Thursday, August 13, 2009
Posted by Bull E. Vard
I thought to myself this morning, by golly I’m going to go to Adam’s Rib for lunch today. So I did. I headed over and found out they have a lunch special for $5.99. Mind you, it was impossible to tell what the special entailed since it wasn’t on the signs, but it was a lunch special. I had to ask at the counter what the special was. It turns out it was a single meat sandwich with your choice of fries, beans, potato salad or cheesy cornbread for $5.99. That is a great deal.
I got a pulled pork sandwich and fries, my standard barbecue order and brought it home. I should mention that they’ve changed the ordering system since the last time I went. You now walk in and go straight to the register right in front of you. I was a bit confused this time because I started to walk to the one to the side of the door. Again Adams Rib has made a fool of me when I’m just trying to get my lunch.
I was once again amazed at the amount of food I got. The sandwich is a little smaller with the lunch special than I remember the regular sandwich being, but that’s okay with me. The other one had too much meat for me to ingest. Included in the to go box was a ridiculous amount of fries. They have also added a hot barbecue sauce which is greatly appreciated because I don’t think much of their regular barbecue sauce.
With the spicier sauce added onto the pulled pork sandwich, it was nearly flawless. It was quite juicy and flavorful without being the wet ball of goo the sandwich turned into last time. The bread/pork ratio was great and I was impressed with how great the sandwich worked. The fries were wonderfully crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Dipped into the spicy barbecue sauce they became wonderful French treasures.
Needless to say, Adams Rib has stepped up their game after being open for a couple of months. My barbecue decision when I’m home has now become quite complicated between RJ’s Bob-Be-Que and Adams Rib. My house is almost right in between the two of them, they both have great specials, the food is excellent in both places and the service is equally friendly. They both even have gentle giants working at them, RJ’s has Big Dave and Adams Rib has a big dude (at least 6’4”/250) behind the counter. I think they need to have a wrestling match to determine the BBQ king of JoCo.
I think with Adam’s Rib hitting their stride, I think a case can be made that the Kansas side has better barbecue than the Missouri side. Kansas has what I feel is the best barbecue in the metro with Oklahoma Joe’s. RJ’s is really good as is Adams Rib. Missouri has the big 2 in Gates and Arthur Bryant’s and then there’s LC’s (we’re going to leave Jack Stack out of this because they have big locations on both sides of the state line, Gates and Bryant’s do too, but they are iconic KCMO restaurants). LC’s is really expensive for what it is and good luck getting out of Gates and Bryant’s for under $10. RJ’s and Adam’s Rib might not be quite up to that quality, but they’re really close (they’re just missing the history) and are a couple of dollars cheaper. Plus, service at the 3 best Kansas barbecue restaurants puts the Missouri restaurants to shame. They’re downright rude at LC’s, they hurry you through at Bryant’s and Gates employs schtick.
To me, I’d rather have Kansas barbecue than the Missouri counterpart. Maybe I’m crazy. I still think Bryant’s is the second best barbecue in town and Gates third. But going to either of those 2 is a pain in the ass and I’m liable to be treated like crap while there. For marginally worse barbecue I can be virtually guaranteed good service and a better value.
I know there are many barbecue places on both sides of the state line and I don’t pretend to have visited them all. But 90% of the time, I’m going to eat at one of the 6 I listed here or Jack Stack. For me, I think I’d rather eat barbecue in Kansas.
I should also mention that Adam's Rib is holding a Man V. Food type competition among local "celebrities" on Saturday. The celebutestants are going to try and wolf down a 10 pound brisket burger in 20 minutes. The winner gets the proceeds of the event to go to the charity of their choice.