- Joshua Liston
Best Prime Rib Sandwich in Kansas City
My Quest For The Best
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the entire world, and it was a death sentence for some restaurants. Getting by on curbside pickup alone wasn’t going to cut it for some fine-dining restaurants. We all had our favorite places to splurge, and mine was The Parkway Social Kitchen on the Country Club Plaza—until it closed permanently in 2020.
It wasn't as extravagant as some establishments try to be. The food wasn’t overly complicated and was prepared by some of the best chefs in Kansas City. They had an amazing French dip on their menu. The meat was rare, the au jus was savory and the perfect compliment to the creamy horseradish and caramelized onions.
When I heard they were closing for good, I knew I needed to find another place with that kind of quality—and fast—so I set out to find the next best French dip sandwich in Kansas City, and I didn't stop until I found the best. Here are a few I tried along the way and how they ranked from worst to best on a scale of one to ten.
At Martini Corner on 31st and Gillham in Kansas City, Missouri, the atmosphere is a mix of nostalgia and different restaurant concepts. On one corner, there’s the former El Torreon Ballroom that I used to frequent in my days of mischief and punk rock. Now that it’s a church and I’m old enough to drink, I make my way just a few doors to the east and find myself at the Brickhouse.
It definitely has a sports bar feel to it, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I might say that it’s a little small on the inside, but that’s okay. On the back patio, popular games include bocce ball and giant Jenga. This ranked the lowest on my list at number one because, let's be honest, nobody likes paying $11 to chew on a leather belt. Okay, maybe my dog, (sorry, not sorry) but jeez—I should've bought lottery tickets instead.
Harry’s Country Club
A little further north in the River Market is the Kansas City staple known as Harry’s Country Club. As you might have guessed from the name, it definitely has a "good ol’ boys" sports bar vibe to it, with various archaic memorabilia from wall to wall.
It’s casual, but the cloth napkins make it a good option for a business lunch. It’s traditional bar food, but you might consider a burger over the French dip that’s on their menu. It wasn’t so bad. I gave this a four because it was tough and overdone. It’s still not the worst, but for $12, I was hoping for a little pink left in it.
Granite City Brewery
I’m not a big fan of chains, but Granite City Brewery is pretty good, and because it was a bit difficult to find ‘French Dips’ or ‘Prime Rib Sandwiches’ near me via a simple google search, I still had to try it. The atmosphere is about what you’d expect from a chain.
There are pieces of memorabilia scattered about the upscale dining room, and it’s obvious they were bought to add to the sports bar vibe they were so desperately trying for, instead of actually collecting the stuff like Harry’s might’ve. I’m sure the beer is delicious, and the French Dip here wasn’t bad either. I gave this a six because, for $13, it was delicious and tender but still overdone. Although I detest crinkle fries, the seasoning on them and the ideal balance of mushy to crispy were excellent.
The Beer Kitchen in Old Westport is and will always be one of my favorite restaurants. Their menu changes from time to time, and I actually get a little excited about it because it’s always good. The menu might be a little zany, but I trust this place because of the variety. This place gave me the confidence to try more recipes on my own, and I’m never afraid to try whatever is new on the menu here. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, and with a ‘Build-Your-Own Mac & Cheese’ section—how can you go wrong? There’s something for everyone here!
Coming in at a number seven, the French dip was second to the best and second most expensive I’ve had here in Kansas City. At $15, it’s still nothing to hold your nose at. It was well done, but it was super tasty and tender. The aioli, caramelized onions, and Weck bread were phenomenal when dipped into the heavy, dark au jus. It’s a lively venue with something for everyone in a convenient location, but good luck finding parking.
This is truly a hidden gem; I was shocked I hadn’t heard about it. It sits in the Crossroads district, just to the south of the bustling center of commerce in downtown Kansas City and just north of Crown Center. The vibe has an upscale speakeasy sort of vibe that’s still casual—so you won’t feel underdressed as long as you have a shirt, shoes, and pants on.
I can confidently say there’s nothing bad on the menu here. I’ll admit that I was a little intimidated by the price tag on this one, but after all, it’s prime rib. At $20, you get exactly what you pay for, and I can’t say enough great things about it. You can have it however you want, and heck, I’m convinced they might even bring it to you still breathing if you wanted it. I got it rare, and it blew my socks off.
This is THE BEST prime rib sandwich in Kansas City, and it flew off my silly ranking system at eleven. The meat melts in your mouth and mixes perfectly with the caramelized onions and creamy horseradish when dipped in their succulent au jus. Do yourself a favor and get warmed up with some appetizers. I got a free order of breaded and fried stuffed cheesy tater tots when I signed up for their email list, and I became a mustard lover after trying their pig wings. This is the ultimate place to take a date to impress, and won’t break your budget if you’re not careful.
The age-old saying holds true, folks—you really do get what you pay for—and you should always pay more when it comes to beef on a bun. The bottom line is that you shouldn't expect a prime rib sandwich or a top cut of quality beef cooked to perfection at a sports bar. There are only a handful of places to get a French dip sandwich, but were any of them good? Yes, you can say that too, but all-in-all, I found it worth the extra penny spent on the quality.
*There are a handful I didn’t mention here with worse reviews, but if you can think of a prime rib or French dip sandwich that wasn’t mentioned, let me know, and I'll give it a try—as long as it isn't Arby's. I love trying new stuff from different places.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check back for more good stuff in the future!