I haven't been to Gates in years, and when a buddy wanted to go there for lunch, I gave an inner groan. Don't get me wrong, I always used Gates as a control if you will, when it comes to KC BBQ. Somewhere in the middle. The meat's okay, the sauce is so-so. Everybody else is either better or worse.
We went to the "original" location at 1325 East Emanuel Cleaver Blvd. It was clean and I didn't get yelled out immediately when I came in. Good start. The menu's a bit confusing for the uninitiated, and Gates has a long tradition of the ladies behind the counter screaming "MAY I HELP YOU?!!!!"
I ordered a beef sandwich, BECAUSE THERE WERE NO BURNT ENDS. No burnt ends at a BBQ place. Yes, they have them at other locations, but really?
$11. That's what I paid for a sandwich and a drink. No sides. $11.
My friends that ordered sides walked out paying almost $20. Twenty bucks for so-so BBQ? To quote Rudy Ray Moore, "Bitch, are you for real?"
The dining room was clean, the server very attentive and helpful. The food was, as I hoped against all hope being great, was just okay. There were a few other customers. I remember when the place was packed, but now that I know it's almost $20 to eat lunch, I understand why people aren't flooding in. I don't pay that much at a decent sit down restaurant.
2 spoons. That's all.