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L C's Bar-B-Q

5800 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, MO - (816) 923-4484
Posted By Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on November 2, 2008 12:30 PM
In the ongoing and certainly never-ending debate over which KC Q joints reign supreme, and which have passed their prime, let us nominate LC's in the former category. For our money, LC's is one of the greats, in Kansas City or anywhere.

"When you see a fork in the road, take it" said Yogi Berra, and he could have been giving directions to LC's, for it's located on the triangle formed by the fork between Blue Parkway and Sni-A-Bar Road. If your windows are rolled down as you approach, you'll probably know you're close well before it comes into view.

It's not a large place, and much of its business is take-out. There are a few tables for eating in, and they provide a choice ringside seat to the goings on at the smoker. The brisket that emerges from that smoker is without peer, ineffably tender, smokey without being acrid, a perfect balance between fat and lean. The burnt ends "sandwich" is an impossibly large pile of meat chunks doused with their terrific celery seed accented barbecue sauce, garnished with white bread. The mountain of fresh-cut fries is first rate.

So is it the best BBQ in Kansas City? That's not a question we can even pretend to answer. We do know that we don't agree with those who denigrate the legendary Arthur Bryant's. It may not be what it once was (we can't say), but it's still awfully good. In particular, we are simply addicted to Bryant's hot-and-tart vindaloo-like barbecue sauce. A Kansas City barbeque tour should still, in our opinion, include Arthur Bryant's, but we submit that a visitor cannot leave KC without a visit to LC's. It's as good as they come.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Michael Stern on April 1, 2007 12:12 PM
LC's is a no-frills barbecue parlor where all dishware and utensils are disposable. A television set is always on in one corner of the room and a few dusty game-animal trophies adorn the walls. Place your order and pay for it at the counter, where you have a great view (and sniff) of the pit, and it will be delivered to your table posthaste.

It is a good thing that sandwiches come in trays, because they are so messy that no flat plate could contain them. You get a heap of sauce-sopped meat piled onto a puny slice of white bread and the meat is topped with another slice. The bread underneath has disintegrated before it arrives at your table, so this sandwich cannot be lifted by hand from its Styrofoam tray. You either use plastic utensils or pick at it by hand. (All tables are outfitted with rolls of paper towels.)

Beef, ham, turkey, pork, sausage, and ribs are all pit-cooked; and among the "specialty meats" listed on the menu is burnt ends. These are crisp, chewy, extra-luscious nuggets of meat cut from the outside edges of smoked brisket. Many pieces are laced with an obscenely delicious amount of fat; there are chewy pieces and crunchy pieces; and while the ends might be dry all by themselves, LC's excellent sauce makes them sing.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Steven on April 15, 2013 10:13 AM
LC's is the most inconsistent restaurant I have ever seen. Some days the food is the best in Kansas City. Some days it is horrible. I have found that if you get there at opening, when everything is seemingly fresh, you will have the best results. The staff is not particularly friendly and the restaurant is not very clean. Get your food to go. The BBQ beans are the best you will have anywhere when they are freshly made. The ribs are fantastic and the turkey sandwich is also a sure bet.
2 star rating
Overall Rating
BBQ Beans
Ribs

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Posted By Daniel Knobler on September 20, 2012 6:50 PM
Burnt ends. On white bread. With a bunch of sauce. That's all you've got to know. Maybe the best BBQ joint I've been to in my entire life. A basic stand-alone building with a pit that looks like it's been through the wars. Stand on line, get your food, sit down, a roll of paper towels on the table, you're in heaven. Inexpensive beyond belief. Funky but clean enough. A thrill. Just go ahead and eat. The whole place brightens the soul.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Burnt Ends
Burnt End Sandwich
BBQ Beans

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Posted By Walter Grunden on May 29, 2012 4:10 PM
I have eaten at L C's in the past and the food was OK. This time I got a slab of ribs and an order of burnt ends. The ribs were not tender. I ended up cooking them in aluminum foil in the oven for four hours to make them edible. The seasoning was just fair. Probably the worst slab of ribs I've ever eaten. The burnt ends were not edible. They were rare and tough. I could not salvage them by cooking them. They were the worst burnt ends I have ever eaten; no flavor. The only positive point I can make was that the service and help were good.
1 star rating
Overall Rating
Burnt Ends
Ribs (slab)

