Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Jack Stack BBQ

Jack Stack BBQ, just what it sounds like, behind Union Station in Kansas City

When you go to Kansas City, you kind of have to get either barbecue or steak. Mark has relatives in Kansas City, by marriage on his sister's side, and when we asked her to recommend a place near Union Station (which we were visiting to fill out our list of the AIA's 150 most popular buildings in the United States), she and her husband came up with Jack Stack.
It's got a real "barbecue" feel to it, brick walls and high wooden beams, with wrought-iron ceiling fixtures from which lanterns dangle. The service is very hospitable and friendly, too, on which more in a moment.
Since Tim doesn't eat beef, we were careful to order pork ribs, salad, and the turkey/ham sliced lunch. The waitress talked us into the baked beans ("they're famous") and out of the "cheesy corn casserole," which we'd misheard her talking about at the next table as "cheesy cornbread," which sounded much better. Alas, it was not to be.
Well, we got our salads, and then waited for the rest of the meal. Our waitress came by to check on us a couple times, and when the meal still didn't show up, she got very exasperated, and finally found out that because we'd arrived late during the lunch/dinner changeover, our order had not made it back to the computers in the kitchen. Because of this, she not only brought us cheesy corn casserole, but told us that our whole meal would be comped. Try finding a place in California that will comp you for a late meal!
The turkey and ham slices were fine, the barbecue sauce on them pretty good. Tim was wary of the shreds of meat floating in the baked beans, with good reason, it turned out. He and Mark were less wary of the enormous ribs Mark was served, having just had a conversation with a friend who had said that the distinguishing feature of Kansas City barbecue was not so much the sauce as the cuts of the meat. The taste was mostly just barbecue, so it wasn't until the waitress came back and confirmed that there was beef in the baked beans that we found out that they had also mistakenly given Mark beef ribs rather than pork. (The funny thing was that the pork ribs were HER recommendation.)
Our waitress was very concerned about whether Tim was going to "flip out" at having mistakenly eaten beef. He assured her he wouldn't. She brought a pork rib over to try, and we found it vastly superior to the beef. If only they'd actually brought those in the first place!
The baked beans were very good, the cheesy corn casserole slightly disappointing. The salads, it must be said, were quite tasty, with a nice raspberry vinaigrette that was sweet, but not too sweet. Overall, we'd certainly go back there again, practicing a little more vigilance. Those of you who don't avoid beef should try the beef burnt ends--supposedly those are terrific. Burnt ends are something I've never seen at another barbecue place, and if we do find ourselves at Jack Stack again, we'd probably order the pork ones. Though knowing our luck, they'd probably bring us beef.

No comments: