The Australian's Global Gourmet Tony Perrottet recounts his visit to Arthur Bryant's and Jack Stack Fiorella's in a piece about his recent visit to Kansas City, Missouri. While Perrottet seems hellbent on placing the barbecue joints he visits in the state of Kansas, the rest of his research is a delightful road map into how a barbecue ingenue experiences a visit to the meat mecca that is this city.
Here's my favorite passage of the piece:
Every barbecue joint in the West has its own sauce, and Bryant's, mixing paprika and vinegar, is zingy, to say the least. Then comes the intense smokiness of the meat, crisp and delicious.
No wonder burned ends are commonly referred to by locals as meat marshmallows or nuggets of barbecue gold. They're addictive. I finish the plate and find the chef looking at me through the serving window. He nods, without changing expression. I feel like I've passed some arcane test.
Some things I didn't know: We apparently call burnt ends "meat marshmallows," and zingy is a great adjective for vinegar. The rest of the commentary is similarly complimentary and a fascinating look at how someone with no real frame of reference sees Kansas City barbecue. As for the continuing trope that Perrottet is getting true insight into "the real Kansas thing," I'll just say I love Foster's beer; it's so genuinely Australian.