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Posted By GREG HOPPE on May 9, 2012 8:11 PM
I've eaten here numerous times and have never been disappointed with LC's great bbq. The sandwiches are piled high with smoky, tender meats and are large enough to share( or maybe not !). The sweet sauce isn't very thick but it's tangy and perfectly compliments the meat. The fries are simply wonderful. Fresh cut and large, they are fried the old-fashioned way, in lard. They are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Not greasy or salty in any way. The bbq beans are the best in Kansas City. Smoky, tender, plenty of spices and seasonings, these beans have been smoldering in the smoker for hours like the meats and have a strong molasses flavor. Over the years Gates and Arthur Bryant's have received plenty of hype but LC's is superior in my opinion and is like a hidden gem.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
Beef Sandwich
Turkey Sandwich
French Fries
Burnt Ends
BBQ Beans

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Posted By Kaye Ganz on August 25, 2011 2:15 PM
Some friends invited us on a trip to Kansas City and the one thing we recommended, LC's (based on Roadfood recommendation), was a huge disappointment. First of all, I understand that you're not going there for fine dining, but the place was absolutely filthy. I don't care how old a place is, it doesn't cost much to use soap and water, people. And the smoke! I get it, the meat is smoked, but the dining room was so full of smoke, our eyes hurt and watered for hours afterward.

The food was OK, but nothing so good you'd want to come back, especially to that awful dirty dining room. We tried turkey, pork, sliced brisket, and ribs. All were tender and OK. The potato salad was pedestrian and the beans were pretty good. When I asked about a spicier sauce, I was told I'd have to purchase a bottle; they don't have any for their dine-in customers. No iced tea, which I found odd for a barbeque place.

I've been all over the country and have used Roadfood as an eating guide with much success. In my opinion, this "legendary" spot is WAY past its prime, and I would not recommend.
1 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Marty Boyer on January 30, 2007 4:06 PM
I came out to Kansas City under the guise of helping a friend move, but I really came here to eat. My friend had received a recommendation from a cab driver, L C's Bar-B-Q. I didn’t even know it was on Roadfood.com (part of my travel-bible) until I recently looked, so I had to provide my own review.

As the other review mentions, L C’s is located on an odd street on a forked-y location, but it is easily found and the smell of pit smoke will greet you far before you reach the restaurant. There is parking directly in front of the restaurant, and there is additional parking on the backside of the place found by following the y-styled road back just a few extra yards.

You can generally tell the quality of a place by how many locals make it a personal haunt, and this is no exception. Since there were so many locals present, I inquired about their favorites. Everyone had pretty much the same sentiment; you can’t go wrong with anything.

So we stepped up to order, and I saw these beautiful brown, no, perfectly brown fries come of the fryer. I started there ($2.99). These were home-cut potatoes, with some of that nice crispy skin on the outside and cooked just about awesome. Now that I had the first starch out of the way, I had to add some more starch in the form of potato salad. Finally, for the meat I decided on the burnt end sandwich ($8.49). I wasn’t particularly familiar with it, but if everything is good, why shouldn’t this be?

The fries were exactly as advertised--hot, brown and crispy on the outside, flaky and tasty on the inside. They were not salted, which was fine by me; I prefer pepper to salt on fries. There was something different about the mustard-based potato salad. I’m certain they used pickle brine, providing a tad more zip.

The Meat.

Cooking food like this is somewhere between art and science. There sitting slabbed between three pieces of bread were burnt ends slathered in a tangy, smoky sauce. The burnt portion adds a chewy texture here and there throughout the meal. There's not so much sauce that you can’t taste the meat. Throughout the meaty ends are some small pieces of fat that are just about incredible, adding richness and textural variety. Towards the bottom of the plate (should you make it that far, which I did not) you have left a mash of barbecue sauce, dredged bread and drippings.

LC’s is what barbecue should be: easy to love and impossible to finish.
5 star rating
Overall Rating

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