A Cut Above: 10 Great Kansas City Steaks
by Jenny Vergara
No matter how much the food scene evolves in Kansas City, we are first and foremost a cow town. From our barbecue to strip steaks, both that bear our city’s good name, the bovine is as much a part of Kansas City’s rich culinary history, as it is a true symbol of our deep Midwestern roots.
A Little Background
In 1871, the Kansas City Stockyards boomed in the West Bottoms. This was due in part to our central location in the country, and because the trains that ran right next to our stockyards, ready to transport cattle in and out of our city limits with ease. In fact, until the Great Flood of 1951 that wiped our Stockyards out, Kansas City’s were second only to Chicago's in size.
Photo courtesy of KCHistory.org
Then, in 1899, the American Royal was born out of our love and respect for the cattle industry. “The Royal,” as it is called, lives on today with livestock shows that culminate into the American Royal Barbecue competition, which will be hosted for the first time in 2015 at Arrowhead Stadium in the Truman Sports Complex.
In fact, we are so proud of our “cow town” roots that in 2002, a long standing mascot of our bullish status, a 19 foot-long fiberglass sculpture of a Hereford bull, nicknamed B.O.B. (which stands for “bull on building”) was placed back up on a pedestal in Mulkey Square Park just across the highway from its original location on the top of the building that served as the headquarters for the American Hereford Association, which was founded in Kansas City in 1883.
Kansas City’s access to quality beef has lead to the opening of many excellent steakhouses over the years. Much like the stock market, beef continues to be an indicator of how well our economy is doing. In times of plenty, decadent steakhouses have multiplied in our fair cow town. After all, what better way to show how "flush" you are with a prospective date or business client than to take them for a fine meal at the local steakhouse.
But we love our beef no less during lean times, when our chefs may choose to serve less expensive, but more flavorful cuts of quality beef, like the popular hanger steak. When cooked properly, Kansas City knows how to enjoy all cuts of the cow . . . with a little salt and pepper, and hold the steak sauce.
So, from the old school steakhouses, to right now restaurants that know how to season and sear a prime cut, these are some suggestions on where to get a great steak out in Kansas City.