Chow Town

The Stack BBQ on KC’s south side serving up smoked meat magic

Ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork and brisket combo at The Stack.
Ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork and brisket combo at The Stack. Ardie A. Davis

It is fitting that a barbecue restaurant with several layers of history features a signature namesake sandwich that is layered. The Stack BBQ restaurant, founded in 1957 as Smokestack BBQ by the late Mary Fiorella McPheron, has changed ownership several times over the years. The current owners, Jeff Hallier and Heather Dukes, will celebrate the 2nd anniversary of The Stack’s new ownership this Friday, April 1.

The Stack’s remodeled interior with bright red walls, corrugated metal roofing panels, cement floor, wooden tables, framed photos, pig art and other memorabilia complements the friendly table service. It speaks well for the owners that most of the wait staff and one of the cooks have a history with The Stack.

The Stack’s original custom-built pit by Kansas Citian William Chaney continues to yield smoked meat magic thanks to Hallier’s pitmaster skills and his classes at the Johnson County Community College Culinary & Hospitality program. The Stack menu, featuring more than 30 items, pays tribute to its Smokestack roots with a mix of legacy recipes and recipes adapted to closely resemble some of the original recipes with a modern twist.

I usually remember to order barbecue meat with sauce on the side instead of doused with sauce. You needn’t ask at The Stack. Sauce is in dispensers on each table. The lightly seasoned smoked meat is served sans sauce, as in most Texas barbecue restaurants. That way you can use a puddle of sauce for dipping or enjoy the meat without sauce. The burnt ends, ribs, brisket, pulled pork, turkey and sausage are delicious either way.

The Stack’s namesake sandwich consists of a half pound of sliced beef brisket, layered in a 3-piece bun, with Thousand Island dressing, American cheese, lettuce, tomato & chopped onion. It could be called a delicious brisket salad in a bun, no fork required. Jeff and Heather don’t know who invented the sandwich, but The Stack’s many fans are grateful that it remains on the menu out of respect for tradition.

Pay your respect for Kansas City barbecue tradition and wish Jeff, Heather and staff a happy anniversary on your next visit.

The Stack BBQ, 8920 Wornall Road; 816-444-7675

[More from Ardie Davis: A taste of Kansas City barbecue in Amsterdam]

[Also from Ardie Davis: Bangers and Smash]

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