When we went to Snead's Barbecue tonight, at 171st and Holmes in Kansas City, MO, my hopes were high. Snead's was re-purchased by the Snead family this past year after a disastrous run by prior ownership. My last visit was when the non-Snead family owners were in charge and the place was lackluster, at best.
Sneads sits in a standalone building next to a gas station advertising "smokes and liquor" at an intersection just south of Loch Lloyd. The restaurant had a long run as one of the better barbecue joints in a city known for this cuisine. But, as stated above, the Snead family sold the business a few years ago and the restaurant's quality declined as a result.
As we entered the wood-paneled interior, we were asked "smoking or non-smoking"--just another indication that this was not your normal restaurant. We entered the large, but spartan, dining room and perused the rather simple menu. Snead's specializes, of course, in barbecue but also offers a catfish plate as well as burgers.
We started with an appetizer plate full of fried treats--onion rings, mushrooms and mozzarella sticks. The plate arrived hot and with honey ranch dressing on the side. All three appetizers were lightly breaded and cooked just right.
For our entrees, my wife ordered a sandwich and I ordered a combination plate with beef, pork brownies (burnt ends) and ribs.
Our first "uh oh" occurred when my wife bit into a french fry and promptly proclaimed it "cold." Likewise, my beef and pork tasted as if it had been sitting out on a counter, minus a heat lamp, for a few minutes--it was lukewarm at best.
The brownies were the star of my combo plate. They were the one item which was warm, having obviously been placed last on the plate. And, they were crunchy on one side but tender and lean throughout.
Snead's offers a mild sauce and a hot sauce. The mild sauce was too sweet for our taste but the hot was quite tasty--tangy in a fashion similar to that found at Bryant's Barbecue.
To Snead's credit, they provided us with a gift card for $10 off on our next visit. Our server, who also admitted that she was co-manager, was dismayed at our feedback on the meal and was sincere in her attempts to entice us for another visit.
So, I offer up Snead's as our "dive of the week," but you'll notice the question mark in the title. With so many other high quality barbecue options in this city, we'll take a wait-and-see attitude on whether we again venture to Snead's or not.