. Break a communal rib and indulge in the primal splendor of smoked meat.


True Or False

1) True

2) True

3) False. For examples, Gates, Rosedale and Arthur Bryant’s

4) False (bonus point if you attributed that line to the late Charles Barsotti).

5) False

Multiple Choice

1) B

2) D

3) C (although many restaurants serve cubed pork shoulder & ham “burnt ends,” true burnt ends are from barbecue beef brisket, point end)

4) A

5) D (almost 20,000 members & growing)




Q39/White bean cassoulet

Char Bar/Burnt Heaven

Slap’s/THE Sandwich!


Jack Stack/Poor Russ

BB’s Lawnside/blues and bbq

Danny Edwards Blvd/Ol’ Smoky

Zarda/Average Joe Sandwich

Fill in the Blanks

1) Henry Perry

2) Earl Quick’s, Golden Ox

3) Slap’s, Q39, A Little Barbecue Joint, Char Bar

4) Gates

5) Arthur Bryant

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.”