By Matt Rimer
By name, burnt ends sound like something to be thrown in the trash — but those in Kansas City, Mo., and the surrounding area treasure these scraps of meat like gold. True barbecue-ers and pitmasters know burnt ends for what they are — the charred tips of smoked beef brisket that are blackened and crispy on the outside while tender and juicy on the inside. While Missouri has a number of great burnt ends restaurants, only a few are hailed as the elite.
While the dry white bread that garnishes the dish at Arthur Bryant’s is plain and tasteless, their burnt ends are spicy and crisped to perfection. As one of the oldest barbecue stops in the city, this place is worth checking out.
While its name, and perhaps its atmosphere, sound like a high-end nightclub, at the end of the day Q39 excels at making a good old-fashioned plate of burnt tips and coleslaw.
In contrast, L.C.’s doesn’t emphasize the fancy — their paper plates and dive atmosphere certainly are not why patrons come back every week. Rather, their peppery ends and seasoned French fries flame their unceasing allegiance.
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
Fiorella’s, while largely a commercial barbecue chain, excels above the others in one field — diversity. Not only are their burnt ends made from the usual brisket, but they also offer sausage and ham ends as well.
Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue
As is the case with many restaurants in the heartland of the United States, Oklahoma Joe’s is situated inside of a gas station — an old Shamrock to be precise. Joe’s strives for simplicity above all else with their crispy, juicy, fatty burnt ends.