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Your "go to" restaurant in KC?

I thought all the Midwesterners were going to be able to participate in the "Go to restaurant when too hungry 2 think thread" and I was so sad when I opened it up and it was only Minneapolis! So, Kansas City-ians, what are your "go to" resaurants in KC? Ours are Spin Pizza, La Cocina del Puerco, and for a nicer night out, 1924 Main. Never disappointed at any of these places!

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  1. D'Bronx is where we go when too hungry 2 think. We live a block and a half away and always get a #1 and a #22.
    For comfort food when too tired 2 think, we get pho at Pho 97 at Independence Avenue and Prospect. Along with green papaya salad. Perks us up immediately. And the owners are so nice, we always feel great after eating there.

    1. We have two "go to" Carmen's Cafe and Jack Stack BBq, Chicken speidini or fettucine di mare always hit the spot at Carmen's, and rib, beans and cheesey corn at Jack's

      1. Dos de Oros in Martin City and Jen-Jen's in OP. For me, how late a place opens and proximity to home makes a difference when we're in one of those moods and it's just horrible when these things hit. One person just wants to eat something, the other person is not sure what they're in the mood for...so aggravating. Going out to eat should be a happy occasion, not a source of crankiness.

        1 Reply
        1. re: vsoy

          My Husbad worked with the husband of Jen-Jen's - they are incredibly great people. Glad to know it's still open (we live in KC)

        2. For breakfast and definitely lunch try Jerry's Woodsweather Cafe in the West Bottoms in KC. Best tenderloin, best Rueben, great hamburgers. I noticed the Philly Cheesesteak was nothing to turn down either. I had lunch there Thursday. KC is lucky to have a place like this.

          For dinner I was very satisfied with Jack Stack BBQ at the Plaza. The MSP contingent has nothing to offer to match Jack Stack.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Davydd

            I eat at woodsweather all the time.. everything is good.. burgers, tenderloins, meatloaf, catfish, soup, cakes, pies... like I said everything.. Woodsweather Cafe is a Beautiful Thing...

          2. Davydd, Glad you liked the Woodsweather! They are a good place for breakfast as well. I haven't had the tenderloin there yet, if you liked it, I'm definitely going to get it the next time I'm there!

            1. Bo Ling's always has what I need.

              1. we tend to go to westport flea market for burgers...if it's a bbq night we'll go to oklahoma joe's, and if we need pizza, we go to pizza 51

                1. We go to Spin and Kaiyo when down in Leawood or OP area. We also frequent Room 39, Korma Sutra on Metcalf, Bo Ling's at 95th, and Tienda Casa Paloma.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: amyzan

                    What's Kaiyo amyzan? I don't even know where that's at... at least I don't think so.

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      Kaiyo is a very good sushi place on 119th in Leawood, Must has are the Hot Temptation roll (shrimp and fresh mango) and the Caterpillar roll(avocado, octopus and cucumber).

                      1. re: Irishbeer4me

                        David Loo left Sushi House to open his own place. His wife waits tables, and I think they have a couple other employees. I've even seen his two kids in there once, well behaved, lovely children. He makes good maki rolls, and the nigiri is the best I've had here in land bound KS. About the only thing I wouldn't recommend is the spinach in sesame sauce. They make their own sauce, and it's really good, but they use frozen spinach, bleh. Stick to the sunomono, sushi, and sashimi. It's also nice to know that when you eat there, you're supporting his family, you know?

                        1. re: Irishbeer4me

                          We went to Kaiyo for the first time last night and it was tremendous. They have a fantastic spicy crab salad that's not on the menu. The Greenwich roll was our favorite. David asked me if I liked uni and I quickly turned up my nose. He said that I must not have ever had it fresh. Next thing I know a piece of uni is handed to me. Wow, it was very good and I'll order it next time. The service was friendly and quick. This just might surpass Kyoto as our "go to" sushi spot.

                          1. re: SuperCorona

                            I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed Kaiyo! Will definitely ask for the spicy crab salad next time, thanks. David's uni is pretty darned good. The first time I tried uni was in San Diego, so it's kind of a tough comparison, but it's clearly flown in and handled properly at Kaiyo.

                    2. Good question. Our go-to place is probably Thai Place in Westport or Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. It depends on what kind of a mood we're in.

                      1. For me, a Minnesotan who travels to KC several times a year, Jacks Stack BBQ is at the top of the list. Must order the Crown Prime Beef Ribs and beans. It's my favorite meal on earth!

