Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Let the Challenge Begin!

It started with a pretty simple idea one day while driving around. My wife and I were cruising past the Zarda BBQ in Blue Springs, and we realized that neither of us had ever actually BEEN to a Zarda to eat. Sure, we've had some Zarda beans from the store, and maybe some catered Zarda before, but we've never actually been to a restaurant. One thing led to another, and the next thing we knew we had made a pact to visit every single barbecue restaurant in Kansas City. But where, exactly, do you draw the line? Was it a 10 mile radius from our house? Was it 20? 50? We had to make the rules clear so that we knew what counted, and what didn't. We had to know when we finished. So, a quick google search turned up a google map mod that allowed you to draw various radius's around a point, and 25 miles seemed to make the most sense. That'd give us the entire metro area, and several other great BBQ places just outside of town.

In making the list, I let some places that may be just outside of the 25 mile radius into the list. I had to make judgement calls on this, and I do regret that there are several places in Paola that aren't on there. Lawrence is out of the zone, as well. So maybe in the future we can expand the scope and include them. But for now, the list is complete.

Soon, we found that our best friends wanted in on the action, so Westy and Ashley: bring it.

Here are the ground rules:

1) You have to actually GO to the restaurant.
Getting carry out just doesn't cut it. You need to get a feel for the full on experience of every BBQ restaurant. The same applies to catered BBQ: It doesn't count.

2) It has to be a dedicated BBQ restaurant.
I'm not going to count roadside smoker guys selling their stuff off of a folding table. That includes things like McGonigle's selling BBQ on the weekends. If you can make it and evaluate it, go for it. But you're not getting any extra points for it.

3) You can count places you've already been.
Doing this, I've realized that I really haven't been to that many KC BBQ places. But I've been to some of them a lot. So while I may have been to Quick's once, and Rosedale once, it has been a long time. I can count them, but I still plan on going back just so I can give them a proper evaluation.

4) This isn't so much about doing restaurant reviews as it's about just trying everything.
Let's face it: we're not restaurant reviewers, and I doubt that anyone really gives a damn about our thoughts on one restaurant living up to the KC BBQ canon as compared to some other BBQ restaurant. In fact, I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect KC BBQ place. But we'll give our thoughts, if anything to prove that we went.

5) You don't have to go to every location of a restaurant.
I'm not against trying every location, but to keep things moving along, I'm all for saying that visiting one Jack Stack or one Zarda is good enough. I think this will eventually come about as we try to 'perfect' the list.

That's about it. Feel free to let us know of any new restaurants or places that might have slipped past our list.

Now, let the challenge begin.

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