Best Barbecue

Jake Edwards Bar-B-Q

It's all in the wood. Cook Wayne Robinson confesses that the meat at Jake Edwards Bar-B-Q is lip-lickety good because of the hickory. "Some places in town -- I won't name names -- use oak or oak mixed with hickory," he explains. "We're one of the few places in town that uses hickory exclusively." Hickory smoke is spicier than oak, and the meat takes on that flavor when it stews in hickory smoke for hours. Slow cooking makes the meat super tender, too, Robinson says. During the past 35 years, Jake Edwards has developed a loyal fan base. Some folks eat there every week. Out-of-towners love it, too. Jake Edwards routinely ships brisket and rib orders to places like Florida and Tennessee. And when tourists venture south of the Plaza to try a genuine Kansas City slab, they're often blown away by the taste. "We had a kid in here from Seattle a couple weeks ago," Robinson says. "I thought he was going to chew his fingers off. He said he'd never eaten anything like that in his life."

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