Travel + Leisure readers recently named Kansas City to its list of "America's Best Cities for Foodies." In the top 20 cities, KC is 17th.
Kansas City was ranked in three other food categories, having the 11th best farmers markets in the country, the 18th best selection of neighborhood joints, the 27th best ethnic food, and the 21st most "big-name restaurants." We got top marks for our produce, but the suggestion is that there's not much else going on here. While it's nice to make the foodie list, upon further examination, I'm not sure Kansas City was selected because of anything that has happened in the past decade. Here's Travel + Leisure's blurb on our food scene:
For anyone whose foodie fixations revolve around barbecue, Kansas City is an obvious bucket-list destination, with joints like Gates Bar-B-Q, Arthur Bryant’s, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack vying for your attention. No worries about dropping major dough for dinner, either: voters gave the midwestern city the highest marks for being a good deal.
So, we've got cheap eats and barbecue. I guess I could live with that description if I felt like they'd done their homework. But there's no mention of Oklahoma Joe's, which has inserted itself into any discussion of 'cue that shows off the best of what we can do. (Perhaps as a result, Kansas City was ranked slightly behind Memphis as having the second best barbecue in the country.) I've always thought of a foodie as someone who would go beyond the surface in search of what a place has to offer. We eat plenty of barbecue here in Kansas City, but there seven days in a week when we've got to eat.