Best Thing I Ever Ate – Part 1

The Food Network has a show called Best Thing I Ever Ate where the Food Network Stars talk about the best food and where to order it.  While watching one of the episodes, my daughter and I discussed if we knew what the best thing was we ever ate. I started thinking, if someone asked, could tell them what the best food is I ever ate?  I thought, nope, can’t mention a single food as my favorite.  Since then, I’ve started coming up with some pretty dang good food.  Here is my list to date:

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ located in a gas station.

Living in Kansas City, I must mention bar-b-cue.  Top choice would have to be Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ.  The restaurant is in a gas station, right in the convenience store with a liquor store in the maintenance bay.  Most days the line is out the door, but the employees are wonderful at keeping the line going.  Seating is limited but you can find yourself sharing a table with strangers.  Prices are great, portions are big and the bar-b-cue is pants popping good.  You leave wishing your stomach could hold more and mentally going through your calendar to schedule a return date.

Mustard's rib meal served on a platter.

Another top choice would have to be Mustard’s in Des Moines.  If you are stopping in Des Moines check this local favorite eatery.  Established in 1971, Mustard’s is known for their ribs and might I say they are some dang good ribs too!  I’ve been known to hold up the line when ordering trying to decide as everything is delicious.  Reasonable prices and a great place to bring the family.  Again, large portions, fantastic sauce and everyone at your table will fight over the sugar biscuits.  I feel a road trip calling.

I do have to mention a runner up.  That would be my daughter’s ribs.  Not sure what she does but the meat falls of the bones and the flavors…ahhh.  She just turned 17 and plans to attend culinary school.  She loves to cook Italian and desserts but I think she should try her hand at bar-b-cue.  Sorry folks, the only way to taste these ribs is to stop by our house, or hire my daughter to cater.


My daughter, then 6, with our Disney servers. They were awesome!

Mashed Potatoes

– I’m a picky eater when it comes to mashed potatoes.  I’m always trying to find the best and a few years ago I did on the Disney Wonder cruise ship.  They are so fluffy, creamy and flavorful, I ordered them every night and our servers were so good they went and fetched some even if they weren’t offered on the menu.  We have been on the Wonder twice since and I’ve looked forward to the potatoes every time.  I even asked for them for dessert once and was told not a problem.  Locally the best place for mashed potatoes would be Granite City.  These are made with red potatoes and are so delicious we usually place an order to go just so we can savor them for days.  A side order is about four cups!

Happy Joe's Taco Pizza

 Taco Pizza – Probably one of my favorite things is pizza.  But not just any pizza.  I love a good taco pizza.  No one can beat (as far as I have found) Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor’s taco pizza.  Again, I have to road trip to Des Moines for the nearest location.  I actually know someone who lives here, and on their way home from visiting their parents in Iowa will call the Des Moines Happy Joe’s, order a taco pizza so they can eat it on the way home.  I grew up with a Happy Joe’s in the next town over.  Best place for a birthday party.  Once you were done eating pizza, a red light would flash on the ceiling with a siren getting everyone’s attention to sing happy birthday.  It was totally embarrassing but you wanted  to go there every birthday.  They also have some of the best ice cream sundaes.  In Kansas City my substitute taco pizza would have to be Godfather’s Pizza.  I could eat a large just on my own, it’s that good.

Award-winning Maxieburger with the famous onion strings.

Onion rings/strings

– Another food I’m picky about is my onion rings.  They have to be nice and thick and not frozen.  But my real favorite is onion strings.  No one can match Maxie’s Restaurant in Des Moines.  This neighborhood restaurant has been around for over 40 years.  A very old-fashioned restaurant, you feel like you are going back into time when you walk through the door.  Maxie’s is known for their spaghetti.  But also their onion strings.  Every time we go, we order a large plate for an appetizer (probably feeds 10) and sometimes have heated discussions if we should order a second plate.   If you look around, pretty much every table has a plate of onion strings.  But that’s just the beginning.  With your entrée, you will also receive a salad, Texas toast, a side of spaghetti AND more onion strings.  They have the award-winning Maxieburger which I love.  My husband 99% of the time orders the spaghetti, and yes, he still receives a side of spaghetti with his spaghetti.

Biscuits and Gravy – sorry folks, but so far the best biscuits and gravy I have tasted my daughter makes.  I don’t know what she does to the gravy, but I want to lick the pan.  I think other people agree since this past school year, she had to bring them to school four times for food days.  The kids kept requesting them.  A runner up would probably be Cracker Barrel.  They know how to do breakfast right and their gravy is delicious.  Which brings me to another breakfast item. 

My daughter at the stove.


– again, my daughter makes some of the best quiche.  My favorite is bacon and cheese.  Her quiche is so light and fluffy, makes you want to eat the entire quiche.  I will have to mention Blue Bird Café.  This organic café, which has a blue door but no sign, has some of the best breakfast items I have ever tasted.  If you want a breakfast with rich, wonderful flavors, then stop by this little corner café on Summit Street by downtown.

What my list has created is a desire to keep searching for the best thing I ever ate.  Recently, I came across a list of the top 10 best tacos in Kansas City.  I plan to try all 10 places and soon.  But for now, my mission is to add to my list.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat.


9 thoughts on “Best Thing I Ever Ate – Part 1

  1. Those sound like some really good places to eat! While on the road we have found some good places too. In L.A. for a great homecooked meal gotta go to “Norm’s”. You get soup & salad, your meal plus a dessert. Their breakfast is fantastic too! The prices are right too.

  2. I love reading your columns! It’s so funny that I have lived in KC all my life and never been to Oklahoma Joes. I will be checking out some of your favorite places!

    • Then we need to go there soon. You have to enjoy the gas station location, it’s so much fun! I always wonder if KC has any of the fun places like you see on Man vs. Food. They have to be out there, we just need to find them!

  3. We get pretty good taco pizza from the Casey’s General Store in Blue Springs…new discovery. We will have to have you out and get your opinion!!!!

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