Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

When we first visited KC, our hosts fed us BBQ. Anyone we met told us to try a specific BBQ place…Gates, Arthur Bryant’s, LC’s…the list goes on. We’ve tried many, but not all. One we have tried however, is Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, which happens to be one of our favorites because it’s home of the Z Man.

Joe’s KC BBQ also happens to be in a gas station. Different? Maybe. Enough to keep us away? Not a chance.

The Z-Man is the best sandwich in the entire world (yep, I said it). It’s a slow cooked brisket sandwich topped with smoked provolone, onion rings, a couple pickles, and of course BBQ sauce. It comes on a toasted Kaiser roll that is soft and pillowy and heavenly and delicious.

I have been to KC Joe’s (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s- see their story here) twice. The first time, I had the Z Man with brisket and it changed my life. The second time (just days ago), I thought I’d be cool and order the Z Man with burnt ends instead. Big mistake. Not because burnt ends aren’t amazing pieces of meaty goodness on their own, but because (like Kevin put it) they don’t belong on a sandwich.

Moral of the story: only order the Z Man with slow cooked brisket. Side note: I’ve been picking fat off of cooked meat since the day I could eat a steak. Burnt ends have fat on them. I don’t judge- I just eat around it and devour the actual meat part. Slow cooked brisket is my favorite because it’s flavorful, tender, and there aren’t large chunks of fat hanging from it. I literally wanted to go back to get another Z Man (the right way) in order to cleanse my pallet and put my taste buds back on track. I didn’t though. I held back.

Anyways, even though the brisket is the star of the show, the wingmen (smoked provolone, crispy onion rings and fresh salty pickles on top) are so very important and bring an incredible texture to each bite. And the BBQ sauce? It brings everything together. It comes on the sandwich, but then I dip every single bite into it as well. I also dip the fries into it (duh). The fries are spectacular and they aren’t greedy in their portions. We’ll be splitting a side of fries next time.

For your information, I recently found out that you can actually ship an order of Joe’s KC BBQÏ directly to your house. This is genius. If you’re feeling frisky and want to order something from Joe’s KC- order the Z Man kit and your life might just change forever.


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