                        1. Grand Street Cafe or 40 Sardines. Hands-down. For more relaxed places, try The Mixx, McCoy's in Westport or Rudy's.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: lwoerther

                            Just don't go for the salads at The Mixx! Three times I've had them with rotted, almost liquid baby greens, completely revolting to find after you've had a few bites. I don't know how they can overlook that in the kitchen. Are they not looking at the food they're preparing? I let them know each time, and yet it continued to happen. I stick with the sandwiches now, which are great, BTW.

                            1. re: amyzan

                              I don't think I would eat at a place that continued to serve me rotted food even after pointing it out. To much you can hide in a sandwich.

                              1. re: Bobfrmia

                                Well, it wasn't on my list of go-to restaurants, was it?

                              2. re: amyzan

                                Really? That's really sad - I've never had anything but very fresh salads in the half dozen times or so I've visited. Which greens to do you get?

                                1. re: ulterior epicure

                                  mixed baby greens

                                  Yes, I think it's very strange and sad, as I like several of their combinations...

                            2. Rotted salad greens? Bleah! That's really unfortunate, has this been going on recently? It's been 3 months since I've been at Mixx. They have some awesome curry pumpkin/butternut type soup that is quite good when it's soup of the day and the lemonade is like crack.

                              1. I've only had a salad a few times and I did notice some questionable pieces... but their sandwiches are the best. The Classic Blue is excellent, as well as their honey dijon dressing.

                                1. Yeah, it's been a while since I was at The Mixx, but I've tried salads in spring, summer, and fall, so it's not a seasonal problem. Very weird, IMO. This almost never happens anywhere else, and I eat a lot of salads! I agree on the Classic Blue, and will have to try the lemonade, yum...weather's warming up!

                                  1. Man! I normally respond to posts before my brain has even had a chance to think about the response - HOWEVER - I've really struggled with this one.

                                    My DH and I have lived all over the Metro these past 13 years before landing in the Northland and we have had many "go to" restaurants. In the early years....75th St. Brewery, Jack's Stack (Martin City) Waldo Pizza & Strouds. The mid-years....Carmen's, Sharp's, The Corner (and still 75th St & Waldo's & Stroud's & Jack's Stack).

                                    Now....hmmmmm......so much depends on whether or not the kids are with us, if it's a work day, lunch, supper,1st Friday of Lent????

                                    Sooo.....

                                    Work Day Lunch: 1924, Jack's Stack, The Brick, and the recently tried (and totally in love with) Souperman (very curious to see their summer soup menu). Woodsweather is on my short list of places I need to try.

                                    With Kids: Anyplace with Calamari and/or Chicken Fingers - for the most part. Jeremiah Johnson's was their all-time favorite and they are still very sad about it's demise. Their recent favorite is Malay Cafe - they love the Coconut Shrimp. And they are just starting to get into Indian Food - they can't get enough of that Naan bread (they're tiny little carb-aholics) - Swagat's. And for breakfast: The Corner Cafe - Delish!

                                    Just DH and I - depends on the mood..if we're up for a few relaxing pints with food as an after thought - O'Dowd's. Fancy - usually The American Restaurant - though Le Fou Frog has recently shot to the top of the list. And, we still adore Carmen's & Jack's Stack.

                                    That all being said, it's hard to have an honest discussion of the KC food scene when this board doesn't allow us to discuss two of our best restaurants (rhymes with glueflem & N/O SkiDoo),

                                    1. Lulu's Noodles and Satay. BTW their Pad Thai is the best remedy for a cold I have ever found! Since eating their pad thai whenever I gete a cold the cold stay with me on average for less than a week. And I love their spring rolls too!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Jakevol2

                                        Thanks for the heads up on Lulu's, I've driven past there and always wanted to stop but never actually done it. I just took a friend for lunch today and had the Pad Thai. We loved it! Hopefully it takes care of my cold, we joked that I was going for medicinal purposes.

                                      2. For Italian or we can’t decide what we want: Johnny Cascone's...sad to say I don't ever get anything too adventurous there because I love their spaghetti and meatballs. I add mushrooms. They have other great food, but if I am not in the mood to make decisions and my mind is fried from the day I choose Cascone’s. I miss the old bread, though.

