Friday, October 7, 2011

Today's fortune: October 7, 2011

Today's fortune: You are heading for a land of sunshine.

We just wrapped up Employee Appreciation Week down at the ol' widget factory. Acme Co., in order to let us know we are appreciated, has been giving us fun activities and free stuff all week, culminating in the main event today: a free barbecue lunch.

For me, if there is such a place as a "land of sunshine," barbecue is sure to be there.

Barbecue is undisputedly my favorite food. And it's no wonder, having grown up in Kansas City, the undisputed (that's right, I said it) barbecue capital of the world.

My dad is a barbecue nut as well, and he took us to all the best spots in town growing up. We were regulars at Gates Barbecue at the corner of Linwood and Main in downtown Kansas City (the same place I took Jamie to eat the day I proposed to her), and I grew to love their spicy, rich sauce. I still think it's the best thing in the world, and I love how the little peppercorns get stuck in your teeth, and later in the day, when you pick them out with your tongue, for a split-second you get that blast of Gates flavor all over again.

Dad also took us to another Kansas City institution, Arthur Bryant's at 18th and Brooklyn, which was famously called "the single best restaurant in the world" by food critic Calvin Trillin. Their sauce is much different than Gates, and not as good in my opinion, but their sliced meats and burnt ends are unmatched.

Today's free lunch was catered by Oklahoma Joe's another Kansas City favorite that's gaining popularity. I still prefer Gates, but without a doubt my favorite barbecue is free barbecue.

And there's something about barbecue and summertime, barbecue and sunshine, that go together.

So maybe there is a land of sunshine. Maybe it's my backyard, tonight, where I'm going to throw some steaks on the grill (and an eggplant steak for Jamie) and enjoy the beautiful weather and the smell of cooking meat.