Photo by Diana Percy
Thirty-ninth street. Home to some of my favorite restaurants in all of KC such as Jazz, d’Bronx, Friends Sushi and Genghis Khan. But this past weekend, I added another 39th street eatery to my list: KC Smoke Burger.
At first glance, the building looks like it used to be a tattoo parlor that was taken over by a cheap, sketchy Chinese buffet. There’s an area in front that looks like it should be a patio, but the solitary faded umbrella leaning against the metal gate suggests otherwise. I had been told this place was incredible, but so far I was not impressed.
Walking in, I noticed the only picture of any sorts was an advertisement for a local hookah bar. The walls were bare besides a thick coat of glossy red paint and a cityscape of downtown KC. I was soon welcomed by an enthusiastic waitress behind a black painted brick bar.
After sitting down in one of the many long, red booths, I was feeling a little on edge about what quality of food I’d really be getting. The broad appetizer list ranged from hummus and pita to chili cheese fries. We started off with the chili cheese fries and onion rings; both plates were practically licked clean within 30 seconds. I had never had fries smothered in chili and cheese more flavorful than the ones there, and the onion rings were cooked to perfection.
Finally we got down to it. After looking through the 18 different types of burgers and gyros offered, I decided to go with the Signature Stuffed Burger. The description of the burger jumped off the page at me:
“Our smoke burger stuffed with your choice of any cheese and your choice of any of our toppings.”
I got my burger stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with bacon and barbecue sauce. Now that’s a burger I can scarf down. After our waitress walked back to the kitchen, I sat in the red booth anxiously waiting for the supposed “best burger in KC.” as my friend had described it.
As soon as our burgers came out, I could smell the mix of cheese, fries and that distinct, juicy fragrance of a good burger. Not only did the burger smell good, but the presentation was even better. The buns had a large “KC SB” crisply burned into the top and the fries were a perfect golden brown.
My first bite into the stuffed burger was heavenly. As were the next 50. The barbecue sauce oozed out the back and the cheese strung out with each bite. It took me a mere 15 minutes to eat the seemingly five pound burger.
The burgers were a little pricey for a broke high schooler like me, $12 for my burger. But for the quality, the extra money was worth it. The KC smoke burger is the best burger I have ever sunk my teeth into. If you’re in need of a really good burger and aren’t afraid of paying a tad extra, your number one choice should be KC Smoke Burger.