Trying to recommend the best BBQ in Kansas City is like trying to describe the best beach in Florida or the most scenic view of the Rocky Mountains. It's a very specific and personal choice. For me, enjoying BBQ includes a delicious meal and more. As a matter of perspective, let me say that I get a good feeling - right off the bat - when I walk in and see elbows on the tables and families with well-behaved kids. If you're looking for a fancy and quiet dining experience Q39 isn't your place. If, on the other hand, you want amazing and different BBQ dishes where the atmosphere and staff are pleasant and inviting, your table's waiting. Q39 has an appealing urban-industrial feel coupled with excellent table service (no order counter here). Fellow patrons are an eclectic mix of young, old, upscale, middle-income, families and couples - much like the area Q39 is a part of. My wife and I discovered Q39 in April of '14, just a few days after they opened, and became immediate fans. It obviously wasn't very busy then and the owner, Rob, came by our table to personally recommend his favorite dishes and sides. It felt that comfortable each time we returned during our extended stay in KC. Although we live three hours from Kansas City we recently decided on Q39 for celebrating our son's 21st birthday along with family ranging in age from 4 to 81. Sensing that our BBQ spot might be a bit busier now, a year later, I made reservations. A wise move it turns out - Q39 is no longer an undiscovered gold nugget in KC's stream of BBQ restaurants. It's been found and it's being embraced. I would recommend making reservations for groups of more than two or three. Our entire group had a terrific time and EVERYONE loved the food. Add twelve more "regulars" to Q39. You'd think a fast growing, "up-n-coming" place would quickly loose its original charm. Wrong. One of Rob's award-winning BBQ team members, Shawn took the phone reservation I made two days ahead. I mentioned we opted to make the three hour trek because of our early experiences. When we arrived, my family went in while I parked and then joined them at our table. My wife said that a man named Shawn met them at the door, told her he had taken our reservation and thank her for traveling all the way from Parsons. I was surprised by such a personal experience from a manager but more surprised when Shawn made a point of catching me as I was leaving to again express his appreciation for our business. If the staff of Q39 value the relationship with their customers this highly imagine how much attention they devote to the brisket!
I never write a review on a single visit so after my third time, I feel I can probably offer a pretty objective one. The first two times I visited was with my spouse. The first time we had dinner, the second we had drinks and apps on the terrace. The third time, last Friday, was dinner for a business meeting. All three times the experience was outstanding. The pre-dinner cocktails were well prepared and abundant, the food done to perfection, the wine suggested by the server on the mark (no pun intended) and the desert a sweet remembrance. On the second occasion, cocktails and apps on the terrace was equally well done. If I remember right, my wife and I ordered a cheese tray. She ordered a manhattan - Makers Mark of course- and I ordered a bombay saphire martini with three olives. Drinks were great and the cheese tray just enough to give us a pleasant satisfaction but not stuffed feeling. In all three cases, the wait staff was attentive without being bothersome. They were knowledgeable and made some great suggetions. The only drawback to the event is the decor. Am not a fan of modern decor for a restaurant that prides itself in old kentucky charm - we are talking bourbon afterall. The room is open, well lit and certainly airy but at the same time is very noisy. Nothing intimate here. All in all though, for a chain, the food is great, the staff awesome and the drinks plentifull.
Ok,Ok,Ok! I've had Bar-b-q from all over Kansas City and many other Cities, by far this is the BEST IN THE WORLD! The service is great! The way they greet you the moment you walk in the door is pure genius! Not to mention original! Think about it! "Hi may I help you! ( I think that's cute!) The food, ummmm! I have had everything on that menu,except lamb but then I'm not a lamb eater! I think the beef sandwich is off the charts! Tender and juicy if you want extra sauce on it just ask for it! I do! Last week I went to Gates for ribs but my date got the beef and a half sandwich both of us sat there like pigs eating every drop with sauce dripping off our faces onto our clothes! We ate beans coleslaw and those fat fries!!!! From the looks of the place quite a few other people think it's pretty good too! Now I've been to all the Bar-b-q resturants in KC and I compare the texture, the taste of the meats but most of all the overall consistency, Gates is pretty steadfast in that arena! I highly recomend Gate Bar-B-Q to everyone and anyone looking to receive true Kansas City Bar-B-Q!