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Aug 12, 2007 08:38 PM

Bay Area Hound looking for KC Advice

Hi folks,

My boyfriend and I will be heading out to KC for 5 days (beginning August 21) and would really appreciate some food recommendations and musts. Here are a few guidelines, he's a vegetarian, non-mushroom eating but these days will have fish once in a while. So for him BBQs out. He's also pretty frugal although he will go out for one or two nicer meals because he knows its important to me.

I'm the foodie in the couple, I'd love to find a few local places that offer excellent flavors, casual, warm atmosphere and an authentically KC experience. We are actually considering relocating to KC so knowing its critical that we get a handle on the food situation.

I've heard of Bluebird Cafe and intend to try it. I'm also intrigued by BlueStem. What about the American Restaurant, and Lidia. Strong feelings?

Additionally please provide recommendations for cafes, lunch spots and more cheap eats.

Many thanks, I promise a report in return.


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  1. Bluestem is really hot right now in KC. Wonderful local ingredients, delicious food, cool place.

    I personally adore Lidia's, it's one of my favorite restaurants not only in KC, but anywhere. Great food, great bar/winelist, but I'd be kind of hesitant to rec it to you with your veggie bf. Not much choice in veggie entrees and apps, but you can look at the menu online to get a feel.

    The American Restaurant is always talked about, and I've never been, but people usually tell me they find it underwhelming after eating there.

    Pangea is a great place to try, and on Mondays they have a $30 prix fie menu with wine or beer pairings that's fantastic. Plus their desserts will blow your mind!

    A really fun, new place in the Crossroads district (where Lidia's is) is Souperman, a soup/salad/sandwich place that's great for lunch. Very fun menu, very cool neighborhood. 1724 main st. kansas city, mo

    Lastly, if you like Thai food, Thai Orchid offers about 20 veggie entrees and they're all fantastic. It was written up in the Pitch, KC's local "artsy" newspaper recently.

    Just a few to chew over! Enjoy KC!

    Pangea Cafe & Market
    900 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

    Thai Orchid
    6504 Martway St, Mission, KS 66202

    1 Reply
    1. re: reubensandperrier

      Thanks, this is a great start...I hadn't heard of Pangea and am glad to know that Lidia probably won't work for the bf.

    2. Korma Sutra has vegetarian dishes. It is at Metcalf and 435.

      1. I would think 1924 would be the perfect fit. They (almost) always have terrific vegetarian options. It kinda has an upscale casual feel to it and you won't spend a fortune - especially at lunch time. Even my frugal husband thinks it's a d@mn fine deal - $10.00 for 2 courses and $15.00 for 3 courses. Always excellent. The menu use to change weekly, however, I think it's recently changed to a monthly menu. The chef/owner is the same gut that does Souperman - another great choice. He'a also opening a Pizza place soon.

        Bluebird Cafe is another great vegetarian choice - lots of organic & fresh ingredients - and I love it's quirky little atmoshpere.

        I happen to love The American - but it is VERY, VERY pricey. Maybe save it for a special occasion should you move here.

        Le Fou Frog is another excellent choice. A funky little french bistro down in the River Market.

        Don't rule out BBQ - if he eats fish - Jack Stack's has a couple of pretty decent fish options - and you can still try some local BBQ.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mushroom

          Oooh I didn't know the Dalzells were opening a pizza place... I'm excited!

          1. re: Mushroom

            Great...I will add 1924 to the list and confirm Bluebird and then look at Le Fou Frog. Also appreciate the info on the BBQ fish....I think we will give Jack Stack's a role.

            1. re: Mushroom

              Be sure to go next door to Fervere bakery if you go to Bluebird Cafe Wednesday through Saturday for lunch. You might have to call ahead to hold some bread on a Saturday, or even some weekdays. They also have odd hours, opening at 11 am on weekdays, 9:30 am on Saturday, and they close when they sell out, which can be quickly. If you've called ahead, they'll look closed and have up a sold out sign, but someone will be inside to take care of your order.

              Bluebird Cafe served their bread last time I went (which was a good while) so you'll see what I'm talking about--it's easily the best bread in the metro. If you all have a picnic, say at the Nelson Atkins (which should be feasible if the weather cools,) their bread is perfect with some cheese and wine.

              I love Le Fou Frog, and they do seafood and fish very well. If it's not too hot, sit on the patio. Pangea is fantastic as well. In fact, everything recommended is quite good. If you are heading south into Johnson county, you might give Spin pizzeria a try. They're a little further south than Korma Sutra, on 119th in a shopping center anchored by Wild Oats east of Metcalf. Very good thin crust pizzas, fresh salads, cheesy panini, and a limited wine selection. Artisan Francais bakery is also nearby, and they make lovely pastry and quiche.

            2. Ice cream's cheap, chocolate's cheap! (And I could make a meal out of the two! ;-)Two quintessential KC experiences... Murray's Ice Cream and Christopher Elbow Chocolates! Fabulous, fabulous, unique flavors of ice cream, and the prettiest, tastiest chocolates I've ever had!

              And as always, I second the rec for 1924 Main!

              Christopher Elbow Chocolatier
              118 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

              Murray's Ice Creams & Cookies
              4120 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111

              1. McCormick & Schmidt's Seafood at the Plaza is always divine; and so is the M&S Grill, which has a great selection of grilled seafood. They are both a little pricey, but not as high as Lidia's either. It is a little hard to find fresh seafood this far inland, but we do have some good choices. You will love KC - it is the best kept secret in the country.