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Holly Moore

Eating Kansas City

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I'm in KC for a convention Sunday thru Wed AM. That's the excuse. Mainly I'm there to rectify a major gap in my website.

Winstead's is on my schedule in honor of Calvin Trillin.

I'll be heading back to Arthur Bryant's - last time I was there was maybe 20 years ago at their original location.

Gotta eat some more barbecue.

No interest in fine dining or ethnic dining this trip. Just eats.

Any suggestions?

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I personally don't think Winstead's is worth it. They're over rated because the burgers are extremely dry and the overall burger just isn't that great. I would even eat at a Steak n' Shake over Winsteads.

Westport Flea Market is where it's at...burgers are juicy and awesome especially when you put all of the extras on it- shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. Titanic Nachos are fun but don't plan on doing anything that requires walking afterwards :raz:

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I personally don't think Winstead's is worth it. They're over rated because the burgers are extremely dry and the overall burger just isn't that great. I would even eat at a Steak n' Shake over Winsteads.

Westport Flea Market is where it's at...burgers are juicy and awesome especially when you put all of the extras on it- shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. Titanic Nachos are fun but don't plan on doing anything that requires walking afterwards  :raz:

Agreed. Winstead's is not great at all. My suggestion would be D'Bronx. I live on the other side of the city and I make at least two trips a month for it. It's a traditional New York pizza and subs joint. They also have the best (albeit basic) balsamic vinegar & oil dressing in the entire world. Put it on your sandwich!

D'Bronx Deli

3904 Bell St, Kansas City, MO 64111 · 816-531-0550

"To those longing for a NYC-style corned beef deli sandwich or a thin-crust pizza, locals point out this downtown standard, where exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, tin ceilings, and a nostalgic lunch counter seem more Big Apple than Midwestern. Boasting what many regard as KC's best pizzas, Gibraltar-sized subs, and homemade apple pie, d'Bronx never fails to impress and satisfy."

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For ethnic you might try El Pulgracita at on Merriam one block south of Johnson Drive in Merriam, Ks. 15 minutes or so from downtown. It's a great Salvadorean place that has little or no atmosphere, but the food is wonderful. The people who run the place are very, very nice.

I really like El Taco Nazo for Mexican food. It's on Kansas Ave, 4 blocks east of 7th Street Trafficway in Kansas City, Kansas. Another really good Mexican place is Carnaceria Mi Rancho, meat market/cafe at Summit and Southwest Boulevard. Real nice folks there, as well.

(I may have spelled the name incorrectly, but it's the meat market one store front from the Northwest corner at the boulevard and Summit, right across the street from Royal Liquor!)

LC's on Eastwood Trafficway would be a great choice for BBQ if you still want more after ABs.

I would find myself at Town Topic, the one on Baltimore at 19th Street, before I'd go to Winstead's. The Winstead's of my childhood is, alas, no more.

Have a great convention, try to stay cool! It's beastly hot here this week.

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For ethnic you might try El Pulgracita at on Merriam one block south of Johnson Drive in Merriam, Ks. 15 minutes or so from downtown. It's a great Salvadorean place that has little or no atmosphere, but the food is wonderful. The people who run the place are very, very nice.

I really like El Taco Nazo for Mexican food. It's on Kansas Ave, 4 blocks east of 7th Street Trafficway in Kansas City, Kansas. Another really good Mexican place is Carnaceria Mi Rancho, meat market/cafe at Summit and Southwest Boulevard. Real nice folks there, as well.

(I may have spelled the name incorrectly, but it's the meat market one store front from the Northwest corner at the boulevard and Summit, right across the street from Royal Liquor!)

LC's on Eastwood Trafficway would be a great choice for BBQ if you still want more after ABs.

I would find myself at Town Topic, the one on Baltimore at 19th Street, before I'd go to Winstead's. The Winstead's of my childhood is, alas, no more.

Have a great convention, try to stay cool! It's beastly hot here this week.

I really need to try El Taco Nazo, because I heartily agree with all other recs here...I've posted at some length on El Pulgarcito and Mi Rancho. LC's is my clear BBQ winner, and I think Town Topic is right up your alley.

Fritz's Chili is one-of-a-kind, and of course, there's Stroud's, too.

There are a bunch more reviews at the link in my sig. Also, send a PM or email if you're on the lookout for dining company.

Cheers,

Aaron

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If it is late and you find yourself hungry, head to le Fou Frog for the Charcuterie plate. Filling with out belly busting. And a very interesting atmosphere.

