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Pitch – Best of Kansas City 2015

Best Use of Burnt Ends
Burnt End Burger, Q39
Critics’ Choice

No matter the night, Q39 almost always has a line to the door. It’s not hard to understand why: Since opening in April 2014, this 39th Street joint has continued to impress with its endless, heaping barbeque plates and extensive menu of sandwiches, sides and shareables. But there’s one item — one gorgeous, heaven-sent offering — that keeps us awake at night with desire: the Burnt End Burger. This is a generous half-pound, oak-wood-grilled black Angus beef patty, temped at a perfect medium-rare and topped with, oh, just another heavy mound of succulent, fall-apart-at-the-touch slices of burnt ends and smothered in a balanced, thick brown-sugar-and-spice barbeque sauce. And then that’s topped with a spicy pickle slaw — because why not get more color in between that toasted, tender bun. We’re getting kind of emotional even thinking about it. Sorry, we need a moment.

Over The Pitch’s 35-year history, we’ve kept a busy calendar of muckraking, grousing and snarking in the classic alternative-newsweekly mode, an occupation that tends to be less than family-friendly. But for most of that time, we’ve also interrupted our skepticism and outrage once a year to celebrate the parts of KC life that keep us — happily — in KC. We ask for your help jogging our memories (we call this a readers’ poll, but really it’s an optimism transfusion — thank you to all who responded this year), we put our picks and yours together in this issue, and then we invite you to a big party. So in The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City issue, the names going by would include Z-Man, Bianca and Dame ’Yac. Names of sandwiches, names of pizzas, names of cocktails. Solo first names as they appear on nametags at our favorite businesses. Names like Salvy, for a certain Gatorade-splashing catcher. (Is our theme this year — Crowning Achievements — a Royals thing? Jinx! No. Maybe.) Names we’ve been swollen with for months as we assemble our annual rundown of the people, places, movers, shakers, artists, actors, writers, barkeeps, servers, chefs and other KC essentials we unabashedly adore. Old favorites. Newbies on the climb. All of them, in their way, KC regal. In this issue, we bow to them, bow to Kansas City’s best … everything.

Art director: Jeremy Luther
Photographer: Zach Bauman
Graphic designer: Ashley Tebbe
Writers: Tracy Abeln, Liz Cook, Charles Ferruzza, Natalie Gallagher, Deborah Hirsch, David Hudnall, Justin Kendall, Larry Kopitnik, Angela Lutz, Steve Vockrodt, Scott Wilson
Proofreader: Brent Shepherd
Managing editor: Justin Kendall
Editor: Scott Wilson

Advertising director: Mick Moore
Senior classified multimedia specialist: Steven Suarez
Multimedia specialists: Savannah Cox, Becky Losey, Ruby Wetzel
Production and digital coordinator: Ashley Reed

Director of marketing and operations: Jason Dockery

Publisher: Amy Mularski
Office administrator: Jessica Kittams

Model: Chelsea Leaver by arrangement with Jessica Buritsch