Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gates Bar-B-Q

1026 State Ave
Kansas City, KS 66102
Open Sun-Thur 10-12am, F-Sat 10-1am

The smokey smell wafting over the parking lot was appetizing as we walked up to the door. Upon entering, the cashier yells "Hi, may I help you" in a gesture that's meant to be hospitable but ends up sounding more like an impatient command. We had to order quickly before we were passed over for more experienced customers.

I've ordered BBQ from hundreds of menus, so I was confident I could handle it here. One thing I was ignorant of at Gates is that a "mixed plate" contains three types of predetermined meat (brisket, ribs and ham), so when I asked for burnt ends, brisket and ribs, what I got was an order of each along with the mixed plate.

Ham was processed and salty. The ribs were better, but the salty rub combined with the incredibly salty sauce worked together to form an efficient dehydrating concoction. My lips were actually chapped after eating here. The beef here was thinly sliced, as is the KC norm. It had little flavor because all of the crust had been removed to create an imitation version of burnt ends. You see burnt ends are actually the fatty ends of the brisket that has received a considerable crust. These ends are cubed up and sauced to create burnt ends. The dish at Gates was really just the entire crust of the brisket shaved off, mixed with fatty chucks of meat and chopped together. This made for a salty mixture of flavorful meat that had a mealy texture rather than the preferred crispiness. All of this sat atop a cold flavorless bun.

Only a side of fries was sampled, and they were hot and crispy with plenty of salt. The fries were great, but not much else was including their three versions of sauce - original, hot, and sweet. They were all, you guessed it, too salty. Hopefully, Gates was just a meager introduction to the KC style. If not, we were in for a long and dreadful weekend for our palettes.

Rating **
Gates Barbecue on Urbanspoon


BP said...

I also was a little bit diappointed by Gates from a purely barbecue perspective. What I mean is - the meats themselves were not very impressive. I will say that the "beef sandwich" that I had was tasty, but I think that had more to do with the overall cohesiveness of the sandwich - beef, white bread, and an excellent zesty hot sauce - than with the quality of the meat. The best things that I had there were probably the sides. You mentioned the fries, which were good, but the baked beans were some of the best I've ever had. But hey - judging a barbecue restaurant on its side items is like judging a sports car on its cupholders, right?

I love your site, by the way. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Its pretty pathetic when the best item at two of the so-called "great" BBQ joints in KC (Bryants and Gates) is their FRENCH FRIES.

Just another crappy KC joint that buries below avg BBQ under an ocean of sauce. JR


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.