                                        Burgers and Wings: I head all the way to Lawrence to Jefferson’s or Henry T’s. For us it is worth the long drive get to either one of these establishments. They’ve cast a spell over us so strong that sometimes we go for dinner during the week! I LOVE the Fat Tuesday Chicken Sandwich at T’s. It’s a grilled chicken breast, slathered in wing sauce topped with bacon, cheese and orange marmalade…heart attack on a bun! Jefferson’s is where I got hooked on wings and no one else’s compares for me. They’ve got great burgers, too!

                                        Special Occasion or Special Guests: Thomas or Le Fou Frog. They have great, ever-changing menus. The best steak I’ve ever had was at Thomas. I’ve had better luck at Thomas lately, but hear I need to make my way back to the Frog.

                                        1. Depends on (as a pp said) whether we've got the kids, and how much we want to spend.
                                          No kids, no money: Mixx or Blue Koi
                                          Kids, no money: Waldo Pizza
                                          Kids, money: Thai Place
                                          No kids, money: Starkers (but Rm.39 is right there, too!)

                                          1. I will be visiting in Missouri next month and am unfamiliar with the area save my daughter's recomendations and she is a new comer. but my question is are these posts referring to KC, MO or KC, Kansas? In either case I will be about 100 miles east and need to make my travel time well planned.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: feelinpeckish

                                              Both! There's a good variety of both here.

                                              1. re: feelinpeckish

                                                I guess a 100 miles east puts your daughter in Columbia or Boonville. You might try bumping up a couple of the Columbia threads to see what gets recommended. Columbia is not very big, but I've eaten at some pretty good restaurants there.

                                                The greater Kansas City area straddles the state line. You won't even know when you cross into Kansas or back into Missouri except that the street signs change color. Most of the restaurants mentioned here that are in Kansas are actually in the Johnson County suburbs. Kansas City, Kansas, in Wyandotte County, is more urban until you get pretty far west of town. Still some excellent ethnic restaurant as well.

                                                1. re: heatherkay

                                                  I guess I consider myself to still be in Kansas City even though I'm in JoCo...

                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                    I live in JoCo, too, but I consider that the greater Kansas City area rather than Kansas City, Kansas. I think if you asked about restaurants in Kansas City, Kansas, on this board, you'd get recommendations for El Camino Real or Jones BBQ rather than 40 Sardines or Spin Pizza.

                                                    But that's probably a local thing -- I'm just happy if out-of-town folks know that a big chunk of the city is in Missouri!

                                                    1. re: heatherkay

                                                      Yeah, you're right... I just get tired of the border wars! There's good *and* bad restaurants on both sides. Either way, lots of good choices on this thread.

                                                  2. re: heatherkay

                                                    Huh! Been here 5 years and I never really noticed the different street sign colors and I go back and forth Stateline Rd everyday. Will have to pay extra attention on the commute home :)

                                                  3. re: feelinpeckish

                                                    Not sure what is in Boonville, but Buckinghams for BBQ in Columbia is DELISH!

                                                    The best southern-ish style BBQ north of Cape Girardeau.

                                                  4. You've all been helpful and I am sure I'll find great places from among your recommendations. It makes me understand why my daughter is so happy to have moved from NJ.

                                                    1. I'm a little late to your party, Katie . . .here's my hostess gift: my 2 cents on "go to when 2 tired to think" places for me in KC. :-) Just what you wanted, right? Ha! I think this has a lot to do with where you live or work . . .which someone already said, so based on that here are my picks.

                                                      1) La Bodega - Perfect for visiting friends, a night out for 2 . . .Happy Hour everyday!
                                                      2) Mi Ranchito - gotta have a cheap Mexican joint, this is ours. Tacos Carne Asada!
                                                      3) Chartreuse Caboose - Really, really great Philly sandwiches, cheap! Zephyr lives!
                                                      4) BoLing's for Dim Sum on the Weekend!
                                                      5) Old Shawnee Pizza - traditional thin crust pizza and wagon wheel decor!
                                                      6) Thai Place - The one on 87th street is our "to-go" joint.
                                                      7) Chinese - Pei Wei, yes, we are crazy about this place! Great food, wine, cheap!
                                                      Enjoy!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: jvergara

                                                        Hi Jenny! What's good at Pei Wei? Is that the one on Metcalf or am I thinking of the place east of Strang Line on 119th? Both areas are frequent haunts, so I'd love to know what to order the first time we go.

                                                        1. re: amyzan

                                                          Hi Amyzan, I know listing a chain is so taboo in this space and place, but with both hubby and I working hard and with a 5 year old son . . .Pei Wei is a quick dine-in or to-go option that makes us feel like we "tried" to get up the energy for true foodie fare.

