KANSAS CITY, MO — As Cincinnati Bengals fans head to Kansas City, Missouri for Sunday night’s AFC Championship game against the Chiefs, there will be plenty of places for fans to get food, especially good barbecue.
>>PHOTO: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Brandon Lewis of News Center 7 spends Fridays at Joe’s Kansas City BBQ, a popular lunchtime spot. He’s even busier with Bengals fans in town.
“We were very surprised last year,” said Eric Tadda, director of marketing at Joe’s. “We thought the red and orange would mix, but there was a lot of orange. They travel really well. The ‘Who Dey Nation’, as they say, is out.
Lewis was at Joe’s original location, known for being at a gas station but also tasty barbecue-like chicken and ribs.
One of the most popular items on the menu, the Z-Man. It’s slow-smoked beef brisket with smoked provolone cheese and onion rings on a toasted Kaiser bun.
“On a weekend where we have Bengali fans, we’ll probably sell 300-500 at each venue,” Tadda said. “Throughout the year, we will sell more than a quarter of a million sandwiches.
>>‘We have a team we can believe in;’ Several local fans head to KC for the Bengals playoff game
He says Lewis people come to Kansas City to expect good barbecue and Bengals fans were excited to be there last year but didn’t expect to beat the Chiefs.
“Last year it was more of a party atmosphere,” she said. “Now that they’ve beaten the Chiefs three times, I feel like they’re coming here with the expectation of going to the Super Bowl.”
He hears Bengals fans are traveling with the expectation of being in the pits in Arizona.
Who does Tadda think will win?
“I think it will be a close match,” he said. “I can’t go against Patrick Mahomes.”
>>PHOTO: Smoke N Seoul Food Truck
Lewis also visited the Smoke N Seoul food truck in Kansas City.
“What we do is Kansas City BBQ, so it’s like the smoking part and then ‘Seoul’ is Korean food,” said Greg Stears, owner of Smoke N Seoul food truck. “So it’s kind of a story of my wife and I through food. So my wife is Korean so we have a lot of Korean flavors infused into all of our dishes.
Some of their most sought-after barbecues are their brisket and ribs.
“Our ribs, what we do is smoke them in an offset smoker, all of our smoke is in an offset smoker and then we smoke them and then we take them in the truck,” he told Lewis. “Then we’ve seen them made to order and then we grill them so they have this nice char on them so there’s two different sauces. One is hotter and one is sweet.”
This is a city where you won’t go hungry if this is the type of food you are looking for.
“Kansas City is barbecue,” Stears said. “So, like you come here and that’s what you need to get.”
Cincinnati and Kansas City will play Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for a trip to the Super Bowl.
>>News Center 7’s Brandon Lewis is with the Bengals to cover the AFC championship game in Kansas City
News Center 7 will have coverage of the Bengals and Chiefs before kickoff.
This includes the Orange Zone Sunday morning, January 29, at 11:30 with John Bedell and Larry Hansgen.
Lewis will also provide live coverage from Kansas City.
Kick-off scheduled for 6.30pm
The winner advances to Super Bowl XLVII to play San Francisco or Philadelphia February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.