Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Arthur Bryant's

1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, MO - (816) 231-1123
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/20/2013 6:29:00 AM
Arthur Bryant, the grand old man of Kansas City barbecue, passed away in 1982, but his business has thrived ever since; and his heirs, bless them, never went upscale. This humble smoke house remains a cafeteria-style lunch room with all the decorative charm of a bus station.

Arthur Bryant originally came from Texas, so it stands to reason that his brisket is superb, the best meat in the house. It is lusciously tender beef, fatty enough to fairly drip flavor. It is sliced into fallapart lengths that get heaped into white-bread sandwiches; or if you come as a large party, you can order a couple of pounds of beef and a loaf of bread. They'll be piled on a tray so you can make your own sandwiches at the table.

The pork ribs are wonderful, too, glazed with blackened burnt edges and lodes of meat below their spicy crust. The skin-on French fries are bronze beauties and the goopy barbecue beans are some of Kansas City's best.

Good as the meats are, what makes Arthur Bryant’s unique is the sauce. It is beautiful sauce, a gritty, red-orange blend of spice and sorcery that is not at all sweet like most Midwestern barbecue sauces. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll have a gold standard against which to measure all others.

43 out of 45 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
beef
French Fries
sauce
Meat Tray
pork
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Here is a close view of the meat tray with sauce squirted on.
"Here is a close view of the meat tray with sauce squirted on."
Michael Stern





1976: Arthur Bryant is not taking orders; he is giving them. Jane and I interviewed him in the kitchen of his restaurant while he was having a verbal battle with a supplier.
"1976: Arthur Bryant is not taking orders; he is giving them. Jane and I interviewed him in the kitchen of his restaurant while he was having a verbal battle with a supplier."
Michael Stern


Bryant's meat tray really is meat on a tray -- a pound of any kind you want, or a half pound of two. The choices include beef, ham, turkey, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork. In the cafeteria line, you help yourself to white bread and pickles.
"Bryant's meat tray really is meat on a tray -- a pound of any kind you want, or a half pound of two. The choices include beef, ham, turkey, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork. In the cafeteria line, you help yourself to white bread and pickles."
Michael Stern


At least on the day we took this picture, Bryant's was clean and tidy.
"At least on the day we took this picture, Bryant's was clean and tidy."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Arthur Bryant's sauce is unique. Mild or medium-hot, it has an exotic, spicy punch that complements any meat or, for that matter, French fries.
"Arthur Bryant's sauce is unique. Mild or medium-hot, it has an exotic, spicy punch that complements any meat or, for that matter, French fries."
Michael Stern


We took this picture of the late Arthur Bryant, with the ever-present toothpick in his mouth, in 1976.
"We took this picture of the late Arthur Bryant, with the ever-present toothpick in his mouth, in 1976."
Michael Stern


Arthur Bryant used to give out these refillable pencils to customers.  Note the floating cow at the end.  Beef has always been the specialty of the house.
"Arthur Bryant used to give out these refillable pencils to customers. Note the floating cow at the end. Beef has always been the specialty of the house."
Michael Stern


Big jugs of sauce ''age'' in Bryant's window.
"Big jugs of sauce ''age'' in Bryant's window."
Michael Stern


Physically, Arthur Bryant's has hardly changed in the last half century.
"Physically, Arthur Bryant's has hardly changed in the last half century."
Michael Stern


Arthur Bryant's legendary business was actually started by his brother Charlie. Arthur moved it to this location in 1946.
"Arthur Bryant's legendary business was actually started by his brother Charlie. Arthur moved it to this location in 1946."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com