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Arthur Bryant's

1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, MO - (816) 231-1123
Posted By J Scott Love on 11/24/2005 11:34:00 PM
I've been dining at Arthur Bryant's since 1969. Calvin Trillin, writing in the April 1972 issue of Playboy, proclaimed that Arthur Bryant's was the "single best restaurant in the world." I agree with this assessment.

My favorite item on the menu is a barbecued beef sandwich with fries. The beef is sliced from brisket that has been hickory smoked for 13 hours. The sandwich is a half pound of beef brushed with Bryant's distinctive tangy sauce on white bread. Trillin also states that the fries "are undoubtedly the best French-fried potatoes in the world" since they are cooked in pure lard. The food is served up cafeteria style on Melmac plates. Cold draught beer is served in frozen mugs.

The 1940's & 50's style decor hasn't changed since Trillin's 1972 article: Formica table tops, tile floor & white painted walls. Huge jugs of barbecue sauce are kept in the front window. Pictures of old Kansas City scenes, famous patrons, framed newpaper and magazine articles declaring Bryant's greatness and letters of praise from customers adorn the walls. Famous patrons pictured include president Jimmy Carter, Steven Spielberg and Sally Field.

Arthur Bryant's now has two other locations in additon to the original at 1727 Brooklyn, Kansas City: One at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, MO and one at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS. The quality of the food at these locations is just as good as the original.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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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



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