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If you truly want some local, original (I think) Kansas City grease......I think all journeys begin and end with In-A-Tub tacos. There is one located just south of I-29 and Barry Road, easy to find going to or from the airport. Stick with the tacos....they are of the "deep fried and topped with neon orange powdered cheese" variety. Pretty much everything on the menu is fried, but the tacos are the reason to go. AND, right down the street on Prairie View Road is LC's Hamburgers (not to be confused with LC's BBQ). Very good burgers and fries.

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Sorry Holly, I just noticed your inquiry said no ethnic this time, so that cancels out 3 of my suggestions!

Therefore, I am going to recommend Jerry's Woodswether Cafe on 9th Street in the West Bottoms, for breakfast or lunch.

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First question. Why is it so friggin hot?

Eating wise I got off to a great start - Stroud's. The last time they had a party of one on a Sunday might be never. Things go slowed down when a party of thirty walked in unreserved. I was sitting next to a party of 12. Also in my immediate vicinity - a family celebrating "Nana's" 95th birthday. I'm guessing the typical Sunday dinner table is two generations, if not three.

I had the fried chicken served family style for my family of one. It's too bad they don't export their chicken gravy - as good as any I've had. Chicken outstanding. Cinnamon rolls the same. The sad news is

Not sure where I'm heading for dinner tonight, assuming my stomach is up to the task after Stroud's.

I'm still going to hit Winstead's. It's the Calvin thing to do. Thanks for the other great leads. You know sometime soon I'm going to be downing some deep fried, neon orange taco's.

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For the best french fries ever, and the experience of eating in a gas station, I'd recommend Oklahoma Joe's. I second the recommendation of LC's for BBQ.

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Wow, this thread couldn't have come at a better time. I'm returning home for a one week visit this month and I have some questions about whats still there and whats not. I've told my girlfriend about all of the places that were part of my childhood/teens/young adulthood and I've heard whispers that some of them are gone. I haven't been back to KC in two years(which was just a brief visit) and it sounds like alot has changed.

1. I heard that the 87?(maybe 85th) & Troost Strouds closed down. Is this true? (I'm staying in Overland Park and I kinda dont want to make the drive north)

2. Is Cascones breakfast spot still open in the river market area?

3. The Corner down in Westport was one of my favorite places to get breakfast and I heard its gone as well. Really?

4. Other than Bluestem which I'm going to try, is there any other fine/experimental/just plain good dining worth trying?

5. Who has the best cocktails in the city?

Cheers


Edited by kansascitykid (log)

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Holly, if you are staying DT,

Savoy Grill is, I think, the oldest place in the city, and not a bad place for steaks.

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Thanks,

Made a few wrong turns and drove past it on my way to Town Topic Inc. It looked interesting. If I wanted to have one genuine Kansas City steak while in town is that my best bet?

Two for two so far. Good 'n greasy cheeseburgers at Town Topic Inc. Waitress, grill guy and customers sitting at the counter could all have been from central casting.

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Thanks,

Made a few wrong turns and drove past it on my way to Town Topic Inc.  It looked interesting.  If I wanted to have one genuine Kansas City steak while in town is that my best bet?

Two for two so far.  Good 'n greasy cheeseburgers at Town Topic Inc.  Waitress, grill guy and customers sitting at the counter could all have been from central casting.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but I rarely get what I call "stellar" steaks here in Kansas City. IIRC, you are from NYC. The steaks are, in my opinion, on a whole, better, and more appropriately priced there.

That being said, my favorite place for a decent and dependable filet is The Capitol Grill. For local spots, I have had decent filets at Starker's Reserve (on the Plaza), The Phillips ChopHouse (Hotel Phillips downtown), and Le Fou Frog (River Market). When it is on the menu at bluestem, the Wagyu is nothing short of spectacular.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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UE, I'm guessing Holly's looking for the essence of KC, not the best steak in the land.

Basic old school KC steakhouses are the Golden Ox, the Hereford House, Savoy Grill,

the Majestic, and way out South, Jess & Jim's, which is where I think you want to go.

http://www.jessandjims.com/

http://www.jessandjims.com/subpages/directions.php

+ you could hit LC's for Q on your way back north. A 2 for 1 deal.

Any of the ones mentioned would give you a KC steakhouse experience though.

Holly, as an aside, the In-A-Tub tacos are the commercial version of a taco that seems to, if not flourish, at least continue to exist through the Southern and Central plains.

Sometimes called Tacos Dorados down in Texas, deep fried tacos have been around a long time, and there used to be more places that served them. The version of my youth had peas cooked in, but they are always stuffed then dipped in the deep fryer.

