728 Massachussets Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
I love Lawrence. It's gorgeous, the people are friendly, and it's only about a half hour from Kansas City, one of my favorite cities in America. However, I've never had much luck with food there. Several years ago my friend and I ate at an Old Chicago and we both felt like crap the rest of the night. On this most recent trip, I asked a guy at a gas station for a barbecue recommendation, and he enthusuasticly replied "Oh, man, you gotta go to Vermont Street. It's the best I've ever had." Seeing as how he is so close to some of the best restaurants in the world, this seemed like quite a statement. I see now that he probably has never eaten barbecue in Kansas City.
The people at Vermont Street BBQ were very friendly, and their mustard barbecue sauce was good. That's about all the compliments I can give. The pork on my sandwich was dry, there was not very much of it, and it was served on hard bread. I thought maybe that was a joke, like maybe they serve their day-old bread as a garnish, but after a few minutes I realized that actually was the bread they intended me to eat. My fries were limp and the slaw was drowned in a much-too-sweet dressing. My friend's hot links tasted like a steamed hot dog; not exactly a bad thing, but not what I was expecting in a bbq joint just west of Kansas City.
Maybe they can get away with this kind of stuff because they're in a college town. The prices were good. But I seriously doubt they could compete with the big boys in Kansas City.