During our trip to Kansas City, I promised to take Cindy to at least three great places to eat. Our first night in Kansas City, the choice of the restaurant was a no-brainer. We drove out to Martin City on the far south side of Kansas City and went to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue.
We ate there on a hot Monday night, not unlike the first time I ate there 20 years ago this summer when it was called the Smoke Stack before Jack Fiorella renamed it the Jack Stack. We got right in and sat at a booth in the dining room that allowed Cindy to look into the prep area for the kitchen.
Jack Stack has an extensive menu and Cindy took her time going through it. That was fine with me, but I knew what I wanted.
Cindy and I both got the two meat combos. I got the spare ribs and brisket, Cindy went with the spare ribs and the burnt ends. Burnt ends are the end of the beef brisket cut off into chunks. I don't care for them myself, but Cindy wanted to give them a try.
We also went with a side of their baked beans, a small order of their huge and delicious onion rings, and Cindy got some cole slaw to go with her meal.
Like I said, for some particular reason this was the best meal I'd ever had at Jack Stack. The ribs were outstanding - tender and juicy. The brisket was wonderful. Cindy didn't care for her burnt ends. (I didn't figure she would, but she had to try 'em. Some people go nuts over the burnt ends. I don't see - or taste - what's so good about 'em.) But she did love the ribs. She stopped at one point when she was knawing on a rib and said, "These are the best ribs I've ever had in my life!"
About the only thing disappointing with Jack Stack are their sauces. Not that they're bad - far from it. They just don't have a lot of "pizzaz". They only have two different sauces - regular and spicy. The regular is vinegar based and not too sweet (which actually helps bring out the flavor of the meat it's used on), while the hot isn't all that hot. I like to add both the regular and hot together and put them in with their baked beans. It makes the beans even better than they are.
We got to talking with our waitress and Fiorella's Jack Stack now offers mail order ribs - ribs and meats that are cooked, then frozen and vacuum packed, and then shipped anywhere in the US. She said that the ribs she's tried that were mail order actually seemed to be more juicy and tender than the ribs they had at the restaurant.
She told us that Fiorella's had a facility in Kansas City for cooking and processing mail orders, but they quickly outgrew that. They now have a second facility in Denison, IA - of all places - that makes the food and ships it around the country.
As it always seems, I could hardly move when I got up to leave, I was so stuffed. The food has always been outstanding at Jack Stack - in my opinion the best barbecue in Kansas City. But for some reason, it was just exceptional this one particular evening. It was probably the best meal I'd ever had there and probably the best barbecue meal I'd ever had in my life.