Thrillist Names Two KC Barbecue Sandwiches in '50 Most Iconic Midwest Dishes'

Evan Lockhart/Thrillist

   While California is known for its gluten-free, vegan, healthy food options, the Midwest is on the opposite side of the spectrum with a reputation for gluttonous, cheesy, saucy, carb-loaded comfort foods. Thrillist recently combed the flatlands of the Midwest to compile a list of the 50 Most Iconic Midwest Dishes, including two dishes in Kansas City.

   Topping the list is Joe’s Kansas City's Z-Man. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Z-Man is a KC classic: Layers of beautifully marbled, perfectly sliced brisket are topped with melted provolone, crowned with crisp onion rings, and generously drizzled in Joe’s famous barbecue sauce on a toasted Kaiser bun.

The Z-Man at Joe's Kansas City BBQ - Photo by shanley cox/Thrillist


   Thrillist praised Joe’s for its brisket, saying “on its own [it] is simply perfect.” Local baseball fans believe the Z-Man is not only delicious, but its super powers were said to have sparked a winning streak back in 2013 when the Kansas City Royals were slumping.

   When it comes to tender, savory beef, some swear by staples like Gates beef on bun and Jack Stack’s Poor Russ, but Thrillist’s heart belongs to LC’s Bar-B-Q  burnt ends sandwich. “It’s just all of the fantastic burnt ends piled on one piece of white bread and topped with LC’s unique sauce” Thrillist says. While it’s a messy eat with sauce dripping down your face and fingers, LC’s has you covered with plenty of paper towels on every table.

burnt ends at lc's barbecue - photo by shanley cox/thrillist


   Other Midwestern favorites to make the cut include classics like bierocks from M&M Bierock in Wichita, Kansas, cheese curds from Kroll's East in Green Bay, Wisconsin, deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati's in Chicago, and coney dogs from Lafayette Coney Island Detroit.

   See the full list of iconic Midwestern food at