Cityscape

Women in barbecue, best steak house and sexy cities — KC makes these national lists

Meet the Jones sisters, rare female Kansas City pitmasters who love the art of barbecue

Sisters Mary and Deborah Jones are among the few women barbecue pitmasters in the Kansas City area. Together they work in their cramped quarters at Jones BBQ, located at 6706 Kaw Drive in Kansas City, Kan.
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Sisters Mary and Deborah Jones are among the few women barbecue pitmasters in the Kansas City area. Together they work in their cramped quarters at Jones BBQ, located at 6706 Kaw Drive in Kansas City, Kan.

This month, Kansas City is garnering national praise for everything from its women pitmasters to its romantic restaurants.

‘Women on Fire’

Southern Living magazine is featuring nine of “The Most Influential Women in Southern Barbecue Now,” including three from the metro.

The publication says “Barbecue has long been portrayed as a guy thing — one of the manliest of manly pursuits.... But plenty of women are drawn to that fire and smoke, too, and they’re increasingly shaping the future of barbecue. They’re opening restaurants, launching mail-order businesses, and bringing home trophies (and prize checks) from big-time competitions. By teaching and mentoring aspiring cooks, they’re helping to groom the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Among the “Women on Fire” are sisters Deborah and Mary Jones, owners of Jones Bar-B-Q in a tiny brick building on Kaw Drive in Kansas City, Kan. They learned to barbecue from their father.

“They serve old-school Kansas City-style barbecue — sausage, rib tips, burnt ends, and beef cooked over real wood with no fancy rubs or flourishes,” Southern Living said.

Megan Day of Burnt Finger BBQ in Lee’s Summit said she’s “super honored” to make the list.

“Just the reaction from peers and the opportunities, including being on panels,” Day said. “Women just don’t get the spotlight. We’re behind the scenes a lot.”

Day’s husband, Jason, was more the face of the business. But in 2017, she competed on the Food Network’s “Chopped Grill Masters,” and has since been on the Today show. Now Southern Living has invited her to its test kitchen in Birmingham, Ala., for future stories.

Best steak house

Thrillist’s latest update on its “The 31 Best Steakhouses in America” once again includes Stock Hill, just south of the Country Club Plaza.

“It takes something special to make Kansas City residents take notice of your steak game.... Innovative appetizers like lobster gratin with BBQ-ranch pork rinds and pickled cherry peppers give way to a selection of steaks both wet- and dry-aged that offer some next-level customization options like wasabi chimichurri, porcini rub, and a house signature blend of blue cheese, bacon and walnuts,” Thrillist said.

Thrillist has had Stock Hill on previous “best steak” lists, including in July.

Valentine’s Day notables

Cafe Provence in Prairie Village and Le Fou Frog in the River Market made OpenTable’s annual list of the “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2019,” as voted by OpenTable diners.

PinkCherry has put Kansas City on its list of the “50 Sexiest Cities in America.”

PinkCherry, an e-commerce and wholesale distributor of adult novelty products, based its findings on consumer purchases in 2018 (cities with 150,000 people or more).

Kansas City was No. 26. The top five cities were Atlanta, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn.

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