In the early 1920s, a man named Henry Perry, "Father of KC Barbecue," moved inside a streetcar barn at 19th & Highland in Kansas City and started barbecuing in an outdoor pit. Perry served up slabs of meat wrapped in newspaper. The nationally renowned Charlie and Arthur Bryant, George Gates, Otis Boyd, John Harris, and Sherman Thompson all learned Perry's technique and style, then each went on to create their own unique blend of Kansas City barbecue.
One of Kansas City's most famous barbecue joints began with the efforts of the Bryant family. When Charlie Bryant retired in 1946, his brother Arthur bought the business, operating first out of the original 18th & Euclid location and then moved to its present location at 18th & Brooklyn. The legend of “King Arthur” has now risen to new heights. Renowned food critic and The New Yorker columnist Calvin Trillin once wrote that Bryant's is “the single best restaurant in the world.”
Today, there are more than 80 barbecue establishments in KC, each boasting its house specialty — ribs, pork, ham, mutton, sausage, and even fish. Kansas City barbecue is always slow-smoked over wood (usually hickory) for up to 18 hours to obtain that one-of-a-kind flavor. Each restaurant has developed its own recipe for sauce, too, which is added right before serving.
— Derek Klaus, VisitKC.com