Off the beaten path pickens

These BBQ places are more than they are smoked up to be.


LC’s Barbecue is located just four miles east of the Plaza on Blue Parkway. photo by Katie Donnellan

by Katie Donnellan, Staff Writer

One of Kansas City’s claim to fame is barbecue. Places like Gates and Joe’s Kansas City are part of locals’ vocabulary from birth. Despite this, there are many “unknown” or overlooked even better BBQ restaurants. For this reason, I decided to venture to some off the beaten path barbecue places to order up.

LC’s Barbecue

On the way to Kauffman and the Chief’s Stadium, LC’s is a casual barbecue joint with friendly staff and a plain dining area. The restaurant radiates a classic, sloppy barbecue joint. People often stumble upon this gem while on the way to games.

This restaurant is a personal favorite of mine, so I definitely believe the bbq is more than worth a little hike. LC’s is located just 4 miles east of the Plaza on Blue Parkway. The restaurant seems kind of isolated on its corner, but once inside it gives off a home-like vibe.

The parking is hodgepodge and can get kinda limited when the joint is hopping, allowing the restaurant to feel fuller than it actually is. Immediately upon entering you are greeted by a couple men behind a counter in the back of the restaurant, hard at work smoking and frying.

I ordered a pulled pork sandwich with a side of fries. The sandwich comes on the classic cheap white bread. The pulled pork is slathered in a sweet runny sauce that soaks through the bread, creating an almost marinated taste. The fries are pretty standard, but exceed expectations when paired with their sauce.

LC’s sauce is not too sweet and has a nice runny consistency. This consistency allows for the flavor to seep into in what it is put on, rather than just sit on top of it. This also means the sauce does not overpower the the taste of the meat, instead it combines to create more of a hybrid between the two.

The restaurant and many grocery stores in the Kansas City area sell LC’s BBQ sauce. I recommend the “hot.” The hot BBQ sauce is slightly spicier than the mild but nothing that will make your eyes water. The sauce sells for about five dollars depending on where you are buying from.

My sandwich and fries ending up costing just under $13. For a teenager this price might seem steep compared to a five dollar meal at Winsteads, but it is well worth it. The amount and quality of the food along with the friendly staff make the price seem too low.

The dining hall is plain with big tables and a somewhat dirty tile floor. The character of the restaurant adds to its great barbecue. The relaxed atmosphere makes you want to keep coming back.

Woodyard’s Barbecue

Located on Merriam Drive, Woodyard’s has the typical relaxed barbecue feel. The name describes the place perfectly, as most of the restaurant is either made of or scattered with wood.

The barbecue was decent, but the fries were great. I ordered the Carolina, pulled pork and coleslaw on a hamburger bun and a side of fries. The meat was good but the coleslaw threw off the sandwich. My one complaint about the meet was it did not necessarily have a defined sauce taste to it, while LC’s had a marinated taste to it which is what I prefer.

The hamburger bun on the sandwich took away from the meat, which should be the emphasis on a bbq sandwich. The bun ended up filling me up more than any other part of the meal which was disappointing because it was not phenomenal.

The sauce was mediocre but did not hit the spot. The spicy sauce tasted like someone had dumped salt in it. Normally I prefer the spicy barbeque sauce, but due to my dislike of it here I mainly used the mild sauce. This sauce was a little bit sweeter but pretty good due to the lack of saltiness.

The price was around $13 for the fries and the sandwich. I was not as big of a fan of Woodyard’s as I was of LC’s. Due to this I would definitely say LC’s is a better value.

I am more of a traditional BBQ fan, so I did not dig the menu at Woodyard’s. It was filled more with variations of classic BBQ sandwiches. I probably could have requested the cole slaw on the side, but I figured I would experiment with their menu and what they thought was good.

My preference for seating is the outside, but due to the weather I sat inside. The layout of the restaurant is pretty neat and adds to a rickety wood yard feel.

My favorite part about the restaurant was the atmosphere. The crowd was filled with friendly, cowboy boot and overall wearing men on their lunch break. The meat smokers interacted with visitors, many of which were their friends, and helped make everyone feel cozy and at home.

Woodyard’s is a great place to spend a sunny spring or summer afternoon followed by exploring KCK and ending the day with a drive-in movie down the street at Boulevard drive-in.