Visited KC for the first time and did some checking around. The only place that didn't have any negative feedback was a place called Haywards, so I bit. After landing at the airport I made a beeline south. I started to suspect foul play when I found Haywards surrounded by expensive neighborhoods and corporate parks.
Now I understand everyone is passionate about their area's "Q", but the BBQ didn't impress me. In fact, it was a real letdown. I didn't smell any smoke when I got out of the car, so that should have been my first clue.
I ordered a full rack of ribs and a plate of what they called burnt ends and sausage. The meat came slathered in a sauce that could best be compared to ketchup mixed with vinegar and maybe a little brown sugar. (By the way, if I want sauce on my BBQ, that should be MY option). The meat had no flavor of its own and tasted as though it had been roasted in an oven vs. slow smoked. I also ordered beans and onion rings as sides. The beans were matched with the same sauce. The rings were akin to something that you'd get at Burger King. It was just really nasty food regardless of style.
Now I will admit that I am from Texas and I like Texas-style slow-smoked barbeque , but I have eaten ribs at Corky's in Memphis and been in rib nirvana. I've had pulled pork sandwiches in the Carolinas and salivated like a big dog. The bottom line is good food is good food whereever you go. Unfortunately, my business trip schedule will not allow me to sample more of the Famous KC style barbecue, (unless Famous Daves in Manhattan is worth it), but I hope for the sake of reputation, there is better "Q" in the KC area. Haywards gets a thumbs-down