So, when I was in Kansas City a few weeks ago, I had to go to Joe's Kansas City Barbecue. It's been written up everywhere and it's been on my list since I started going to KC about a year ago. Plus, a client wholeheartedly recommended it. I had to do a few loops around the place when I realized that this barbecue institution is attached to a gas station. I had to stand in a line that went back to the door at 5pm and by the time I ate and left, the line snaked out the door far back into the parking lot.
Joe's ribs are definitely good, very tender. However, I have to say that if I had my choice, I am more taken with the kind of ribs they serve at Fat Matt's in Atlanta, GA where they are drowning in their sweet and spicy sauce that makes it necessary to have a high stack of napkins and handy wipes at your fingertips. Joe's does provide sauce on the side, so if you are partial to sauce, that option is available. Also, the sides at Fat Matt's, particularly their Rum Baked Beans and their Pecan Pie, were perfection. Fat Matt's was rib euphoria and Joe's was just really, really good. In fact, if I had not had Fat Matt's, I would probably think Joe's was the best place on earth.
At the end of the day, I don't think there is one place that is better than the other. They are all good at that level and it's just a matter of taste and preference. I grew up eating my Grandmother's ribs which were smothered in sweet sauce and more mirrored Fat Matt's ribs. Since I loved my Grandmother and you know, memories, that is the one that won out.