Friday, May 09, 2008

Tornado and the Perfect Pig-sicles

I know that the title of this posting sounds like the name of the one and only punk band in Reagan-era Alabama. I couldn't help myself. Today I am traveling east from a town (inappropriately named Liberal) in the farthest corner of southwest Kansas to Columbia, Missouri, today. It's a "working" vacation. You know how that goes ...

One of the towns we passed was Greensburg, Kansas. You may have heard of it in the news. It is the little town on Highway 54 that very nearly got erased by a monster tornado last year. President Bush has been out here to visit a couple of times. The last time I saw this town was before the storm. Back then it was another nondescript farming hamlet on the prairie. Here's what I saw today.

As I took these pictures, I saw other people in their cars with tags from other states busy snapping pictures as they drove through town. I also saw the faces of the people of Greensburg, tired of their town being on display, tired of doing without, tired of just being tired. It was the same look I'd seen on faces in Oklahoma after the terrible May 3rd tornado. There's just no way to really grasp such utter devastation. Then I saw this tree.

Almost all the trees in town are like this - sheared off where their canopy once was. This Spring those that could, and that was most of them, leafed out and got on with the business of living. There is a lot of growth and renewal in this town that my pictures don't show. This town is going to survive. It's a testament to the people and I wish them all the best in their continued efforts.

A lot further down the road, around dinner time, we had to pull into this place.

I am pretty sure that LC's is flatly the best BBQ place in all of Kansas City.

LC's Bar-B-Q
5800 Blue Parkway
Kansas City, MO 64129
Phone: (816) 123-4484

The place is really, really small. Expect a crowd. Expect awhile to get your order in. The portions are HUGE! Underneath all this food is a table - and that is all. It really does cover the whole table.

We got a slab of ribs and a mixed plate of pork and beef. The meats have a beautiful black glaze from the smoking process. The ribs come out looking like pork popsicles (pig-sicles). You can really taste all the effort and care that goes into each of these big meaty handfuls. It comes from the hardwood that is stacked in the back of the place until it's time for a little smokehouse magic. LC's makes its own sauce that is slathered onto the meats, which include beef, pork, turkey, chicken, ham and some more. That sauce is spicy, a little hot and a perfect mate for the earthy richness of the food.

If you ever visit Kansas City, you really need to visit LC's. It's just off the interstate and easy to find.


Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

First things first: Thanks for your comment on my post about the restaurant with the jail cells in the basement. The name of the restaurant is Terroni. There are a couple of locations in Toronto; the one I visited is at 57a Adelaide Street East (a little east of Yonge Street).

Now, regarding your post: First of all that is an extremely clever title you've given it. It really *does* sound like a Reagan-era punk band!

Even though I'm in Canada, I do remember (slightly) hearing about the tornado in Greensburg. Such a shame. A devastating fate for a town and its citizens. No wonder they are so tired...can you imagine how much work it is to clean up and set things in order again. And have people passing through and watching you as you are doing it...they may need to eat a lot of BBQ to keep up their strength...and where better to do that the the incredible restaurant you describe. How I'd love to sink my teeth into all that somky meaty goodness you've written about....that is one thing that my city lacks; good old American style BBQ restaurants. (Big sigh).

I'm glad Mother Nature is taking care of the trees, by the way.

Enjoy your stay in Toronto! Be careful if you go to the CN Tower; I had my pocket picked there a few years back, and the thief made off with my credit card which he/she lost no time in running up! I hope you and your wife have a great trip here!

Mrs4444 said...

First, thanks for your very funny comment today (Which Mom Are You?). You are always good for a LOL, and I love it when you pop in.

Second, I'm glad you posted this today, as I knew about the delay in Katrina stuff (who doesn't), but I didn't realize that was part of a pattern. It's just wrong, and I feel kind of helpless about it. I'm glad you plugged that restaurant, too. You are making a difference in this world :)

Maria said...

Tornadoes are so damn scary. I was born in Iowa and now live in Nebraska. We understand them. We don't understand them, but we sure as hell respect them.

And once you find good have to share it. There is a little place in Omaha called Hartland BBQ that is simply the best and like most good barbeque joints, it is tiny. AND it is in a questionable neighborhood. But...ooooohhh. That taste lingers...

Eva said...

Hey. Great post, and very touching. I felt like I was tagging along on your road trip. And now I'm hungry for ribs.

Leah said...

That BBQ looks just sublime. NYC doesn't really have bbq (at least none that I've discovered!), and it's one of the things sorely lacking. Ha ha, "pigsicles"!

Very moving photo-essay on Greensburg. That tree is just a beautiful metaphor for survival...

Kärt said...


Thank you for your comment on my blog. It was so... well, I felt flattered. :)

The town looks sad. And I feel for those people. But as E.Hemingway said
"But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated."
I also belive like you, that those people are going to survive. And I wish them luck.

Those plates full of meat look like...they look like nothing I've ever eaten. :) But I'm not a big meat eater anyway.

I really like your blog. :)

Ron Simpson said...

In June of last year, I drove through Greensburg on the way to Denver to see the Police concert. It was about a week or more since the tornado. It was utter devestation. The tornado was as wide as the town. You could see the path of destruction. There was a ball of tractor attachments that had rolled about a quarter mile from the John Deere store. I have pictures somewhere. It was like God had aimed the tornado at the town. One either side of the town, everything was standing. The town had very little left standing.