I hit Kansas City with a one track mind. I had done my research and all signs pointed to Arthur Bryant's. Everyone seems to agree that it is the oldest, most universally loved barbecue joint in a town chock full of some of the best barbecue joints in the country. I quickly checked into my hotel (more on that later) and sped off towards the original Arthur Bryant's location, my stomach talking to me the whole way.. he couldn't contain his excitement either. As soon as I got out of my car in the parking lot, the smell in the air told me I was not going to be disappointed. A local, who must have read the hunger in my eyes, held the door open for me as I walked in. As we passed, he said, "Don't worry, I left a little for ya!" Friendly folks!
I stepped up to the counter, through the old-school, laid back dining room, and ordered my burnt end sandwich and fries from the surly, impatient-with-obviously-not-from-around-here-newbies counter man, and sat down for what at this point I had convinced myself would be the meal of my life. I had to take pictures of this experience for two reasons: 1. To document like any good tourist, 2. Because there are simply no adequate words to describe how good this seemingly simple open-faced sandwich was. Damn if it really wasn't one of the best meals I've ever had. The deep, layered flavors of quality meat; the varied tender, crispy textures of the burnt ends; the sweet and spicy vineger based sauce; the four thick slices of fresh white bread... not to mention the fries! You just have to go.
So, I ate like the king of Kansas City and rolled myself out of the restaurant, into my car, and back to my hotel... which just so happened to be the Harrah's North Kansas City Hotel and Casino. Can you guess why I chose to stay there? Hi, my name is Joel, and I have a problem.. but it's only a problem when I lose! I was so tired at this point, after nearly 11 hours on the road and full-to-popping with burnt ends, that I couldn't play too long, though.. only long enough to win another 80 bucks! Oh yeah!
I staggered to my room, slept like a rock (if rocks were made of barbecue), and awoke the next morning ready (if not a little weary) to make the straight, flat, long, long, long.. long trip across the whole of Kansas, into Colorado.