Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue
I've eaten lots of good barbecue over the years and some of it close to perfect, but I've never found what I have deemed the perfect barbeque. I've found the perfect sauce and the perfect rack of ribs cooked to perfection but never combined. So in that lull of days between Christmas and New Years when most people work and Mrs. Abbey and I have off, we decided to go on some sort of mini-vacation to kill some time and get away from the home. We kicked around a lot of ideas before finally agreeing to head to Kansas City in search of the perfect barbecue.
We set off one morning and pulled into the plaza area of Kansas City where the number one barbeque place was said to be according to numerous critiques; Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque. We opted to go there for lunch since it was a pretty upscale place and we wanted to save money in these tough times. Splitting our orders to maximize our culinary experience, my wife order the BBQ pork ribs and BBQ chicken while I got the BBQ Burnt Ends plate which consisted of chunks of pork and beef.
The sauce was excellent though it still placed second to my all time favorite sauce Cookies Original BBQ sauce. The meat in all forms, was good but a little tougher than I would have expected for a top BBQ place. I suspect it was because we were eating there for lunch and were receiving the lesser grade stuff with the highest grade stuff getting served for supper. Even though it wasn't what I would classify as the perfect BBQ and probably ranks toward the middle of my top ten list, it was still far superior to anything I could get back in SE Iowa where I live and thus well worth the visit.
Mrs Abbey's Chosun Korean Barbeque
Many hours later after spending an afternoon visiting the Kansas City Zoo, checking into our motel in Overland Park across the state line, keeping an eye out for a Toyota truck but never spotting any despite driving by its suburban stable, and visiting a Bass Pro Shop to see the stuffed fauna, we finally felt hungry enough to try round two of our search for the perfect BBQ.
This time we widened our search to asian BBQ and ate at Chosun Korean BBQ in Overland Park, Kansas. Mrs. Abbey deviated to other foods but I kept true and ordered some Spicy Pork BBQ with onions and peppers. It soon arrived with a half dozen other dishes served family style and I dug in with my chopsticks. It was exquisite and perfectly spiced in every way. I alternated between chopstick fulls of the spiced pork, steamed rice, pickled tofu, picked cucumbers and radishes with some onions, pickled fish cake flakes, pickled kimchi and radishes in some sort of red sauce. As with perfectly spiced, spicy food, I couldn't stop eating until it was all gone. When we had finished, they brought out a drink that looked like weak tea but turned out to be a sweet rice water that was extremely refreshing after so much spicy food. Little Abbey gulped hers down almost before I got mine to my lips.
My Chosun Korean Barbeque
Although it isn't the classical barbeque that I was in search for and thus not the perfect BBQ, I would highly recommend this restaurant to all and will definitely stop back the next time I am in the area. The next day, we visited several more places but due to a cranky Little Abbey, we didn't find a third BBQ place to eat at and instead found an Olive Garden where we had a $50 gift certificate to use up and ate there before working our way north.
I didn't find the perfect BBQ but I did find two places that are definitely worthy of stopping by if you are in the area. I'm glad I didn't succeed in my quest because that allows me to continue it and will hopefully take me to lots more BBQ places in the future.
Sweet Rice Water