As a former Uber driver and relapsed big man, as I’ve gained half of my weight back, I’ve often told people “my body was made from barbecue” due to the fact that I’ve eaten so much of it over my life. I see myself sometimes as a self-proclaimed BBQ professional, what’s the harm in that?
During my tenure as a driver for rideshare companies I probably picked up 15,000 people give or take.
One of the most common questions customers would ask me is, “where do I get the best barbecue?”
Now if you’re from here, or just have an array of food knowledge you understand that’s a loaded question.
A question like that has to be broken down into getting specifics about the certain cuts of meat they’re seeking, whether it’s ribs, brisket, chicken, pork, sausage or burnt ends (my favorite).
BBQ tastes are clearly subjective and as many people will disagree or agree with me about this article on Burnt Ends, this is simply my opinion on my experiences with some of the best and worst barbecue places in Kansas City who serve those delicious chunks of heaven.
Please be aware that when I mention barbecue sauce, it’s not a bad thing for your meats, no place on earth consumes more sauce than Kansas City Missouri according to the Food Network.
Kansas City is known for our barbecue and especially our barbecue sauce which can feature an array of ingredients but more than likely featuring a heavy tomato base, molasses, and or brown sugar.
The 2 Best Burnt Ends
1. LC’s BBQ
The business was started in 1986 by owner LC Richardson who sadly passed away a couple years ago, but is now run by his granddaughter Tausha Hammet keeping the delicious flavor rocking on your palette.
This place seems to be forgotten by many people because they’re so consumed with all the new hipster BBQ places coming up around the city.
The Meat : They present you with the Cadillac of burnt ends, if you want great smoke, rich flavor, great char, juicy meat, this is the place to go when you come to Kansas City. It may not be the prettiest but it certainly has the best burnt ends in my city. The best bark on a burnt end you’re going to get.
The Sauce : Their sauce is a very bright delicious burgundy tomato based addition that truly compliments every aspect that I pointed out above to enhance the meat flavor.
Best Side : Their bbq baked beans
2. Char Bar
Char Bar is one of the newest places in Kansas City who doesn’t have a deep history in the community like all the other legacy barbecue joints.
What Char Bar may lack in history it certainly makes up in taste and in it’s ownership, his name is George Brett.
Located in historic Westport this Kansas City BBQ establishment comes in delivering a surprisingly delicious swing of flavor like no other in the city.
The Meat : Their burnt ends are moist, light on smoke but maintain a delicious heavy seasoning giving you a very rich flavor of Char, pun intended, with a very tasty bark but not as intense as LC’s. It may sound weird to say but they have a very clean taste in a positive way for burnt ends.
The Sauce : most people don’t know this but the barbecue sauce sold in the stores from Char Bar It’s completely different than the barbecue sauce they have in house. Their delicious tomato based sauce is a fantastic compliment to their burnt end expertise.
Best Side : homemade pickles and pickled onions
3. Haywards BBQ
The only reason I even ate there was because I had one of the night shift bartenders in my car who had ordered a Uber.
I had never heard about it, saw it or even paid attention to it as I knew I’ve driven by it a 100 times, I Ubered all over the city and the Kansas City region.
The bartender and I immediately got along and he was the one who introduced me to Haywards, inviting me in to come and try the barbecue as I mentioned to you above and to him that I was a self proclaimed barbecue aficionado.
The Meat : Very delicious rub that they put on their meat that is different than a lot of other places around the city, burnt ends are very moist carrying a heavily hickory smoked flavor.
The Sauce : Very bright tomato based sauce that’s sweet and savory and packs more flavor than you expect by looking at it.
Best Side : The Sausage
Honorable Mentions for best bbq burnt ends locations in Kansas City : Blind Box, Joes Kansas City, and Woodyard BBQ.
The Worst Burnt End bbq in Kansas City
I don’t care what anybody says but my experiences at this establishment have been absolutely horrible whether it’s from customer service to the food I have never ever been impressed with anything they have presented me.
I was very excited to try this as I’ve seen them on barbecue competitions on TV and the owner’s mother was my professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
The Meat : Twice I’ve been there to try their burnt ends and each time I’ve been disappointed because they’re better to look at then they are to consume. People say you eat with your eyes first, well my eyes have lied to me two times I know for a fact.
The burnt ends were brought out from a pan that had juices that definitely did not carry over into the sandwich. My meat was extremely dry and I don’t understand how It was even possible considering that pan that had all that juice.
I complained to the person who served it to me on the first occasion and they told me to buy something else and I refused to getting into a heated discussion cursing back and forth with a guy.
On the second occasion the meat and the service was just as bad considering this time the texture of the meat was so bad it was like eating hair. My mother has had her hair fall in my food before which is how I know before you ask, and I’ve never been pleased when that’s happened to me either from my own family.
The Sauce : One of the worst things I’ve ever tried in my life and realized that that is not barbecue sauce that is sweet and sour sauce with extra sugar and some tomato. This is not Kansas City BBQ sauce.
Best Side : I never got that far to try anything else
Honorable mention for worst bbq places with burnt ends in Kansas City : Burnt End BBQ Crown Center