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Missouri Barbecue Heaven: Snead’s Barbecue – Belton, MO

If you didn’t know exactly where to look, it might be awfully hard to find Snead’s Barbecue.  In an unassuming building unadorned with so much as a sign (as far as I could see), attached to a gas station down a rural road outside of Belton, MO.

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On this particular Saturday night, the parking lot was filled with cars.  Full parking lot generally equals good food, so we parked eagerly and headed inside.

The inside of the restaurant was equally unadorned.  Wood panel walls and simple, metal meeting room type chairs and fluorescent lighting made up the interior of the restaurant.  The simplicity of the surroundings was easily made up for by the fact that the restaurant was packed with local families out for a nice Saturday evening meal.

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After perusing the menu, we decided on a platter of four types of barbecued goodness and two sides which the waitress assured us would be enough to split and neither of us was left feeling hungry in the least.

I sat watching the Saturday version of nightlife in a small Missouri town, and before I knew it, our platter of pit roasted, barbecued wonder had arrived.

SO, lets get down to business and start with the base of a good barbecue meal – the sides.  The sides are like the platform for the deep, rich flavors of the barbecue to rest on.  The sides at Snead’s were fresh and full of home cooked goodness.

Keeping things simple, we ordered coleslaw and potato salad.  The coleslaw was fresh, crunchy and well seasoned, and not anything like the bland, mushy coleslaw that I normally don’t care for.

The potato salad was equally fresh and impressive, with big chunks of potatoes and not too many eggs.  It was good, but good in a deep, soul satisfying sort of way – yielding a feeling of peace and security that only real, home cooked food can produce.

Missouri Barbecue Sneads

Our plate of Brisket, beef “brownies”, pulled pork and ribs had arrived with our sides and I couldn’t wait to dig in and stab some onto my plate.

Unlike some other styles of barbecue that I have experienced, this meat came unadorned and un-sauced.  I quickly discovered that this ‘cue had more flavor under its unpretentious exterior that initially had met the eye.

The ribs were deeply smoky and fall-off-the-bone tender.  The burnt ends were perfectly crispy and charred on the outside, covering up the tender little nugget of meat at the center.  The brisket and pulled pork was succulent and the only thing that could have possibly made it better would have been another slice of bread to eat it with.

The sauce was served on the side in squeeze bottles.  It came in two varieties, regular and hot (my husband reported that the hot was actually hot).  It wasn’t the vinegary sort of sauce that I had tasted on the barbecue in Kentucky, nor was it the sugary type of barbecue sauce that is prevalent throughout many parts of the country.

This was a different entity entirely.  Tomatoey and rich, and cooked with a variety of still yet unidentified spices that melded together to accent the tender, smokey flavors in the meat without overpowering them, just as a good barbecue sauce should.

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If you are looking for some great Missouri barbecue, Sneads is located just outside of Kansas City, MO and it should be on your list!

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