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Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue

Yes, Kansas City has older barbecue joints (the 72-year-old Rosedale Barbecue) and more iconic restaurants (Arthur Bryant's and Gates, which are low on frills but high on taste and succulent meats). But every so often, we crave glamour. At his namesake restaurant in the Crossroads, Jack Fiorella takes an essentially lowbrow, roadhouse-style cooking and elevates it to a fine art. Other smoke pits may offer meatier pork ribs and crunchier burnt ends, but Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue is greater than the sum of its parts. The experience is first-class, thanks partly to the stunning dining room in the historic old Freight House building. The menu includes the traditional Kansas City barbecue favorites (beef brisket, smoked pork, pork ribs) as well as more expensive but sumptuous choices such as crown prime beef ribs, New Zealand rack of lamb and fire-kissed jumbo shrimp. For barbecue devotees who want snazzier sides than fries and cole slaw, Fiorella's serves superb hickory pit beans, a sensational cheesy corn bake or cheesy potato bake and --odd as it may seem -- fresh vegetable kebabs grilled over hickory embers.

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