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Mar 23, 2001 11:26 PM

Kansas City's Greatest Hits

  • d

I've been back in NYC for 24 hours but my palate is still in KC. I didn't have one bad meal in KC, and there were so many individual highlights, I thought I'd indicate the best of the many dishes. Of course, I'm limited to the places I tried -- I didn't get to many of the places I wanted to hit (e.g., Jess & Jim's, Hayward's, Snead's, Saigon 39, Murray's Ice Cream):

Best Beef BBQ: Arthur Bryant's
Best Pork BBQ Sandwich: L.C.'s
Best Lamb Ribs: Fiorella's Jack Stack
Best French Fries: Hannah's Bistro (worth a trip just
for these)
Best Onion Rings: L.C's
Best Doughnuts: LaMars (and favorite variety I
never tried before: sour cream)
Best Pancakes: Maxine's Fine Foods
Best Home/Cottage Fries: Maxine's Fine Foods
Best Fried Chicken: Stroud's
Most Orange French Dressing on Iceburg Lettuce: (tie)
Stroud's and Maxine's Fine Foods
Best Mussels: Grill on Broadway
Best Cole Slaw: Fiorella's Jack Stack
Best Fast Food Hamburger: Winstead's
Best Waiter: (tie) Latrice at Maxine's Fine Food; Hope
at Grill on Broadway.

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  1. j
    Jennifer Fish Wilson

    Thanks for the list! I'll use it as my itinerary on my next trip to KC.
    Don't you find it odd that we both live in cities famous for their cuisine (I'm in the SF Bay area) and yet we rave about food in Kansas City?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jennifer Fish Wilson


      I've been thinking long and hard about about Kansas City and why my restaurant/food experiences made me so happy.
      I think I've come to the conclusion that the ubiquity of fantastic food of all stripes is a bottoms-up phenomenon. Kansas City places are great, I conclude, because Kansas Citians are fabulous people, utterly unpretentious people, who show their affection and exercise their passion through the medium of food.
      You find sterling hospitality not only in the small mom and pop places, but even in the the busiest, tourist-oriented places. Like New Orleans, some of the best restaurants are heavily visited by tourists (Arthur Bryant's and Stroud's leap to mind, immediately), and both places accommodate locals and first-timers with aplomb.
      How I wish we had a fish restaurant in NYC like Grill on Broadway, a small, personal, informal but ambitious restaurant.
      For American food, I'm not sure there is any place I'd rather eat. Only New Orleans comes close.

      1. re: Dave Feldman
        Jennifer Fish

        I've never read such a eloquent description of dining in KC. (Sorry, Calvin!). Kansas City is a very special place and few understand that (including 90% of the residents). So, why do we live elsewhere? I blame it on the weather--I prefer earthquakes and power outages and fires over tornadoes and blizzards and heat waves. (Oops--Jim's going to yell at me because this is "Not about Food".)

        1. re: Jennifer Fish

          Jennifer--don't worry; every single word of every single message needn't be about food...we just try to discourage extended discussion of non-food topics here on the regional boards where hounds are surfing around looking for hard info.

          As for my "yelling"....I sure hope I don't come across so adversarially! We all, as users of this site, have a shared interest in keeping info well-organized. Since other users don't often step in to offer guidance on issues like thread titling, board selection, newbie nametags, etc, I have no choice but to try to guide these issues myself. But it's not by any means a "Jim Wants" thing, it's just stuff somebody's got to do in a moderated discussion group (unfortunately our previous two volunteer moderators were so badly beaten up that they flew the now I do everything (except shill, spam, and vandalism removal, for which we actually have several monitors).

          1. re: Jim Leff
            Jennifer Fish

            I was just kidding about you "yelling"! Sorry--I should have added one of those awful :-) after my comment. I enjoy your site and freely admit to being a Chowhound addict. Maybe you could start a new "12 Step" hot post? :-)

            1. re: Jennifer Fish

              "Maybe you could start a new "12 Step" hot post? :-)"

              Heh. "My name is Jim and I am a chowhound."
              "One bite at a time."

              Ok, enough. We really ARE way off topic at this point!


              1. re: Jim Leff

                I grew up in Kansas City but have not lived there for over 25 years and plan a brief trip back in 2 weeks. It is great to hear such testimony for KC. I live in Atlanta (after stints in Cincinati, SF, Boston, WashDC) and use to the Atlanta sport dining scene at places like Bachanalia,Aria, Blue Pointe,Dish, Eurasia,Food Studio, Dining Room, etc. Are there any suggestions for fun inventive fusion restaurant in my old home town to take family and partner?

        2. re: Dave Feldman

          Thanks for your kind and accurate estimation of the KC food culture. I am constantly amazed that fast food restaurants can exist in KC when we can eat well at all price levels. At least McDonald's "McRib" sandwich couldn't survive here. I haven't been to the Grill lately, it's on this list this week!

          1. re: Brian

            On my last visit to Maxine's, I decoded the meal schedule:

            Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday: Breakfast only, between 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

            Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, hours are 6:00 a.m. -- 2:00 p.m. Lunch is served starting at 11:00 a.m. but breakfast is available at any time.

          2. re: Dave Feldman

            Dave, It was a pleasure meeting you and your friends at the Grille, I recieved your message from a nice gentleman that dined with us this evening. very thoughtful, I thank you for introducing me to this site and hope to talk with you soon. Hope

        3. for some unique incredible italian food try il trullo next time

          2 Replies
          1. re: paul

            Have you been to Garozzo's? Any comments?

            And thanks for the comments about burnt edges at A.B. In the past, I could see them to ask, but glad to know they are still available.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              garozzos--the one downtown--is a lot of fun and the food is gutsy and tasty.spedieni etc. long waits. try the shrimps angelina--mucho garlic. better italian is lidias and the best is il trullo ask jon or joe to hook you up and you will be happy.