                                                          We love a couple of things from Pei Wei:
                                                          Starters: Wonton Soup and Vietnamese Salad Rolls - The soup is really beautiful and savory and although you could make a meal of the Vietnamese salad rolls, I find if you can split them they are perfect and crisp and a fresh way to start your meal.

                                                          Entrees: Hubby, always picks between Spicy Korean and Blazing Noodles which should tell you he is into the hot stuff. My son, always loves eating the honey-chicken with rice on the Kid's menu with his doctored up chopsticks (that's my boy!) and I love any of the signature items with veggies and tofu. I am crazy about the way they marinate their tofu and then sautee it, it has a wonderful consistency and tastes even better. I usually get the Spicy Korean if hubby doesn't or the Orange Peel (which is my true favorite) because of the heat and the use of really tasty dried (perhaps candied) orange peel. It packs a punch!

                                                          I go to both locations, but find the one in Olathe less crowded and easier to get into if we want to eat out . . .if taking it to-go Overland Park is closer to home.

                                                          Enjoy!

                                                      2. Hello all, stumbled across this place when trying to find some good restaurants to try when I visit Des Moines this weekend and felt obligated to contribute for my hometown of KC.

                                                        Jvergara stole some of my thunder as she mentioned a couple of my favorite spots as well. I’ll try to break it down for different areas of KC to give others an idea of location:

                                                        Southern Kansas City (this is what I consider the Overland Park, Lenexa and Olathe side on Kansas and Grandview on the Missouri side)

                                                        Mi Ranchito – I’ve been looking for a good Mexican restaurant that is close to my work so I don’t have to travel down to Southwest Boulevard (closer to downtown Kansas City, Missouri) and this one fits the bill. Great taste and portions are generous while being very nicely priced.
                                                        -Typical price range : $6 - $10



                                                        Thai Place (www.kcthaiplace.com/index.html) – The Phad Thai is awesome here and is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I’ve tried Phad Thai from many other places and have been disappointed so I just stick with Thai Place (and Thai House) to get my fix. The Panang (peanut flavored curry) is also very good. From the description on the menu I didn’t think I would like it because of the peanut flavor but was pleasantly surprised.

                                                        I also mentioned Thai House, located around 99th and Holmes. I actually prefer their Phad Thai to Thai Place’s just a bit. They are very similar (and many of the people who used to work at Thai Place left to start this restaurant). The scenery is not as nice as Thai Place but it’s a bit cheaper and for Phad Thai this is my ‘go to’ spot, Thai Place for all of the other Thai food. They are also located throughout KC which helps.
                                                        -Typical price range : $8 - $15



                                                        54th St. Bar & Grill – Sometimes I get a craving for a good plate of Nachos and this place has them. Yeah, you’re thinking Nachos?? But these are at the top of my list when craving that comfort food fix. They are on the menu (Combo Nachos) as an appetizer but are easily a meal (or two) by themselves. Their ‘gringo dip’ (cheese sauce) in combination with chicken, ground beef, refried beans and the normal fixings make these nachos a great (and hearty) meal.
                                                        -Price: $9



                                                        Rosati’s – Not sure if this is a chain or not but along with Minksy’s they are my favorite ‘go to’ for pizza. For reference I prefer the bigger, thicker, meatier slice as compared to the NY style of pizza. They sell pizza by the slice at lunchtime. You get a huge slice for around $3. Nice big chunks of Italian sausage, too. They also have great Chicago style pizza.
                                                        -Typical price : $18 for a large specialty (14”

                                                        )



                                                        Kansas City, Missouri (between downtown and the Plaza)

                                                        Westport Flea Market: Great burger. Not a lot of different toppings like someplace like Red Robins (which I also like) but just a well cooked good quality piece of beef on a bun (has a topping bar to the side to add pickles, lettuce and tomato but it’s not needed). Not much more to be said but if you are visiting from out of town and staying at a hotel check the yellow pages as there may be coupons in the back.
                                                        -Typical price range : $8 - $12



                                                        Margarita’s and Manny’s – Two fine quality Mexican restaurants on the Boulevard (KC’s Hispanic district). Margarita’s has daily specials for M-F, my favorite is on Thursday which is burrito day. Any burrito for about $4. They are huge (my favorite is the pork). Margarita’s has locations throughout KC and Manny’s has another location in Stanley, KS. If you go to the Margarita’s on Southwest Boulevard, make sure to check the wall as you enter in the lobby. There have been several floods there in the past and they have marked on the walls the water level of each one.
                                                        -Typical price range : $8 - $15



