Finding Barbecue Sandwich Heaven With The Big Boys

Kansas City is a barbecue mecca, it’s been recognized as the Barbecue Capital of the world with the highest concentration of barbecue joints in America. It’s also home to the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque. They are the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts, sanctioning 500+ barbeque contests annually. So they know barbeque. And, a good BBQ Sandwich!

On a cold night in January, Sandwich America® had the amazing opportunity to grab dinner with two members of the KCBS Board of Directors. They suggested one of their local favorites, Q39, for dinner, and who are we to argue with those who know barbecue best?!?

Q39 is the love-child of Rob Magee a classically-trained chef who got hooked on barbecue after moving to Kansas City. He turned his love of food and cooking into an award-winning competitive BBQ team called Munchin Hogs.

Over a ten year span, he won numerous awards (now on display at the restaurant). His passion for fire-cooked meats comes alive today at the restaurant courtesy of a pair of state-of-the-art, five hundred pound stainless steel hickory fired smokers.

His from-scratch philosophy to America’s Cuisine comes across in every dish…and the aroma when walking in is amazing and makes the usual wait all the more difficult.

Q39 Menu
Q39 Menu

BBQ Sandwich or Burger?

The menu features a variety of delicious sounding and looking BBQ sandwiches, including:

  • The Triple Threat: sausage, pulled pork, pork belly, apple coleslaw, and zesty BBQ sauce on a toasted bun.
  • Mr. Burns: cubed burnt ends, chipotle BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese, onion straws piled high on a toasted bun.
  • Short Rib Griller: pulled short rib, provolone, caramelized onion, mushrooms, and smoked beef jus on toasted bread.
  • Munchin’ Hogs Apple Brined Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich: Enough said.
  • Brisket Burgers: A variety of burgers, made from brisket and certified Angus beef.
Mother's Makes a Mean Po' Boy

The Best of Both Worlds

We decided to go for the Burnt Ends Burger. For those of you not familiar with burnt ends, they have been described as “nuggets of BBQ gold”.  Originally, cast away as nothing more than oddly-shaped, highly seasoned ends of the sliced brisket, today these could be that – or chunks of brisket cut exclusively to be re-smoked and seasoned. Either way…yum!

The ‘burger’ for the Burt Ends Burger is crafted from USDA-certified, oak-wood grilled, Black Angus beef, lovingly placed on a toasted bun. The burger is then topped with sliced burnt ends, a spicy pickle slaw (including jalapenos) and Q39’s classic sauce. This is a hefty sandwich that looks as beautiful and substantial as it is delicious and (dare we say, messy).

The meat really stands out at Q39. Their brisket is smoked for 6 hours then wrapped and finished in gas ovens for maximum moisture retention. This helps not only with the moistness of the meat, it also delivers a great texture and super intense flavor. With the burnt ends, in particular, the flavor is slightly spicy yet tangy which adds a wonderful dimension to the burger (tasty in its own right).

Rob Magee is building a barbecue empire in Kansas City with many loyal fans and we see why. Q39 is on its way to destination status. Next time you are in KC, check them out…and tell them we sent you.




1000 W 39th Street

Kansas City, MO 64111

(816) 255-3753

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