Archive for the ‘smoky flavor’ Tag

Kansas City Traditions   Leave a comment


The first thing to keep in mind at Gates Bar-B-Q is that the women taking the orders are not angry, even if they are intimidating. Before we had much time to look at the menu, let alone determine that we fully understood it, we were yelled at. It wasn’t may I please take your order, or even what may I get you? Instead, it was Are you ready to order — with an implicit YET?

I needed time before reaching the counter. Gates had a very different menu than I was familiar with. I’d heard of burnt ends, but not long ends or short ones. I finally figured out they referred to ribs. The sliced meats were easy, thank goodness.


Kansas City BBQ is known for the variety of meats ( beef, pork, mutton, turkey, etc.)  and sooty flavors thanks to the slow, low method of smoking. Sauces are added by individual diners, not the cooks in the kitchen. I ordered the burnt ends which were served piled high on a hoagie bun, which I barely touched. These are tender, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of shredded brisket and occasional bits of beef that came closest to the heat becoming slightly charred in the process. Not burnt as the name suggests, but like a crisped layer of skin. The Combo Plus 2 featured a choice of two meats served on slices of white bread. We opted for beef and pork which were piled far too high for the bread to contain.Again, the meats were tender and juicy even before the addition of any sauces, all with a ketchup, molasses and vinegar base.

Once we had our trays loaded with food, the women were all smiles and spoke in pleasant voices. That is until they hollered for the next order.

Gates Bar-B-Q

Four (Messy) Plates

Various locations throughout the Kansas City, MO., area

More Than a Saturday Market   Leave a comment

The Handy Market is just that: conveniently located and, despite its compact size, well-stocked with fresh produce, an impressive meat counter and a decent selection of wine and beer. And there’s the Saturday barbecue.

Every Saturday the industrial grills are loaded with a variety of meats cooked to fork-tender perfection. The aroma alone is hypnotizing. People stand in line – often a block long – to order ribs, chicken and tri-tip, but the bonus is the aroma emanating from the ballooning smoke of the grills.

A Santa Maria-like style is used: meats are cooked over a hot, hot bed of slow burning fuel, such as mesquite. Tri-tip is a lean roast with one fatty side from which the juices flow into the meat during the cooking process.

A recent visit to LA netted a trip to the Handy Market. We arrived later in the afternoon and the line was only about ten people deep. A wipe board identifies the meats, and orders are placed at the window of a trailer. The grills are set up next to it in the market’s parking lot. We ordered the trip-tip and chicken. With just the right amount of salty, smoky flavors, and optional tangy sauce, the Tri-tip is the meat of choice.

Grilled corn and salads, ordered at the meat counter, are offered. Once the meats, which are sold by the pound, are wrapped in heavy duty foil there’s the option of having them slathered in a thick, rich barbecue sauce. Go for it.

The Handy Market
Four-and-a-half Plates
2514 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, Calif.