Many purists consider L.C.s the best place to eat authentic Kansas City-style barbecue: succulent slow-smoked ribs, meaty rib tips and hefty beef sandwiches on soft white bread. The L.C.s pit crew also pulls homemade sausage, chicken wings, turkey and shrimp out of this tiny restaurants aromatic pit. The side dishes are almost as famous as the meats the hearty, molasses-rich baked beans, mixed with so many pieces of tender beef, could make a satisfying meal on its own. Onion rings are fat and crunchy, and L.C.s fabled French fries live up to their reputation nearly as thick as a small tree branch, one crispy L.C.s fry is equal to a small sack of the greasy fast-food variety. L.C.s is tiny, with fewer than a dozen tables, and everything made here is served in disposable containers with paper towels and plastic flatware. But what the interior lacks in glamour, it more than makes up in the quality and consistency of its signature dishes.
There is no lawn at B.B.'s Lawnside Bar B.Q., but there is an uneven parking lot with an honest-to-God roadhouse planted on it (Patrick Swayze not included). B.B's is only 15 years old, but the building it occupies is a piece of living history that recalls wilder days when south KC lay on the outskirts of city law and juke joints stayed open all night. Things are a bit tamer now, but it's still a roadhouse -- the place is small and loud, with local and national acts (most of them blues or rock) playing Wednesday through Sunday. Many of the tables are long, cafeteria-type setups, so you many get to know your neighbor while dunking a rib in the signature sweet sauce and bobbing your head to the music.
Youd think this town would have lots of joints offering the true barbecue-and-blues experience. Friendly, greasy dives that you can smell before you enter. Packed places where casually dressed patrons, surrounded by handbills from past shows, gnaw on burnt ends wrapped in white bread while tapping their toes to nationally known blues acts. But theres only one such establishment in these parts. Down south around 85th Street and Troost stands B.B.s Lawnside BBQ, a family-run operation that features live blues six nights a week and a menu full of Kansas City and Louisiana-style favorites that are smoked in the granite pit out back. While the lineup changes on the weekends, B.B.s has been home to the citys most celebrated blues musicians, such as John Paul Drum, Diane Mama Ray and Lee McBee. Definitely a place to bring out-of-town visitors, B.B.s has a large deck in front, buckets of beer and an open blues jam on Saturdays. The cover charge is always reasonable, but it helps to arrive early to secure a spot at one of the family-style tables, unless you want to stand in back by the bar.