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A history of Kansas City-style barbecue
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When most people think of Kansas City, barbecue comes to mind. As the heartland of America, nearly everything is a melding of ideas, concepts and thoughts pulled from other regions with a touch of "Kansas City style" added to it. That describes Kansas City barbecue. Simply the best! The 1920s launched the start of K.C. barbecue, and it hasn't slowed down yet.
In the early '20s a man named Henry Perry, now known as the "Father of K.C. Barbecue," moved inside a streetcar barn at 19th & Highland and started barbecuing in an outdoor pit. Perry served up slabs of barbecue wrapped in newspaper. The nationally-renowned Charlie and Arthur Bryant, George Gates, Otis Boyd, John Harris and Sherman Thompson learned Perry's technique and style, then each went on to create their own unique blend of Kansas City barbecue.
One of Kansas City's most famous barbecue joints began with the efforts of the Bryant family. When Charlie Bryant retired in 1946, his brother Arthur bought the business, operating first out of the original 18th & Euclid location and then moved to its present location at 18th & Brooklyn. The legend of "King Arthur" has now risen to new heights. Renowned food critic and New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin wrote that Bryant's is "the single best restaurant in the world."
Today there are over 100 area barbecue establishments, each boasting its personal house specialty- ribs, pork, ham, mutton, sausage and even fish.
Kansas City barbecue is always slow smoked over wood, usually hickory. Some is smoked up to 18 hours to obtain that one-of-a-kind flavor. Each restaurant has developed its own recipe for sauce, too, which is added right before serving. And while barbecue restaurants abound in Kansas City, there are also amateur enthusiasts who prefer to make their own in smoke ovens.
Many of these chefs enter one of Kansas City's many barbecue competitions in hopes of becoming the next Kansas City BBQ legend. The American Royal BBQ Contest, held the first weekend in October, is the largest such competition in the world. Thousands of amateur chefs compete in this two-day festival of BBQ competition, sauce competition and entertainment. It's easy to find - just follow the smoke, which can be seen (and smelled) for blocks.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society, with over 2,500 members from all 50 states, Canada, England and other countries around the world, is the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts. Each weekend from early spring through fall, their members stoke up their fires in their cookers for a weekend of heated barbecue competitions. No matter how you cook it up, Kansas City barbecue is as special and unique as the people who live in this spicy, thriving city.
Having a martini with the girls, searching for a great dance spot, or looking for the perfect Happy Hour? Kansas City has some of the best bars, clubs and nightlife in the Midwest. Includes venue and nightlife information, as well as reviews by the About Kansas City guide.
Mosaic Lounge Kansas City Power and Light District. The ultra hip Mosaic Lounge is quickly becoming one of Kansas City's favorite go-out spots. Profiles Mosaic in the Power and Light District.
Anti-Valentine's Day Bashes Kansas City
Head to one of these Anti-Valentine's Day parties which guarantee to be fun while being surrounded by plenty of other Kansas City singletons. And remember... 'If you're not with the one you love, Love the one you're with.'
Kansas City Sports Bars
Top 10 Kansas City Sports Bars. In Kansas City, there are Sports Bars everywhere you look. From hanging out and watching a game to hi-def and interactive games, there is a sports bar for every kind of sport nut in Kansas City.
Kansas City Halloween Parties
Looking for a great Halloween party in Kansas City?? We've got the Top Halloween Events in Kansas City--includes detailed info on THE places to be this Halloween.
JP Wine Bar and Coffee
In the oh so ever becoming cool world of downtown Kansas City sprouts up uber chic JP's Wine Bar and Coffee. Located in the former spot of the unpronounceable Tchoupitoulas at 1526 Walnut, JP's has taken the dark space and has literally made it scream sophisticated wine bar.
Kansas City Wine Tastings
Looking for a great place for wine tasting and vino in Kansas City? We've got the Top 10 Kansas City Wine Tastings right at your fingertips.
Kansas City Outdoor Bars - Kansas City Outdoor Drink Spots-
From swanky spots to pub patios, Kansas City has some of the greatest places around for outdoor drinks and libations. Includes reviews from your About Kansas City Guide.
Blonde is Kansas City's latest nightime hotspot--amid the rumors that Blonde is snobby and selective, once you pass the front door, it's easy to see..this Blonde is just misunderstood.
Granfalloon's two locations--still considered the place to meet. Includes review by your About Kansas City Guide.
John's Upper Deck Kansas City
John's Upper Deck is Kansas City's place to go for an afterwork cocktail.
O'dowd's Little Dublin authentic Irish pubs--a little piece of Ireland right here in Kansas City.
Sol Cantina brings that beach like flavor to Kansas City. With an open air bar, killer patio, and great food--you'll want to sit back and drink a few margarita's, and you just might forget that you're in the middle of downtown KC.
