The 600-Mile Sandwich

I recently drove 600 miles for a sandwich.

I know, I know, that sounds crazy. But once, I drove 900 miles for a sandwich…which makes 600 miles sound almost-sane.

I’ve been to Kansas City before, but  never really had the opportunity to get properly acquainted with their world famous BBQ.

Rachel, grew up in Kansas, and has a “been there, done that” approach to beef, making it hard for me to wrestle up the carcass-fest I’ve been dreaming of.

Finally, I had my way. We were going to be in Manhattan, Kansas (the Little Apple) and since we weren’t going to get any closer to KC, I finagled a quick, 600-mile side-trip to try Oklahoma Joe’s “Z-man.”

We heard the legend of OK Joe’s from every single Kansan we spoke to — their stories varied, but the same points were always there:

1) Go to Oklahoma Joe’s
2) I went there today/yesterday
3) It’s on Anthony Bouidan’s (or often, that guy, what is that guy’s name, oh god, it’ll come to me) “13 Places You Must Eat Before You Die List”
4) It’s in a gas station
5) Get the “Z-man” — smoked brisket, provolone (I know right!?), onion rings and BBQ sauce on a sweet golden bun

We rolled into Kansas City about 5pm. Rachel wanted us to call in our order to avoid the often hour-long wait. I called and they said they  weren’t busy right now. “A sign from above?” I wondered aloud.

We found the gas station, parked, ordered and then entered what could only be described as an LSD-induced trance in a pool of BBQ sauce.

Heaven! Perfect ribs, the best beans in the world, and Oh that “Z-man,” holy crap! My tongue was doing cartwheels.

We got in our car, I looked at Rachel, then to the heavens “Lord, Take me now!”

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