Hit the road to Kansas City. We stopped just outside of St. Louis to grab breakfast at Bob Evans. It was another pretty easy drive. Once we got into town we headed towards the 18th and Vine district to see the Negro Leagues Museum. On the way there we passed by Arthur Bryant’s (most BBQ fans know the name) so we stopped in for lunch. It was a nice solid sliced pork sandwich on Wonder Bread. The pork had a lot of flavor and the fries were tasty as well (fried in lard if I’ve read correctly).
After lunch we headed to the museum. It was pretty eye-opening to see that over 20k player participated in a variety of negro league teams, a large number seemed based around the midwest: Chicago, Indianapolis, Louisville, Cleveland and Kansas City. The Monarchs of KC had an impressive history. It did make be wonder about the price they payed once Major League Baseball became integrated. Once black players started getting signed, the talent in the negro leagues decreased until the went away completely in 1960. Many of those teams and even the leagues were black-owned and they had a lot of pride in that ownership.
There were some great throwback jersey’s for sale and I eyed a Chicago one as well as one for the Indianapolis Clowns, but I don’t think that a pudgy white-guy like myself can pull that off.
There was a half-price bookstore on the way, so we stopped there on the way to the hotel. It was probably the largest half-price bookstore I’ve seen and Jen hauled away a nice stash of books. I’m still holding back my purchases until I get through my current reading list.
After checking in we went to Oklahoma Joe’s as recommended by Anthony Bourdain in his list of 13 Places to Eat Before You Die. It is actually connected to a gas station, but the line was out the door and the smell of smoke was fantastic. The wait was worth it, it was the best tasting BBQ I’ve ever had. Everything was full of flavor. The sausage had a great smoky taste and the chicken had a great flavor as well. The ribs were extremely tasty and fall-off-the-bone tender. That was some mighty fine food. I was euphoric when we walked out of there.