Here's a couple of threads:

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=502

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17256

Tom Isern in his page plainsfolk calls the mexican food of the Plains Santa Fe RR cooking,

as the Mexican food basically followed the RR up from NM and Texas. Always sounded reasonable to me.

http://www.plainsfolk.com/oases/oasis15.htm

http://www.plainsfolk.com/oases/

KCers, Is Fat Boy burger in KCK still happening?


Edited by bbqboy (log)

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Jeez, I neglect the Heartland forum, and here's a Philadelphian in my home town!

Holly, you've got to experience Gates'; even if it's no longer the best 'cue joint in town, it's still damned good. If for no other reason, you need to go to see what happens when a 'cue master goes all corporate on you -- yet remains local to the core; Gates' is still "Kansas City's Own". Just remember to insert your earplugs before entering. If you can, try the location at Emannuel Cleaver II Boulevard/Swope Parkway and the Paseo; while it's not the original version of this location -- I'm guessing that got demolished when the entire junction of these streets was rebuilt (sometime in the '90s?) -- it's still the heart of Ollie's BBQ empire. (If you can, bring back a bottle of Gates' sauce.)

Does anyone know if Mario's is still in business downtown, turning out "grinders"? If so, that's another place you should check out, Holly. Mario's grinders are (were?) a truly unique variation on the hoagie/sub -- they were toasting 'em before anyone had even heard of Quiznos, and what's more, the fillings don't slip out the back end of the roll, because they're encased in the hollowed-out roll.

Glad to see that you are filling a great void in your site. If you get a chance to do some non-food tourism, stop by the Negro League Baseball Museum while you're there. There will probably be copies of my friend's father's memoir in the gift shop. (Edited to add aside: We caught up with each other for the first time in 30 years last April, when he was in Philly to deliver a lecture and perform at Chris' Jazz Café. The first thing that came out of each of our mouths when we saw each other was "You look like your father!")


Edited by MarketStEl (log)

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Sorry, Holly, been OOT and no help! To answer many of the above, in no particular order . . .

The south Stroud's has been closed since 12/31/2005, sadly. They have not found a suitable location to replace it.

Mario's is still open - they had brown paper on the windows for a couple of weeks doing some work - but reopened (unless something very recent has happened).

Cascone's still has a breakfast/lunch spot in the City Market but it has moved south across the street from where it was - Blue Nile Ethiopian is in the old space, adjacent to the latest Bo Ling's outpost.

I wouldn't recommend any of the "old school" steak places so much these days. I haven't been to Plaza III for a hundred years or so but the Ox and the Hereford House have been lame for a long time, IMHO. As someone upthread said, Frog or bluestem or a trip to McGonigle's and DIY. IF you have time to drive to just this side of Topeka, The North Star would not disappoint you. It's an old roadhouse-like place (you used to have to ring a door bell and say the secret word to get in, before liquor laws relaxed) - they raise their own beef, they pan fry it (yes, you read that right) in cast iron at 5 trillion degrees for a perfect seared rare-to-MR effect, hand-cut fries and gravy in which to dip them, and a "honeymoon salad" (lettuce alone :laugh:). I may have to make a run over there tonight!

Glad someone pointed out the obvious grease source - In-a-VAT is more like it!

Corner is still open as far as I know. Woodswether a perennial favorite, succotash might be to your liking (in City Market).

I'm surprised no one (Z) mentioned The Bamboo Hut.

Best cocktails . . . City Tavern, Bulldog, re:Verse, Lidia's, bluestem? Oh, and try Seven - the 'queen of the KC barmaids - Susan - is there now, although I've not been yet, she's never let me down in ~20 years.

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I'm not sure you guys are getting the essence of holly's site:

HollyEats.Com is for everyone who:

*

Prefers chowing down to dining.

*

Proudly wears a grease splattered shirt as the badge of honor it is.

*

Makes it a point to consume one's minimum daily requirement of nitrates.

*

Is at least a bit leery of sparkling clean restaurants, suspicious that their focus is on scouring, not cooking.

*

Is more impressed with a restaurant parking lot packed with pickup trucks and Chevy's than one boasting BWM's and Cadillac's.

*

Passes by the familiar, bland comfort of the Red Lobsters, Olive Gardens and Golden Arches that have taken over suburbia, insisting on driving a few minutes or hours further - knowing that somewhere down the road is a barbecue pit, a truck stop, a diner, a drive-in. a greasy spoon that may well become the highlight of the journey.

The Grease Stain Rating System

Anyone who has seen my shirt after I've ravaged a cheese steak hoagie understands the grease stain rating system.

Grease stains don't necessarily mean greasy food, though that certainly works in a place's favor. Rather, the greater the splatter fallout, the more I relished my meal and the more grease stains that ended up on my shirt.

