At Last, Kansas City Classic Barbecue Arrives in Lee’s Summit
One of the premier, iconic Kansas City barbecue establishments is now open in Lee’s Summit. Thank the barbecue heavens. Not to minimize the many wonderful local options we already have… but honestly, nobody does it like Jack Stack.
Everything about the brand takes the entire experience up a notch. The casual rustic elegance offers a date-worthy ambiance; the knowledgeable and attentive staff provides professional service, and the food. Well. No matter what I put in my mouth, it is wonderful. (Note: Jack Stack did not pay us to write this article…)
My first experience with Kansas City barbecue was at Jack Stack’s Overland Park location, and I distinctly remember falling in love with burnt ends, feeling quite impressed that this was not a normal barbecue joint, and thinking, “Wow, is all Kansas City barbecue like this?” Maybe I’m overdoing it here, but for me, all barbecue I taste since has to measure up, and honestly, few have.
To experience Lee’s Summit’s version of Jack Stack, I invited my teenagers. They are old enough now to appreciate great food, so I thought I’d treat them, though they didn’t see it that way at first. One slight problem: one of my kids is a vegetarian. I was curious what we would find for her to enjoy at a place known for it’s great meat.
We started with the stack of nine “colossal” sweet onion rings ($11.79) and smoked salmon dip ($12.99). My 14-year-old boy, who has experienced a typical teenager-amount of onion rings in his young life, offered this response: “One thing I appreciate about these onion rings is there is an art to them. The crispiness of the breading complements the onion flavor.” True that. Not to mention the fun presentation.
Restaurant legend (that I confirmed with my wonderful waiter) claims burnt ends were invented by the Fiorella fella who founded the business. The folks in the kitchen passed the story on to us, saying originally they cut off the ends of the brisket and tossed them out as refuse. But when Fiorella learned that people were digging them out of the trash to eat them, he realized the value and turned them into a featured staple. Since burnt ends are my preference for any barbecue, I knew they’d be in my order. But I also wanted to try something totally different, and found the perfect option with the “Kansas City Combo.” I picked two items – burnt ends and Denver lamb ribs – that come with creamy cole slaw and French fries (those generic words don’t describe the uncommon taste sensation that those common items are at Jack Stack: the coleslaw sauce sparks the taste buds, and the fries are perfectly fat, lightly crispy with soft centers.) The Denver lamb ribs fell off the bone and were beyond scrumptious. They’ve overtaken burnt ends as my favorite barbecue. My recommendation is to go straight for the full slab of these nationally acclaimed ribs. ($21.49) I’m also intrigued to try the New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($35.49).
The handmade, fresh-squeezed daily strawberry lemonade deserves its own paragraph. Our waiter said they created that drink anew when Lee’s Summit’s location opened. The bartenders spend 30 minutes squeezing a large quantity of lemons every morning. Definitely give this a try. It’s delicious, and beautiful in the glass as well.
My son ordered a pulled pork sandwich, while my vegetarian daughter was satisfied to enjoy some of their famous classic sides: Hickory Pit beans and cheesy corn bake ($5 ea.) as well as a plate of steamed broccoli ($5). There is a reason those beans and bake are famous.
We ended by sharing an order of the made-from-scratch Vanilla Rum Bread Pudding, three slices of deliciousness soaked in a wonderful creamy-yellow sauce. The dish reminded us all a little bit of luxurious French toast.
Jack Stack’s first “ground-up” location, the newly constructed building provides a spacious environment while still offering the luxuriously cozy and richly appointed interior with dark woods, classic beam ceilings and refined rustic ambiance one expects from this barbecue brand. The convenient location next to Target offers plentiful parking. We avoided the rush by arriving by 5 p.m. (There’s almost always a wait at Jack Stack.) They are also known for their great catering.
I’m happy to say that my children are now inducted into and fully appreciate this exceptional Kansas City institution. Welcome to Lee’s Summit, Jack Stack!