Opening a new barbecue in Kansas City is always risky business. With over 100 competitors already churning away, you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle. It’s like competing in the American Royal BBQ Contest every day. When a friend clued us in on a newcomer in North Kansas City, we just had to test it out. F325 BBQ sits just off Burlington & Armour at 1825 Buchanan St. Our first visit was a trial run and the results demanded an immediate return. With our appetites in full bloom, we descended on this new hot spot to check out their “A” game.
New Player in Town
This new player is tucked away off the main drag but it hasn’t prevented people from finding them. Like they say, “Good news travels fast.” Our day had already been filled with repeat performances. Checking out the revamped Truman Library had filled our morning. Feeling lucky, we pushed it and also made a return to the National WWI Museum. Now we were starving and ready to chow down on some smoky goodness. We had chatted with owner James Huey on our first visit and could feel his passion for bringing his BBQ pit to life.
The Secrets Out!
On any given day, diners can sample BBQ from a multitude of Kansas City restaurants. The majority carry on the KC tradition of low and slow cooking. The dry rubs work their magic, as smoky dry heat fills the pit. There are twists and turns introduced by each in one way or another. F325 BBQ brings theirs through a Carolina-style sauce served up with some delectable meaty choices. A variety of tasty sides lets the owners showcase their creativity. A packed house proves that in just six months the news about their delicacies has spread.
The menu at F325 BBQ is extensive but our test run had already helped us with our decision. Ordering a two-meat and a three-meat plate meant that we could sample five of their options, as well as adding four sides. They also toss in a mini-cornbread muffin on each plate. Crystal’s 2-meat pulled in brisket and pulled pork into our dinner equation. Here was a good chance to sample the sauces. The standard sauce has the vinegar-based tang found in North Carolina barbecue.
My 3-meat was filled with ribs, burnt ends, and turkey. All brought a rich smoky flavor but I surprisingly found the turkey to be my favorite. It was so juicy that I just couldn’t stop nibbling. I’m sure I probably ate more than my half. Our server asked if we’d like to tempt the spicy version and we did so with reservation. Neither of us are huge fans of heat and this thick pasty concoction had plenty to offer. Before long, we’d both found our favorites and settled in for the long haul.
To keep from getting the “meat shakes”, we dove into the amazing side dishes. F325 BBQ has found a way to add a twist to each. From their sweet and smoky Baked Beans to the tangy spinach-artichoke sauce on the Mac & Cheese. Their Coleslaw has the added bite of Granny Smith apples that helps create a sweet and sour rollercoaster of flavors. There was one side dish that seemed more fitting for a dessert menu. The Whiskey Sweet Potato Casserole brings layers of taste and texture in each mouthful. Looks like we wouldn’t need an ice cream run after this visit.
F325 BBQ Brings Their “A” Game
The true test of any barbecue joint requires time. The bane of many pitmasters has been consistency. Our visits to F325 BBQ took place about a week apart but the flavor was just as good both times. It looks like James is on his way to great success as a Kansas City restauranteur. Time will be the real judge but we will certainly be dropping in at times to see how things advance. We’re pretty sure that he’s got the right attitude and heart to become another Kansas City legend. It’s great living in a city that inspires such devotion in each new generation.