Getting Messy In K.C.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As many of you already know, Matt and I were without our families for Thanksgiving dinner. We still went out for dinner and I reluctantly ate some turkey even though I don't even like turkey, but feel obliged to have some on Thanksgiving for sentimental reasons.
The main reason that I was disappointed about having Thanksgiving in K.C. was that it was a wasted opportunity to eat the city's famous ribs.
Wednesday, our first night in Kansas City, Matt and I had an excellent rib dinner at Fiorella's Jack Stack, and tonight we we got back to our rib-eating ways. In between watching Arkansas upset LSU and attending the Mizzou Pep Rally, Matt and I strapped in at the famous Arthur Bryant's to see whether their ribs lived up to the hype, or could even match what we got at Jack Stacks.
We walked into Arthur Bryant's just as the Arkansas-LSU game was ending. Everyone in the place was wearing either KU or Mizzou gear, and both sets of fans went nuts when LSU finally lost in triple overtime. I was happy because I like seeing underdogs win, plus I felt that LSU had been playing with fire all season long and it was about time they got burned.
The KU and Mizzou faithful were happy because they thought that it opened the door for either Kansas or Misssouri to play in the BCS championship game. Even at the pep rally, everyone was buzzing about No. 1 going down. Matt and I were confused because as we see it, if either team wins tomorrow and again the following week in the Big 12 championship game, then that team will be playing for the national title. In this BCS system there is no difference between being ranked one or two.
All these folks were thrilled about the LSU loss, and we didn't really have the heart to tell them that it didn't really have an impact on them. Can you blame us?
But instead of being a buzzkill, we kept our mouths shut and let everyone enjoy the LSU loss both at Arthur Bryant's and at the pep rally. You can check out the Mizzou fans having a good time at the pep rally in today's video, which is called "Mizzou Madness"
(Note: If you're a Mac user having trouble viewing this video, click here to download a program called Flip4Mac that will allow you watch it.)
Back to the rib competition . . . The atmosphere at Arthur Bryant's is bare bones. It looks a little bit like a high school cafeteria except with pictures of John Kerry and Stephen Spielberg on the walls. You place your order and pay at the counter and carry your dinner to an indoor picnic table. Jack Stack on the other hand was a real restaurant complete with waiters and table service and silverware. This may sound snobby, but considering both places were comparably priced I'd have to give a huge nod to Jack Stack on atmosphere.
As far as the actual ribs go, I also preferred what Jack Stack was serving. The ribs at Jack Stack were more tender and juicier than Bryant's. My one issue with the ribs at Jack Stack was the meat itself lacked intense flavor. To a large extent, the lack of flavor of the meat at Jack Stack was mitigated by a nice BBQ sauce. Arthur Bryant's meat, while less tender actually had a better flavor. However, the BBQ sauce at Bryant's did more to hurt, rather than complement, their superior flavor.
I am not a side dish guy. I like sides, but if I'm choosing where to eat my meal, I want the main course to be the star. That being said, the french fries at Jack Stack were outrageously good, maybe the best fries I've ever had. The fries at Bryant's were a bit soggy and had nothing special to make up for it.
So in a matchup of two of Kansas City's finest rib establishments, I have Jack Stack winning in a blow out. Lets hope tomorrow's game brings a little more to the table.