The Other KC Area BBQ Restaurant with a Gas Station Attached

Historically, there has been a southward growth trend in the Kansas City metro area for the past few decades.  Somehow the area around Snead’s Bar-B-Que in Belton hasn’t appeared to change since they opened in 1956.  They are nestled on the corner of 171st Street and Holmes Rd, surrounded by farmland in every direction.  Oh, and did I mention they are Kansas City’s other BBQ restaurant with a gas station attached.  With a long

Gas Station Attached

history and the tradition of a country style family run business dating back over fifty years, what more could you ask for in a BBQ restaurant?  Walking into the main door, you step back in time.  From the pictures on the wall of Bill Snead loading his brick barbeque pit, to the collection of pocket watches, and the mounted deer head on the old walnut wood covered walls, you could get sense the warm inviting restaurant Mr. Snead envisioned so many years ago.

Original Dining Room

Saturday night, Elwood and I brought our families with us to Snead’s Bar-B-Que for our first visit.  In the interest of full disclosure, we did have Snead’s on our list of restaurants to try, but we had a different restaurant planned for this particular night.  Earlier in the day, we noticed that Snead’s started following us on Twitter. (you can follow them here: @Sneads_BBQ) They are the first local restaurant to follow us, so we decided to try them out that night instead.  We didn’t mention this to them.

Dining Room Addition

Their website has a nice little history story, and after walking through the restaurant, we were able to see how the business grew and expanded through the years.  The original dining room had much charm and character.  The old speakers on the wall playing Christmas music, along with the dark walnut wood and decor, you could tell that this is where it all began.  Walking back through the main dining room, you make your way to the first addition to the original building.  The second dining room is more open with more seating and lighting.  There are many windows and a nice brick fireplace that keeps the small town atmosphere.  Walking the other direction in the main dining room will take you into their second expansion.  This room is where we dined.  It was

Stone Fireplace

much more open and had windows as well as a large stone fireplace that was all decorated for Christmas.  This room also had a Christmas tree.  You don’t really find that in many restaurants anymore.  It all added up to a nice, welcoming environment.

Our waitress was friendly and good humored.  She was ready to take our order, but to her surprise, we had been discussing our game plan since we had sat down.  We decided to order two of the four meat combo plates.  With eight meat options and four sides, we started getting all mixed up and ended up writing it down for our own benefit.  As the waitress arrived with our drinks and was ready for our order, she was thrown back for a second when we had the entire order written out for her.  Made her job easy.


My thoughts on the food:

Note:  All meats were served dry with sauce bottles on the table.

Appetizer:  We saw that they had corn nuggets on the menu for an appetizer.  After both of us skipping lunch (and really loving corn nuggets) we decided to order some.  About thirty seconds later, they were gone.  Just delightful.  Served with ranch and horseradish sauce, the creamy, cheesy corn hit the spot.


Ribs:  They fell right off the bone.  They leave the membrane on the ribs.  I prefer it off but have heard arguments for both ways.  I remember listening to Paul Harvey years ago on the radio describe his favorite barbeque restaurant and that they leave the membrane on their ribs, cooking them membrane side down and only seasoning and mopping the top side.  They said it helped keep the flavor in the meat as it cooked and provided a more tender rib meat.  Sneads ribs sure had flavor and were tender.

Beef Brownie

Burnt Ends: Sneads calls these “Brownies.”  I understand why.  The moist, lean beef with the amazing bark of the burnt edges were packed with smoky goodness.  Each bite was consistent and just as amazing as the last.  I would put them against any other burnt end in the city.  They are possibly the best I have ever had.

Ham: They have both sliced ham and “Ham Brownies.”  I know we just said in our Smokin’ Guns review that we decided to stop wasting time with ham because it is seemingly all the same.  Well, we had to give these a try because they were such a different take.  Wow.  The ham brownies were chunked like burnt ends and packed with flavor.  They were so moist and the smoky juice

Closeup of Ham and Beef Brownies with pulled pork

oozed out with each bite.  Again, we are not huge fans of ham, but this was pretty darn good.

Chicken:  We don’t usually get chicken, or at least we haven’t been.  We decided to get the 1/4 chicken.  It fell right off the bone.  I brought my knife to the skin to slice a piece off and effortlessly removed a large sample of juicy white meat from the breast.  The chicken stored the smoke flavor well.

