In the Midwest if there is one thing that people take seriously it is their barbecue and it does not get more serious than the beloved barbecue heaven known as Oklahoma Joe’s. If you have not heard of this barbecue mecca, then you need to pack your bags right now and prepare for a pilgrimage because the food is well worth the journey there. Upon your arrival into Kansas City you can pull into the gas station at 3002 West 47th Avenue and fill up your gas tank as well as your stomach because that my friend is where you will find the beloved BBQ joint. You will know that you have found the right place by the hordes of people who will be spilling out of the door.

Oklahoma Joe's Linephoto credit: Cosmic Smudge via photopin cc

While you’re waiting in line you can not only daydream of how delicious the food is going to taste, but you will be able to stock up on supplies for your road trip back because the first half of the restaurant is a convenience store. Next to the bags of chips and the I heart KC shirts, you can pick up your very own spice rubs and sauces from other great BBQ places around the nation. If I were you I would take a good look at the menu as you you make your way through the winding line because as soon as you get to the counter you’re going to have people waiting impatiently behind you, eager to grab their food and snag one of the tables that are in short supply. Those waiting in line are eager for a reason because they have been rated by Zagat as the #1 barbecue joint in Kansas City from 2004-2013.

With a reputation like that it is impossible to pick something that will not be absolute perfection. My recommendation is that you do yourself a favor and get yourself The Z-Man Sandwich. The sandwich, which is causing my mouth to water just thinking about it, contains slow-smoked beef brisket, smoked provolone cheese, topped with two crispy onion rings and is all assembled together on a toasted kaiser roll. The sandwich itself is famous and was named the Best Sandwich in Kansas in its “50 States, 50 Sandwiches List.” The restaurant itself has received quite a bit of attention over the years not only for its abnormal location but for the incredible food that has already been mentioned.

the z man sandwich

photo credit: dishfunctional via photopin cc

The restaurant has been featured on television programs such as Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” and “No Reservations,” as well as on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” where he was challenged to eat the famous barbecue without any utensils. The famous gas station spot all started out because Jeff and Joy Stehney had a passion for barbecue. They attended their first barbecue contest in 1990 and have been hooked ever since. Soon they formed a barbecue team called the Slaughterhouse-Five and they began claiming championships and were told they needed to take their passion and make it bigger. That passion has turned into three Oklahoma Joe’s and has caught the attention of barbecue lovers everywhere. What are you waiting for!? Get to Kansas City now!

What will you order at Oklahoma Joe’s?

Feature Image: Marshall Astor – Food Fetishist via photopin cc

Brooke is a rising senior and is studying Communications and English at Graceland University. Her parents sent her to the midwest with a dowry and a mission to find a husband. She came back for the summer with no husband and no money. Brooke is currently residing in Philadelphia but she dreams of living all over the world some day, starting in Italy.

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