Daisy Bateman


I only had one clear plan on coming to Kansas City (aside from attending the weddings, which was kind of assumed) and that was to have some barbecue. I even brought my copy of Roadfood, but I didn’t end up needing it. Because Lisa informed me that the place to go was Gates, and the thing to order was “barbecue beef in a bun.” She also warned me to be ready when I got there, because they ask you right away for your order. She wasn’t kidding.

I went to dinner with Ben and Beverly, who got in this afternoon and were the only other people I know here who aren’t at the rehersal. Also they had a rental car and enjoy barbecue, so that worked out well.

We found the place thanks to Ben’s fancy talking gps phone and sure enough, as soon as we were through the door the woman behind the counter called, demanded, really, “Hi, can I HELP you?” She said the same thing, the same way, to everyone who came in, a kind of combination of service and bullying. Thoroughly intimidated, I stammered out my beef/bun order, which she turned around and dreamed to at the kitchen. Somehow I also managed to acquire a root beer and pay. Ben and Beverly got a large plate of meat with a side of beans. I would estimate that, between us we had approximately eight and a half million calories. Good thing I worked out today.

If you’re interested (and I know you are) Kansas City barbecue seems to be a beef-heavy affair, with a sauce that is thinner and less sweet than your standard potato chip flavor, with a distinct spiciness and a tendency to get all over your hands. It was, in your high-class foodie parlance, tasty.

After dinner we went to get frozen custards.

1 thought on “HI CAN I HELP YOU”

  1. Calvin Trillin always extolled the barbecue at Bryants and I always figured I would head there first and ask for the burned bits if I ever went to Kansas City but maybe that is the other Kansas City.


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