Jack Stack Barbecue – Martin City (KC), MO

Another work trip another opportunity to eat some barbecue outside my normal routine. And these are paid for by my company which make it even better. Upon seeing a scheduled stop in Kansas City, I knew I would have several options for great ‘cue.

After hitting up my friend Arrowhead Adam for suggestions (he being a KC resident if you couldn’t tell by his nickname) he suggested meeting up at Jack Stack. But he insisted on the original as the other locations of this KC chain weren’t as good.

Jack Stack immediately reminded me of an old southern steakhouse. The dark walls and tables hover over the hunter green carpet. The aroma of smoke in the air I knew we had potential.  The other noticeable items were the ginormous onion rings and fried mushrooms that several people had piled on their tables. We opted for the mushrooms. Large mushrooms lightly and crispy battered were a great starter to our meal.

Then it’s on to the barbecue. I dove in for the sausage and brisket burnt ends with a few ribs. The sausage was not to my liking. I know Texas makes its sausage different than others. Heck regions of Texas have their own sausage peculiarities. This sausage was particularly dry.  It was either cooked too long or there was not enough fat in the grind. It had a decent flavor, but the texture really made the sausage a “pass” in my book.

As far as the ribs go, they were very good. The dark bark and rub yielded a good smokey sweet flavor. They were tender and showed a great smoke ring. A few of my ribs were slightly over cooked so they easily fell off the bone in a tangy mess. I like my ribs competition style where they bite clean and are not fall off the bone tender. Great ribs. Not the best I’ve had, but great.

Then the famous KC style Burnt Ends. These cubes of fatty brisket off the point were ok. I really like burnt ends that are well carmelized and deeply smokey.  These were neither of these. The fat was well rendered but lacked the velvety goodness I’ve come to expect in BE.  Jack Stack is proud of their BE’s so I hope I caught them on an off night.

Just a final thought… The sides were great. Their deeply smoky baked beans were heavenly. I enjoyed the tangy bite of the sauce. The cheesy creamed corn was good too. It was a thin Mac and Cheese style sauce over corn. It was delicious. Kind of chili con queso with corn.

Jack Stack is worth a visit. Especially if you like that old world style Barbecue that grandpa use to eat.

F – 2.5

V – 2

R – 2

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