Restaurants are awarded 3 to 5 grease stains ranging from "great" to "outstanding." Those meriting just one or two grease stains will have to fry harder to earn their way onto here.

Our Patron Saint - Calvin Trillin

trillin.jpg

If it wasn't for Calvin Trillin's American Fried which I read back in the late '60's, I'd still believe that the only great restaurants were those flaunting silver service, designer clad servers, and Escoffier inspired haute cuisine.

Author of the Tummy Trilogy

American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; and Third Helpings.

:raz::raz:

and Holly, don't forget the Soul Food Joints of KC.....


Edited by bbqboy (log)

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I'm not sure you guys are getting the essence of holly's site:

HollyEats.Com is for everyone who:

No, I get it... it's just that I feel hesitant on recommending any place, regardless of how greasy or "institutionally famous," that I feel is truly not up to par.

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I'm not sure you guys are getting the essence of holly's site:

That's cool. I should charge extra for "essence." :smile:

But any and all ideas are welcome. Like Mikey, I'll eat most anything and, on occasion, even dine.

Breakfast this AM was more miss than hit, which surprised me. Went to Bell Street Mama's. Neat place, neat vibe, neat staff. But overcooked poached eggs on my corned beef hash and crumbly biscuits. Maybe I should have ordered something else from the hundreds of items on their breakfast menu.

Going to prison this afternoon, so not sure I'll have time for lunch. Should be free by dinner - I'm thinking either BBQ or steak. North Star sounds real tempting.


Edited by Holly Moore (log)

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I'm surprised no one (Z) mentioned The Bamboo Hut.

The Bamboo Hut dropped off my radar after the city of Independence lost its mind and instituted a smoking ban that includes all of the dives up and down 40Hwy. I realize it probably needs my support now more than ever, but I fear sending someone straight to the hell where they belong if I was having dinner and heard "oh it's so much better in here now that my clothes won't smell like smoke!". I can forgive a lot of things in our Orwellian society...go ahead and ban smoking if it makes you feel like a responsible citizen, but there are some places that need to be left alone. Taking away the tobacco haze from a deep fried slaughterhouse like The Bamboo Hut is like finding a remote tribe in the farthest reaches of the Amazon, putting them in fresh Men's Wearhouse duds and forcing them to sing "Our God is an Awesome God!".

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I'm not sure you guys are getting the essence of holly's site:

HollyEats.Com is for everyone who:

    *

      Prefers chowing down to dining.

    *

      Proudly wears a grease splattered shirt as the badge of  honor it is.

    *

      Makes it a point to consume one's minimum daily requirement of nitrates.

    *

      Is at least a bit leery of sparkling clean restaurants, suspicious that their focus is on scouring, not cooking.

    *

      Is more impressed with a restaurant parking lot packed with pickup trucks and Chevy's than one boasting BWM's and Cadillac's.

    *

      Passes by the familiar, bland comfort of the Red Lobsters, Olive Gardens and Golden Arches that have taken over suburbia, insisting on driving a few minutes or hours further - knowing that somewhere down the road is a barbecue pit, a truck stop, a diner, a drive-in. a greasy spoon that may well become the highlight of the journey.

The Grease Stain Rating System 

  Anyone who has seen my shirt after I've ravaged a cheese steak hoagie understands the grease stain rating system. 

Grease stains don't necessarily mean greasy food, though that certainly works in a place's favor.  Rather, the greater the splatter fallout, the more I relished my meal and the more grease stains that ended up on my shirt. 

Restaurants are awarded  3 to 5 grease stains ranging from "great" to "outstanding."  Those meriting just one or two grease stains will have to fry harder to earn their way onto here.

Our Patron Saint - Calvin Trillin

trillin.jpg

If it wasn't for Calvin Trillin's American Fried which I read back in the late '60's, I'd still believe that the only great restaurants were those flaunting silver service, designer clad servers, and Escoffier inspired haute cuisine.

Author of the Tummy Trilogy

American Fried; Alice, Let's Eat; and Third Helpings.

  :raz:  :raz:

and Holly, don't forget the Soul Food Joints of KC.....

Yeah, I *get* Holly's essence, too. I was replying to several posts upthread all at once, having been off-line for a few days and trying to catch up - hence the cocktails, Mario's, Cascone's BoLings and steak-related things. Just too lazy and far behind to reply to each separarte thing.

And I love Calvin Trillin - probably more for "Obliviously on he sailed" of late than any of his food pieces, but he hasn't lived here in some time and Winstead's is a sad shadow of its former self. I really don't know anyone who eats there these days. So, with all due respect, any of the other advice upthread is better currently.

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Guess I'm the only person who doesn't get Holly. I've been trying to figure him out for a very long time.

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