This post is the first in a series exploring all that Kansas City, Missouri (the location of NAFSA's 2010 Annual Conference & Expo) has to offer. Thanks to Michael Hernandez of Park University and the 2010 Local Arrangements Team for this contribution. Add your own Kansas City barbecue recommendations, barbecue recipes, and barbecue trivia as comments!

BBQ"Kansas City barbecue" refers to the specific inner-city style of barbecue that evolved from the pit of cook Henry Perry in the early 1900s in the city's 18 th and Vine district. (That neighborhood soon became famous in its own right for fostering the development of jazz greats like Count Basie and Charlie Parker. Visit the district and learn about its history at NAFSA's cultural evening at the American Jazz Museum on Wednesday, June 2!)

Today Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as "world's barbecue capital." U.S. presidents and presidential hopefuls have all made a point to feast on the city's barbecue when passing through.

Some of the best and most diverse barbecue restaurants in Kansas City are within a short cab or bus ride from the convention center and NAFSA hotels, and many of them have direct connections to Henry Perry, including Arthur Bryant's, which carried on Perry's tradition after he passed away, and Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q, started by George Gates and one of Perry's cooks, Arthur Pinkard, in 1946.

For the same traditional barbecue in an upscale setting, try Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ. You can also hit Winslow's, Rosedale Barbeque, and Danny Edwards BBQ. No matter which restaurant you choose, after consuming large amounts of pork ribs, smoked chicken, brunt ends, or sausage, you will never think the same about barbecue again!