                                                        Da Bronx - Don’t get to go here as much as I’d like but their pizza is really good, and closer to N.Y. style. Not sure if they sell by the slice as I am only able to make it in the evenings.
                                                        -Typical price : ~$18 for a large specialty



                                                        Taj Mahal (http://www.kctajmahal.com/welcome.htm

                                                        )

                                                        Good buffet for Indian food. To be fair, I’ve only been there during lunch hours for buffet so I haven’t tried individual items from the menu but I’m very satisfied by the quality of the buffet.



                                                        Barbeque: You’ve probably read a lot about it here so I’ll just give you my favorites:

                                                        Brisket and Burnt End sandwiches: Arthur Bryants
                                                        Ribs: Gates
                                                        Pulled Pork: Oklahoma Joe’s
                                                        Beans: Jackstack BBQ
                                                        Burnt ends: Smokestack BBQ (on Wornall)

                                                        Hope this helps!

                                                        1. If I want to plan a special night out, the American Restaurant is always my first choice - a 3-story view of downtown, perfect service, relaxing pianist, and each plates comes out looking like a sculpture and taste delicious.
                                                          I also like the Argetinian Piropos up north. I've only been there once but a beautiful atmosphere and excellent food. I recommend the empanadas de carne.
                                                          If you like tea in the afternoon, Tea Drops in westport has wonderful choices including bubble tea.

                                                          1. Is Andre's still around? I was there decades ago while visiting my aunt. It was her go-to place for lunch, and it was good.

                                                            10 Replies
                                                              1. re: GiGiWy

                                                                or at roughly 119th and Roe... I was just there for lunch today!

                                                                1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                  My go to fave's would definitely include the following: Johnny C's pizza, a new found favorite Freddie's La Cabana for mexican, Thai Place on 87th (in very close proximity to my place) and another new found favorite Maui Express (87th/ Antioch). Fuddrucker's always hits the spot for a good burger and we are relatively close to them as well.

                                                                  1. re: FergMePleez

                                                                    Understand there's a Fuddruckers in Olathe now.

                                                                    1. re: GiGiWy

                                                                      We had a really good hamburger this weekend at Westport Flea Market

                                                                  2. re: Katie Nell

                                                                    I posted in the wrong place, but I am talking about Andre's.

                                                                    I'm envious of your visit today, it was very good when I was last there. I had the quiche, spinich, and dessert. And this is going way back, so it was memorable.

                                                                    What did you have, and how have they kept it at that level?

                                                                    1. re: chowfamily

                                                                      I've been going there for lunch about every other week for a few months now. I'm such an old lady- I keep the calendar of their menu at my desk and highlight the days I want to go!! I had lasagna last time with a beet salad and a green salad. For dessert I got a coconut macaroon with lemon filling. The lasagna wasn't my favorite thing that I've had there, but I hyped it up quite a bit in my head. I had their ravioli with meat sauce a while back and it was so, so, so amazing, so I was thinking that the lasagna would have the same sauce but it didn't. I got myself a little too excited. But, it was still really good. I always enjoy going there, and almost everything I've had there has been a hit- the only thing that was not good was the pork wellington.

                                                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                        a friend is trying to get me to go to andres with him. Lunch is 13.30 which seems a little high for a midday meal. i want to go to michael smiths or lidias, but looking at andres menu online, the vol au vent looks great as does the cod florentine and pork forrestier. have you had any of that? too bad the wellington was a bust...i am sucker for anything wrapped in puff pastry...

                                                                        1. re: asiansensation007

                                                                          I haven't had any of those. Andre's is good and I don't mind paying the money every couple of weeks, but I don't think it's going to live up to Michael Smith's or Lidia's. It's a fun experience though, and I love to go.

                                                                          1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                            Some good suggestions here - thanks, everyone. A couple I didn't see listed ... for Mexican, El Maguey in the Northland or Cameron, or Taqueria Mexico in Northeast or down on the boulevard (you can ask for pork - it's not on the menu but MUCH better than the beef filling). Buca di Beppo on the plaza has a great setting and always amazing service - try the Chicken Glorioso. And if you're in the mood to go veg - Jerusalem Cafe in Westport. All of those are in the area of $8-10 per person (with the possible exception of Buca, if you go for dinner).