Kansas City is such a mecca for barbecue, that we believe you could easily eat this cuisine at a different restaurant every week and never repeat locations. It seems like wherever we travel in the metro, we run into at least one place we had never visited before. This was the case when we stumbled upon A Little BBQ Joint at 1101 West U.S. Highway 24 in Independence, Missouri. The outside decor screamed at us to visit, and our hungers joined in.
This day had already been filled with a visit to the Vaile Museum and their annual Strawberry Festival. (You can read about the mansion here>) All of the touring and shopping had built up our appetites, so barbecue would be the perfect solution for a deep hunger. By the time we got to the restaurant, it was nearly 2:00 in the afternoon. There were still quite a few diners there, which is always a good sign. Our seating choices were inside or out back on the deck. (They have bands there on the weekends, so we will have to check that out!) With the day heating up, we chose an interior seat and ordered some waters.
As we looked around the interior of the place, we noticed more and more car themed memorabilia. Time to whip out my camera and start collecting some shots. Nearby us was the bar area that is fashioned from the hood and side of an old Chevrolet. Another front end is used for the carryout area near the door. The walls are decorated with an assortment of license plates, auto specific signs, and local artifacts. This place has plenty of eye candy to keep you gazing around to see what you have missed.
When you are visiting, be sure to look up, as well. Hanging from the ceiling are additional items, like this Shriner’s Pinewood Derby car. Our server returned to take our order, so we had to take a break from perusing to discuss our meals. We usually look for a sampler platter, which will give us a good sampling of the restaurants offerings. While A Little BBQ Joint doesn’t have a true sampler, we were able to piece one together by ordering a couple of plated options. With our order in, we returned to checking out the digs. I even took a gander at the back deck, which was pretty empty at that hour. We are betting it fills up during the evening music events.
Time To Dine
Before long, our dishes were brought to the table. Our server knew our intentions of sampling, so she brought us an extra plate, as well (Really nice gesture without having to be asked. Bonus points!) The Burnt Ends are the most popular menu item, so we obviously had to test those. A little tip we use is to always ask our server what the restaurant is most well known for, and order it. It’s a good way to let them shine, and insures a good experience on most occasions. Their burnt ends are deliciously tender, smoky chunks of meat. I can attest to them even being savory the next day right out of the fridge. This dish comes with two sides, so we picked the Cheesy Corn and Mac & Cheese. Both of these were good, but a little lacking of any bold flavoring. They make a good accompaniment without jumping to front and center of the meal.
Our other dish was the 2 Meat Dinner Plate, which comes with two sides, as well. The meats we chose were pulled pork and sausage. The pulled pork had a nice smoke to it, but cried out for a little sauce to jazz it up. No problem at A Little BBQ Joint, since they offer three house-made sauce options. Sweet Sister is the mildest, with Mad Housewife being a step up by adding some heat. For those wanting a really spicy experience, check out the Mean Mother-in-Law option, which drops off the sweet tones in favor of more heat. They offer regular and spicy house-made kielbasa, and were happy to make our order a blend of the two. Both had excellent flavor, with the spicy definitely having more kick. For sides, we chose the Fries and Cole Slaw. The fries were nice and crispy, so they were a good choice to offset some of the heat coming from other dishes. The slaw comes in two versions, with one being spicy. (Our server told us it was really spicy, so be warned.) We chose the wimpier version which was slightly sweet, but still maintained its tangy tone.
Stuffed As Usual
We finished what we could and boxed up the rest for later. (Of course, we knew our son would find the leftovers!) A return visit will certainly be in the cards to check out the gathering on the deck for one of the musical events. You can find the schedule on their website, which we linked at the top of the article. We left well assured that wherever we roam in our city, we will be able to find great barbecue. This makes us thankful that we were both born and raised in the BBQ capital of the world. Where are some of your favorite barbecue spots you would like us to showcase? Drop us a note in the comments section and we will add them to our list. Thanks!