Finger Lickin' Good for All
A few blocks from downtown, Arthur Bryants has been making sure it stays that way.
"Over the years we've known were just grabbing a handful of meat and slopping it between two pieces of meat, nothing fancy, no fancy plates or nothing, then we slop some sauce on and we've been doing that for 80 years," General Manager Eddie Echols said.
Echols makes it sound a little too easy. After all, pit masters have been trying to perfect the art of barbecue for centuries. But at Arthur Bryants, they practically have it down to a science.
"We slow cook our ribs, chicken, sausage, but main sellers like briquette, we slow smoke over hickory and oak, and it takes about 10-12 hours," Echols said.
It was that smoke wafting through the air in the 1920s when minor league baseball teams were nearby that got the local restaurant off to a fast start.
"They were talking about the aroma in the air from the pits," Echols said.
And that aroma keeps them coming back.
"It's one of the most famous landmarks in Kansas City," Dave Curtright said.
Homemade fries and a half dozen different types of meat compliment the menu. Managers have increased the number of sauces from the one original to a couple of varieties, which are homemade too.
"We hand make it, we mix it," Echols said.
Not only is there variety in the food, there's variety in the people.
"When you come in you'll see somebody with dirty clothes on next to the guy who has a hundred dollar suit on, it's always been that way," Echols said.
And the atmosphere adds another layer of flavor to the restaurant.
"That's one of the reasons you come here is for the atmosphere," Echols said. "We concentrate on the product, not so much on the look of the restaurant."
So as customers from all walks of life line up, get their orders, and sip a nice tall glass of lemonade, there's one thing they can all agree on: The food here is good. An average meal at Arthur Bryant's runs about $12.