After considerable family debate, we have decided to try out a new BBQ joint tomorrow in Kansas City during our annual Christmas drive to western Kansas. This is a big deal since the debate for years has been solely between Gates and Bryant’s – with Gates usually winning.
Not that we aren’t happy with Gates, but we’ve been hearing considerable buzz about Oklahoma Joe’s which contrary to the name was actually started by two Kansas City champion amateur bbq-ers. The Oklahoma name comes from their initial partnership with the owner of something called Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker Company (the owner’s first/middle name was “Joe Don”…classic) and their decision to open their first bbq join in 1996 in Stillwater Oklahoma, home of Oklahoma State University and not incidentally, where my stepdaughter spent her early childhood. Apparently the second Oklahoma Joe’s opened soon after beside a gas station in Kansas City. The first one closed, and additional Oklahoma Joe’s restaurants opened in Kansas City. (I guess by then it was too late to call them “Kansas City Joe’s.) Stillwater seems to have an affinity for restaurants that include the name Joe’s — the only other restaurant I remember there was called Eskimo Joe’s, which opened in 1975 and vowed to serve the coldest beer in Stillwater. Hence the name.
Here’s more about Oklahoma Joe’s below. Wish us luck!
Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has earned local, regional, national, and even international attention for the quality of its barbecue and the uniqueness of its original gas station location.
Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has earned local, regional, national, and even international attention for the quality of its barbecue and the uniqueness of its original gas station location. It has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Denver Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, Vanity Fair, numerous airline magazines, local magazines, and The Kansas City Star.
Oklahoma Joe’s has also been featured on local and national television programs, including Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” and “No Reservations”, the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”, among many others.
In 2009, Anthony Bourdain named Oklahoma Joe’s as one of “Thirteen Places to Eat Before You Die” in an article for Men’s Health magazine.
Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que has been the Zagat #1 Rated barbecue restaurant in Kansas City every year since 2004. Zagat also named Joe’s famous sandwich, the Z-Man, the Best Sandwich in Kansas in its “50 States, 50 Sandwiches List”. In 2013, The Daily Meal website and USA Today both named Oklahoma Joe’s Kansas City’s ribs “America’s Best Ribs”.