I’m going to a wedding there at the end of February. Hoping to have some free time on Friday night and Saturday during the day. So anything fun to do that doesn’t take too long? Suggestions for BBQ locations are also well appreciated.
Missouri (aren’t they right next to each other anyway?)
Yes, I just wanted to be annoying!
My favorite BBQ is probably Fiorella’s Jack Stack, although Oklahoma Joe’s is good too. Gates is also an old standy-by, and still sometimes my preference.
For outings, are you looking for shopping (you could go to Country Club Plaza, generally just called “The Plaza”) or museums (there is a science one in the restored Union Station)? Family stuff?
You a baseball fan? The Negro League Museum is there.
Friday night barhopping in Westport, 20’s-30’s crowd.
Shopping on the Country Club Plaza (U.S.'s first shopping center, mostly upscale shops). Interesting architecture, lots of good restaurants.
National World War I museum, only one in the country, recently made “official” by Congress. An excellent museum.
BBQ – ask ten different people what’s best, get eleven different answers. Here are some:
Arthur Bryant’s – famous, visited by presidents and such, lots of people like it but I don’t care for their sauce at all.
Gates – along with Bryant’s one of the two longstanding archetypal BBQ houses in town. Excellent beans. I love their sauce.
(Note that it’s not so much about the sauce, it’s the cooking of the meat that really matters, but it’s still nice to have good sauce.)
Jack Stack – always good food, excellent beans.
Brobecks – unknown even to many locals, but really good. Offers very nice shrimp and individual ribs (both unusual at BBQ joints).
Oklahoma Joe’s – often highly praised, my wife’s favorite.
A great suggestion! I always forget about it, but it’s definitely worth it if you have any interest at all.
And right next to it the American Jazz Museum.
Nelson Atkins is a wonderful free art museum.
WWI Museum is terrific. Up there with any military museum in the world- I’ve been to a few of the big ones, and the National WWI Museum holds it’s own.
Arthur Bryant’s sucks balls. Surly employees, sub-standard barbecue, weird sauce. I hear that Gates’ and Stack’s are considerably better, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.
The Hallmark Visitors’ Center is pretty neat as well.
An interesting and possibly unique museum, but currently closed for about a year.
One thing for sure: Everything’s up to date. They’ve gone about as far as they can go.
Land planes in the wrong airport?
Even if you’re not a baseball fan, the Negro League Baseball Museum is amazing. It’s an important part of history, and the exhibits are just incredibly done. And if you’re down in that area, you’ll have to get a sandwich at:
Arthur Bryant’s BBQ. I don’t care what the detractors say, they’re wrong. The sauce is weird - but it’s very specific to their sandwiches, and pairs extremely well. Don’t get the pulled pork or burnt ends - they’re soaked in a different sauce, and are pretty gross. Get the beef, sliced pork, or turkey - or a combo of any 2 of those. Or the ribs.
And you’ll have to find a few other BBQ places to hit. There’s Gates & Sons BBQ, which has really slid in quality over the last 5-10 years or so. Avoid their sandwiches if you insist on going, and stick to the ribs. If you’re looking for something a little more high end, head over to the Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ on the Plaza. Probably the highest quality BBQ across the board, with white table cloth service to match. If that sounds a bit too fancy for you, then you should go to the original Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, located inside of a gas station.
Sick of BBQ? Bring your appetite to Stroud’s Restaurant, with some of the best fried chicken in the midwest. Bring your appetite and a small army of mouths to feed - it’s served family style (the cinnamon rolls are worth saving room for).
I’ll grant that the quality can vary (on both the sandwiches and the ribs), but I have had many an absolutely delightful beef sandwich there.
In my view, “best in the Midwest” is really stretching it. The original (no longer standing) location certainly had good chicken, and I think the North location is all right, but I was sorely disappointed at the South location.
Well, homemade fried chicken isn’t really a staple outside the South, so I thought it a fair statement - I can’t say I’ve seen any fried chicken featured on any shows or anything. But I haven’t been in years.
So, no crazy little women there, eh?
You might find some in Westport. It’s the official party district.