Don’t let the fact that one of Kansas City’s best spots for barbeque is located in a gas station deter from getting some truly wonderful fare. Yes, I said gas station—a Total to be exact. You might have to see it to believe it, but right there overlooking the liquor store next door and Mission folks paying for fuel, is one of the greatest restaurants in the town. It all stems back to 1991 when owner Jeff Stenney got the BBQ bug and bought his first smoker. After hitting the Kansas City BBQ circuit, Jeff’s “Slaughter House Five” team made their mark as one of KC’s best. After winning eight Grand Championships, including the prestigious American Royal BBQ, and the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s Grand Champion “Team of the Year” in 1993, the Stehney’s (along with Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker owner Joe Don Davidson) opened Kansas City’s version of Oklahoma Joe’s in 1996. They have been getting rave reviews ever since--Zagat National Restaurant Survey gave Oklahoma Joe's an "Excellent" rating for Barbeque in 2000. As far as award winning barbeque goes, the spice-rubbed ribs fall off the bone and melt in your mouth. A slab (which is perfect for carryout, $16.95) feeds 2-3 people, and are so amazingly tender and juicy, you might not want to share. The house specialty, the Carolina pulled-pork sandwich ($4.30 reg, large $5.20), is arguably one of the best in the city. The “Gas Station Restaurant” has gained some national notoriety as of late—famed New York chef Tony Bourdrain featured it on his “Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network and, as he scarfed down every finger licking morsel, said it was the best he had ever had. Oklahoma Joe’s is open everyday except Sunday and judging from the packed parking lot, you better hurry up and go wait in line.
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