Staple Foods

The Mississippi is now behind me, and with it all of the friends and relatives on whom I could lean for food and lodging. From here out it’s just like the Oregon trail. With paved roads, the internal combustion engine, and an iPhone.

After posting from Chicago I stepped out to Lou Malnati’s and got a Deluxe deep dish for dinner, operating on the same logic that led me to dine on cheesesteak in Philly and get barbeque tonight.

Yes I’m now in Kansas City, and thanks to the advice of my high school mentor and road trip enthusiast Peter Halvorson, I knew I needed to gorge myself at Arthur Bryant’s. You can see the ribs I downed in the photo below, but this doesn’t even capture the best part of the meal, which was the three varieties of BBQ sauce they serve, each better than the last.

H also suggested the Grand Emporium for some blues, which would have been a great oasis of culture amidst the barren deserts of farms and freeways, but they don’t have a live show on Sundays. C’est la vie…

On an unrelated note, I couldn’t reach the original Arthur Bryant that’s downtown before it closed for the night, and went to the one located by the riverboat casino instead. So this is almost definitely a function of my having gone to a barbeque restaurant at a casino, but let the reckless generalizations commence: Midwesterners are way fatter than coastal Americans. Their primary exports are red meat, corn, and dairy, so that makes sense, but the average weight had to be nearly a hundred pounds more than any of the other eateries I’ve visited so far.

Then again, after those ribs and whatever downhome cookin’ I get for lunch in Kansas tomorrow, I will no doubt be on my way to joining them.

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