Review: Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue


Starting this review, we were reminded of all the famous Joes in the world. There is, of course, ex-VP and meme star Joe Biden. Joe Montana also comes to mind, because Chiefs. Then there’s the great Joe Muiller, famous for his impeccable sport coats, ugly Christmas sweater party planning, and quips about his favorite subject – ethical dilemmas facing healthcare.

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Real BBQ experts know that the best BBQ comes from gas stations, like Joe’s.

But I digress. These Joes pale in comparison to the most famous Joe of all: Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue. Known for their burnt ends and fresh cut fries, Joe’s recently won the title “Best KC Fries” according to a tournament on the Kansas City Star which they celebrated by giving patrons FREE fries for a day (with the purchase of a sandwich, of course).

As graduate students on a budget, we appreciated this gesture and were more than happy to stand in a line going out the door for these fries. And let me tell you, totally worth it folks!

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Sandwiches are divided in two so they can easily be shared between two struggling grad students.

In our experience, these fries are best enjoyed in the parking lot of the gas station/restaurant combo (we recommend the alley behind the building). On your way out, you can even enjoy wonderful conversations from hungry patrons lined around the building, though they may not appreciate watching you eat your food.

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Scootch closer and smell your screen. You won’t regret it, we promise.

We had a great time, though. The fries were fresh and hot. They’re seasoned perfectly– just a tad sweet, but not overly so. And on top of that, the bag is deceivingly large. We couldn’t even finish them between the two of us.

Overall, Joe’s Kansas City earns its highest marks for taste, environment, experience, and value (just over $3 for a side as pictured above, just over $5 for a large bag).  They don’t earn great marks for style/flair, but honestly it isn’t even needed. These are great, no-nonsense fries that would make anyone happy to enjoy. See the complete breakdown and overall rating below:

Final Rubric (scored out of 5 for each category- see FAQs for more details):

Style/flair:  3
Value:  4
Overall taste:  5
Environment:  5
Experience:  5
Bonus:  +1 for freebies
Average/overall rating:  4.6 → 5 Stars

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