I first heard of Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue from Calvin Trillin’s book, “American Fried”. Several years ago, I picked up a cheap copy of the book at that second hand book outlet they have in every SM Mall in Metro Manila. I loved everything about the book: the author, the food, the mood, the places and the characters Calvin Trillin described in there just all came alive to me. It never occurred to me that I would one day visit some of those places and try some of those foods he wrote about.
You can only imagine how surreal I felt finally standing in front of the original Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City last year, with the huge jar of sauce still sitting in the window as described in the book. Spouse had never heard of it before, nor had he heard of Calvin Trillin so I felt rather silly about all my enthusiasm. But he tried to be as enthusiastic as I was about making the stop at KC and finding the place. We made a long drive from Colorado to my sister in Orlando, Florida to celeberate Thanksgiving with her and another of my sisters. We just had to stop in Kansas City.
On our road trip this summer, we went to Kansas City again. This time we went on Labor Day weekend. Yes, we went for a couple of Yankees games. But we also went for Arthur Bryant’s. In fact, it was our first stop in Kansas City. Ohhhh but the lines were long….locals, a lot of tourists, but probably no regulars because the line stretched out the door. I heard a lot of people making comments about “driving all that way…definitely getting the burnt ends….”
Calvin Trillin raved about the burnt ends they gave away for free in the early days of the restaurant’s operation. Those bits of not all burnt ends are heavily flavored with the smoking and smothered in that delicious barbecue sauce. It is a carnivore’s dream come to life. Spouse was so surprised when he tasted it for the first time.
A big surprise for me on this trip was the smoked turkey. It was moist and tender and had that rich smoky flavor. I took a photo of everything we ordered but the file was somehow corrupted so I have nothing to show you. But I hope you’ll find yourself in Kansas City, Missouri one day…if you do, check out Arhur Bryant’s – the best barbecue in the world.