I know it's famous already, but I wanted to pay homage to Oklahoma Joe's. I went there for my first time recently and it was a pretty unique experience.
The first thing to note about Oklahoma Joe's is that it's one of those places that is about the food, not the ambiance.
It's definitely a place where people come simply to chow down on delicious BBQ at a pretty reasonable price. Oklahoma Joe's is self-serve, and plastic and paper plates all the way. They do however give their customers real glasses to drink out of and real utensils to eat with. Not that I needed utensils, but it's nice not to have to worry about prongs breaking off of a fork or knife breaking in half.
The second thing to note about Oklahoma Joe's is that it is perhaps that most operationally efficient restaurant I have ever seen in my life. Chipotle had previously earned that title with me, but after this experience everything changed. There were perhaps 50 people in the line in front of us, 50 people behind us (who had all arrived there within 2 minutes of us), and we were served within 10 minutes! I would not hesitate to compare the line with a symphony orchestra - once are order was taken at one end of the kitchen, we walked a few steps down the line to arrive at the end of the kitchen counter, to pick up our food and pay. Everyone in the kitchen worked so harmoniously together that the food arrived at practically the exact moment we signed the credit card bill. It was quite miraculous, and upon observing other people in the line it looked like they were continuously meeting this sparkling finale of exact precision. Pretty awesome that not one customer had to wait around for their food!
Finally, I should of course mention the food. The ribs were awesome - lovely smokey flavor, tender, juicy and falling off the bone. The french fries were great too because they were super hot and seasoned with seasoning salt which I think makes fries taste delicious. Their pulled pork was pretty tasty too. The beans and gumbo were okay, but not my favorite. It's really about the pork at this place I think, and I sure ate plenty of it... all for the bargain price of about $10 per person, and that's with a beer too.
If you are passing through Kansas City, don't miss this operational marvel and superb ribs. It's worth a little detour. The only question I am left with is wondering how many people they serve in a day - I bet it could easily be over 1000...