Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kansas City trip

I really enjoy Kansas City as a city. There is a reason I picked that as the place for my bachelor party. It is a city that has great BBQ, friendly people and a great ballpark. This was my first time in Kansas City for a Twins-Royals series and hopefully it won't be my last because another great thing about KC is that the Royals are usually very accommodating to the visiting teams. Anyway, I won't do a complete rundown of the weekend, but I will provide some rankings

BBQ rankings
1. Oklahoma Joe's -

There was an hour long wait and it was definitely worth it. This is some seriously great BBQ and deserves to be mentioned as one of the 13 places to eat before you die. I have been there twice and I have loved the food each time. For those of you who don't know this is a BBQ place on the Kansas side of Kansas City and the unique thing about it is that it is located in a gas station. I enjoyed everything I ate there and would recommend a platter so you can sample the ribs and burnt ends.

The ribs were cooked a little too long and thus fell off the bone too easily, but I really enjoyed the sauce and side items. Any BBQ place that serves fried okra gets an added bonus in my rankings. Also, the people there were very friendly in a way that would expect from Kansas City. The two friends I went with gave this high marks. Finally, the prices were very cheap at this place.

3. Gates -
Despite the locals suggestion of this place, it fell short in my mind. The BBQ was good and I enjoyed the extra kick in the sauce, but overall I wasn't all that impressed. The ribs left me disappointed as I felt like they weren't tender enough. It really was quite the contrast to compare Gates in the evening to Oklahoma Joe's the next day.

Final point - Out of my 3 times to KC I have been to all of the places above and also the famous Arthur Bryant's. I would have to put Arthur Bryant''s behind Oklahoma Joe's, but ahead of Rosedale's in my all time KC BBQ ranking.

Casino ranking - Overall it was a good weekend for all of us as we all won money.
  1. Diamond Jo's casino right across the Minnesota border in Iowa. We all decided to go to this random, small casino to test our luck for the trip. We went with the strategy of betting a lot of money and hoping for the best of a small sample size. All three of us put $20 in each for a total bet of $60. I went up first and lost 21 to 20. We walked out and decided to try out luck again. Soumen went up and lost another $60. We walked out again and then again decided to try our luck one more time with Brian. The 3rd time was the charm as we won and then won a few more hands. Overall we ended up winning $55 from this place. The reason it received #1 in the rankings was the fact that it looked like we stopped the place by betting $60 blackjack hands. The dealer was very friendly and we were pretty sure that if after talking to the pit boss he would have comped us a room in lovely Dubuque, Iowa.
  2. Harrah's in Kansas City. This was a typical big city casino, but the dealers and patrons were friendly and we all seemed to do pretty well.
  3. Terrible Casino right outside Des Moines. After our luck at Diamond Jo's we went to another casino to try our big, quick bets again. Again we did well including one bet where we had $82 on the line and doubled down to win $164 on a dramatic hand. Despite this luck I didn't like the feel of this place, the dealer or the other person sitting oat our blackjack table. Of course winning tops everything else, but unless they could guarantee wins then I don't think I would go back to this place.
Drink ranking - As a nice gesture I bought everyone who came on the trip a bottle of liquor that I thought they would like. Below are the rankings of everyone's opinion.
  1. Grey Goose - Who knew that vodka was going to be the most popular choice in what I assumed was a bunch of whiskey drinkers? All I know is that there is only a little bit of vodka left in this bottle.
  2. Ardbeg 10 year old Single Islay malt scotch whisky - This was the scotch of the year based on this whisky bible. Also, the guy at the Edina Liquor store recommended this as his favorite and something he said was much better than any of the Johnny Walkers. Both Johnny and I enjoyed this one.
  3. Jack Daniels Single Barrel - Nothing too spectacular, but a solid whiskey. I don't know if I could tell the difference between this and normal Jack Daniels. I like both, so I guess it doesn't really matter that much.
Things to do in KC ranking
  1. Kaufman Stadium - Still my favorite stadium in the MLB despite the fact that they replaced my favorite KC cheese steak sandwich with a good (but not as good) KC cheese steak wrap. Also, I didn't like how it rained for every one of the 12 innings, but I guess that isn't really Kaufman Stadium's fault.
  2. Power & Light district - It was little bit more dead than the last two times I went, but still it was pretty fun. One of my favorite memories was watching the Jazz destroy the Nuggets in Game 3 at the Maker's Mark bar with a mint julep in one hand a cigar in the other.
  3. BBQ - I think I have written enough about this, but it really is just better in Kansas City.

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