Pork:  This was pulled pork and once again had a great smoke flavor.  Ours was a bit fatty, but it was still tender.  The pulled pork was in larger  clumps than you may find elsewhere, which can sometimes be very finely shredded.  It was what you would expect if you pulled pork by hand.

Turkey:  Another moist meat with good smoke flavor.  They turkey went mainly to my wife again because it is her favorite, but we all got a taste before she devoured it.

Moist sausage slices compared to brisket

Sausage:  We had the sliced sausage, which was sliced long ways, again not typical from many other restaurants.  It was fairly thin and incredibly moist.  One highlight for me was the lack of fennel.  Some sausages have so much fennel that I simply don’t enjoy them.  Elwood feels the same way.

Brisket:  I don’t know if they were having an off night, but the brisket was pretty dried out.  I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they know how to cook a good brisket, partly because of the wonderful burnt ends, and for the fact that all of their other meats were most and juicy.  Elwood and I had some discussion about this and it didn’t seem to effect our overall rating much.  When I return to Sneads, I will report back on the brisket and make the final call.

Baked Beans and Coleslaw

Sides:  We had both regular and sweet potato fries.  They were both crisp.  The sweet potato fries had such a crisp to the outside that you were thrown back for a second from the blast of flavor.  The balance of brown sugary sweetness and the light saltiness brought me back for more. We also had coleslaw and baked beans.  The slaw was fresh.  Sometimes they get a bit soggy in a refrigerator, but this was so crisp that you could tell the freshness from the first bite.  It was a bit sweet and not heavily dressed.  A pretty solid coleslaw.  The baked beans are now in my top three in the city.  The chunks of smoked meat and the consistency throughout the beans, which had two types of beans – sorry I can not tell you exactly which two as I am no expert on legumes.  The recipe for these delightful beans is the original from 1956 and they smoke them in kettles in their pit.  The smoke flavor of this unique side dish is one that can beat so many restaurants in the city that you should definitely give it a try.

The Sauce:

Original Sauce (left) & Spicy Sauce (right)

They had regular sauce on the table and we asked if they had a spicy one, which they did. Our server quickly supplied us with a bottle.  They were two different worlds.  The original sauce was good and sweet but didn’t really stand out in a city of great BBQ sauces.  It’s a bit thinner than ketchup.  The spicy sauce had a unique texture with a good bite to it.  The heat came almost exclusively from black pepper.  Again, there are better spicy sauces out there.   I tried to mix the two together, but to me they still tasted like two different sauces.  Of the two sauces, I prefer the original.


The Hard Data:

Location: 17101 Holmes Rd.  Belton, MO 64012

Service Type: Table service

Alcohol Served: Boulevard wheat on tap



Sandwich: $5.99

Combo Plate: $12.99

Slab: $18.95

Sides: $1.99

Desserts: $3.99-4.99



Jake Rating

Elwood Rating
















Overall Grade




Jake’s Take:

I had no idea about Snead’s until we started putting together the list of restaurants for our blog.  This experience is exactly why we have  I would encourage anyone to give Snead’s a try.  For the majority of the city, this would be a destination restaurant.  It turns out that I’m about a twenty minute drive, so Snead’s will likely go into my normal barbeque restaurant rotation. I walked out of there paying $25 for myself and my wife.  The value is high based on the amount of good food we got and the experience. The quality of food, coupled with the atmosphere and beef brownies is enough to keep me coming back.

Elwood’s Take:

Like Jake, Snead’s was completely off my radar prior to compiling the list of places to visit for this blog.  Also, like Jake, this visit confirmed to me  this little blog was a good idea if for no other reason than it forces me to try new BBQ joints, and in many cases find hidden gems like Snead’s.  I found the food really tasty and it was definitely good enough to warrant another 25 min drive.  Snead’s is a great place for both locals who may not have ventured that far South for good BBQ or if you want to impress some out of town guests with an absolutely fantastic off the beaten path kind of place.


Snead's Bar B-Q on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “The Other KC Area BBQ Restaurant with a Gas Station Attached

  1. Pingback: Banking on Barbeque | No Bull BBQ – A Kansas City BBQ Blog

  2. Pingback: New Location, Same Great Taste | No Bull BBQ – A Kansas City BBQ Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.