Kansas City's original martini lounge, the Velvet Dog mixes up KC's sophisticates and cool.
Martini Corner, Kansas City
This popular Union Hill nightspot is the place to be seen. Includes event calendar, directions, and weekly specials of the Velvet Dog and Empire Room.
Instead of a Broadway show in the Big Apple, visit Starlight
Watch Broadway‘s best under a blanket of stars this summer at one of the nation’s three remaining self-producing outdoor theaters. Starlight Theatre brings Broadway entertainment and national concerts to Kansas City all summer long. The remaining 2008 season lineup: The Music Man, July 28-August 3; Fiddler on the Roof, August 11-17; and Les Misérables, September 10-16. www.kcstarlight.com
Instead of a beer in Germany or Belgium, try a Boulevard in KC
Craving a good specialty beer but don’t want to hop the pond to get it? Then belly up to almost any bar in Kansas City and ask for a Boulevard. The toughest choice is going to be which to order—the company offers five beers year-round, four seasonal beers and the new Smokestack Series, a limited-edition line of artisanal selections inspired by Belgian Trappist beer. Boulevard Brewing Company has been brewing beer since 1989, and has grown to become the Midwest’s largest specialty brewer. If visitors want a more intimate experience, they can take a free tour of the brewery, which ends, of course, with a tasting. www.boulevard.com
Instead of going to Dublin, come to Kansas City Irish Fest
Hallmark Card’s Crown Center resembles Ireland each Labor Day as Kansas City Irish Fest takes over. KC Irish Fest celebrates Celtic pride in Kansas City by bringing the soul of Ireland to the heart of America. Running August 29-31, the festival features a giant children's area and a remarkable line-up of dancers, artisans, story tellers and more than two dozen musicians on five stages. KC Irish Fest was voted by visitors as KC’s best festival and is the largest festival in the city, attracting more than 85,000 people in 2007. Hotel packages start at $99 a night and include two tickets to the festival. www.kcirishfest.com
Kansas City, an alternative to high-price vacations
Why travel far when there's KC?
Kansas City, Mo. – The rising cost of travel has deterred vacationers from exotic vacations this summer. But don’t cancel getaway plans just yet—come to Kansas City. This centrally-located metropolis offers world-class attractions, museums and events that leave travelers feeling like they’ve journeyed across the world, while saving some serious dough. For the second straight year, Kansas City made Hotwire.com’s list of the top 10 affordable vacation destinations in America thanks to the city’s mix of value and entertainment options. Take a trip this summer to Kansas City and discover the visitor hotspots that offer global appeal.
Instead of Spain, visit the Country Club Plaza
Many first time visitors to Kansas City do a double-take when they stroll past replicas of two Spanish landmarks, the Giralda Tower and the Seville Light, that overlook the 14-block, upscale shopping and entertainment district. Down the street is a mural of a matador set in ceramic tile and handcrafted in Seville, Spain, specifically for the Plaza. The European art, colorful architecture of the detailed domes and towers and romantic atmosphere of the Country Club Plaza immerse travelers in the heart of Spain without leaving the Midwest. www.countryclubplaza.com
Instead of New York art museums, visit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Already known as one of America's most comprehensive general art museums, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opened the Bloch Building last year to accolades that gave the museum international attention. Time magazine even called the building its "top architectural marvel of 2007." Upon entering the museum complex, visitors find more than 34,500 items spanning 5,000 years of humanity, from ceramic objects found in ancient Chinese tombs to whimsical sculptures of giant badminton birdies on its lawn. Best of all, admission to the Nelson is free. www.nelson-atkins.org
Instead of the museums and monuments on the National Mall, visit the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial
This is the National WWI Museum. And yes, it’s in the Midwest. Opened in 2006 underneath the existing Liberty Memorial, this amazing tribute to World War I allows visitors to experience the Great War through the eyes of those who lived it. The 30,000 square-foot museum has amassed more than 49,000 artifacts from WWI including weaponry, uniforms and memorabilia to become the leading facility of its kind in the nation and the second-largest collection of WWI artifacts in the world behind Britain’s Imperial War Museum. A highlight of the vast memorial is the visually striking tower, standing 217 feet tall and boasting two giant sphinx-like figures as guards. The tower’s observation deck provides some of the city’s best views of nearby Union Station, Crown Center and the skyline. www.nww1.org
Instead of Orlando, visit Worlds of Fun
Thrill seekers get ready. Worlds of Fun is one of the largest amusement parks in the Midwest, offering more than 175 acres of wild rides. With six world-class roller coasters, including the Patriot—the longest and tallest inverted roller coaster in the region, and Peanut’s Playhouse—a massive interactive attraction for children, kids of all ages enjoy the rush of Worlds of Fun. Packages and special offers are available all summer long, making this already affordable theme park a home run for those traveling on a budget. www.worldsoffun.com