Six years ago when I first visited Kansas Speedway for an IZOD IndyCar Series race, there was a McDonald’s and the racetrack’s yellow-blue checkerboard seats. That’s about it. Want BBQ? Drive to KC (Masterpiece in Overland Park; also the abbreviation for Kansas City, Mo., about 25 minutes away).
Today, despite the continued sluggish economy, acreage at the confluence of I-70 and I-435 in Wyandotte County continues to be red hot with retail, entertainment and restaurant development.
The latest structures being erected are an 18,000-seat stadium for the Wizards of MLS just off France Family Drive (positioned nicely near the massive Cabela’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart and family-themed water park Great Wolf Lodge) scheduled to open in 2011 and a 100,000-square-foot casino/hotel complex that will overlook Turn 2. Starting in 2012, maybe you’ll be able to place a wager on the race while you’re watching it live.
The Wizard stadium under construction
When seeking dinner suggestions in Birmingham, there are quality options to cover every day of the year.
Opinions about BBQ, though, are as numerous as restaurants. It seems everyone has their favorite – from Mom and Pop’s such as Miss Myra’s Pit Bar B Q to a swankier sauce experience (where the napkins are linen). “Have you tried?” a member of the Bruno Event staff at Barber Motorsports Park responds to an inquiry, only to be met with “No, I have a better place” by a member of the Zoom Motorsports promotion group.
This weekend, being the fourth visit to the city and Barber Motorsports Park, our travel group has hit a cross-section – from the quintessential Dreamland (with a loaf a white bread plopped in the center of your table; on a plate, of course) to the Full Moon (with its slogan “The Best Little Pork House in Alabama”).
Ribs from Dreamland BBQ
Regional variations abound, and Birmingham area is known for its sweet tomato-based sauce. Northern Alabama is known for its distinctive white sauce (mayonnaise- and vinegar-based). No thanks.
Another good thing for those involved with the Indy Racing League – coming up on the schedule is another city known for its barbeque (Kansas City). Pass the wipes, please.