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Kansas City - What should a Foodie not miss in 2008?

Since it is the dawn of an exciting new year, I find myself looking at an empty 2008 calendar that I would like to fill with 365 days of family, friends, fun and FOOD.

I had some really terrific Foodie experiences in Kansas City in 2007, but I am looking forward to adding some new ones in 2008. I know there are many wonderful food-related activities and events that can be done in Kansas City at different times throughout the year . . .I want to hear from all of you, and pick your brains: What are the Foodie experiences you plan to attend, create, achieve, do in Kansas City in 2008? What should every good Foodie know and experience in KC in 2008?

I am looking for DO NOT MISS food-related festivals (such as Ethnic Festival etc.), social/fundraising events (Forks & Corks etc.), local food activities (apple, asparagus or pecan picking etc.), CSA's to join, farmer's markets to recommend, local foodie resources to read (Tastebud Magazine) or subscribe or join (online forums), culinary classes to take, underground dinner clubs to attend, KS/MO related travel trips (taking the train to Hermann, MO for crush week), local foodie tours (like Boulevard Brewery tour), food retail opportunities (going to visit Christopher Elbow's place for a hot chocolate, or browsing at Pryde's in Westport etc.)

With so many of us in KC, I know we could collectively come up with enough great food related ideas and events to fill and entire calendar or at least give us all something to do every weekend.

I am looking forward to your recommendations. Enjoy!

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  1. Not "foodie" ish - BUT, I want to go to the State Fair this year. I think it is in Hutchison. ? .

    I also would like to go to the Louisberg Cider Mill. Does the Roasterie Coffee Corp. have a tour? I would do that, also.

    I want to go to these Missouri wineries I keep reading about (one in Lee's Summit, I believe).

    Revisit the following places since I have moved back to KC From Chicago -
    Strouds, Mama's 39th Street Diner (Not Nichols anymore!), Arthur Bryants, D'Bronx, and Americanos.

    I want to take a class at the KC Culinary School - they have some REALLY neat classes and affordable, too!

    Everyone should also make a day trip to Lawrence, KS and enjoy the following eateries - Wheatfields Bakery - coffee, cookies, breakfast/lunch. Buy some beer at the Free State Brewery (local brewery in Lawrence), go to the "Merc" for some organic, local shopping. Enjoy the multitude of local coffee houses (Z's Espresso is one of my favorites).

    In Lawrence, shop at The Brit Store - teas, Brit foods, trinkets, and Au Marche - European candies, cheeses, and other foods.
    Dine at Ingredient or Pachamamas. Lawrence also has a killer Indian Buffet - India Palace.

    I am also keeping an eye out for restaurant auctions. Sometimes you can get some GREAT deals on $$$ items. I will post if I see anything good. The Shawnee Mission School Dis. had an auction in the fall and sold some commercial level fridges, stoves, etc.

    Dine at KC Originals restaurants!

    6 Replies
    1. re: stellamystar

      Many thanks for your completely inspiring list of places to go/do/see in 2008. . .let me know about the Lee Summit winery . . .restaurant auctions are also a terrific idea, one that had never occurred to me . . .until now.

      I believe the Roasterie Coffee Corp. does give public tours of its place, you could call to find out details. I know I received one when I went down to develop the Brazilian roast that we served and sold in my Brazilian store and it was quite interesting and impressive.

      I just took the tour at the newly remodeled and expanded Boulevard Brewing Company which was really interesting to hear the history and understand where they want to go as well as seeing their new party space which has the coolest views of downtown KC.

      Lawrence is a great foodie town . . .I can also recommend Cafe Beautiful fhttp://www.lawrence.com/places/cafe_beautiful/ for an incredible, personal sushi experience and The Krause's house for the most amazing meal in Lawrence from a popular and much loved local chef and his wife - Robert and Molly Krause.

      1. re: stellamystar

        Kansas State Fair IS in Hutchinson. There are some Chow-ish places there. It's my adopted home. I moved there in October from South Carolina.

        If you do go to Hutch for the State Fair:

        Allie's Deli, 101 N. Main - Open for breakfast and lunch. Amazing scones (crispy on the outside, soft in the middle), wonder quiche, and good sandwiches.

        Roy's Barbecue - Somewhere way out W. 5th - look for the yellow building on the N. sid of the road. Good 'cue

        Danny Boy's BBQ - N. Main between 3rd and 4th on the West side - Wonderful ribs.

        Playa Azul - the closest thing Hutch has to an "authentic" Mexican Restaurant. I recommend the Carnitas, Tacos al Carbon, and Jalisco. On weekends they make Tacos al Pastor...with pineapple! Apparently that's how they do Al Pastor in Guanjuato (where the owners and most of the workers are from), but it's the only place I've had pineapple in my tacos.

        Anchor Inn - 128 S. Main. Food is humble and not particularly "authentic" Mexican.. Tamales are good, as are the homemade flour tortillas. Occasionally they have mole on the buffet, which is pretty good. Thursday night is White Cake day. Sometimes they have leftover White Cake on Fridays. They get it shipped in from Kansas City and it's so soft and luscious, it turns me into a glutton. They have good strawberry margaritas. The place is like the restaurant with a manifest destiny though. They have taken over 3 buildings. It's quite the local gathering place. You see everyone there.

        Skeats - can't miss it, it's right next to the fairgrounds on N. Main! They have wonderful pancakes. Their stakes are low-priced, but the one time I had one, it was not good. Burgers are alright. They've been in operation since 1949.

        Brooks on Main - 123 S. Main - Hutchinson's newest coffee shop. They make a decent latte. They make very good smoothies from real fruit...not that Oasis mix garbage. They also have light lunch/dinner fare - quiche, soups, salads. They offer quite a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, which is almost unheard of in Hutchinson. They also bake their own rolls and pastries. The cinnamon rolls are delicious! They don't ruin them by pouring on sugary icing. They're the perfect blend of sweet, buttery, and cinnamon-y.

        Airpor Steakhouse - Airport Road, in the Municipal Airport. Their steaks are consistently good. They have a pretty good lunch buffet. Mid-priced. Their crowning achievement is the carrot cake. It comes in huge slices, and they add pineapple to the batter, which makes it wonderfully moist and oh-so-tasty.

        Marcella's Red Lion - 19 E. 2nd - First floor of the Plaza Towers. This is Hutchinson's newest nice dining establishment. It is the only "fine dining" restaurant downtown. My experience has been one of mediocrity. They focus on Italian food - mostly traditional pastas. They also serve steaks and some seafood. Entrees are $10-$25. The food is better than similarly-priced chain restaurants, but it doesn't wow me.

        Carriage Crossing - If you get off K-96 at the Yoder Rd. exit, you can't miss it. Mennonite/Amish Home Cooking. Tasty, tasty pie. Great if you're really hungry.

        Missouri State fair is in Sedalia. I spent a couple days there, but didn't have a whole lot of time to explore. I don't remember seeing anything chowhound worthy, otherwise I'd give the scoop. Of course, State Fairs are chow hound extravaganzas in and of themselves.

        Another event that is chowhoud worthy is the Mennonite Relief Sale. This is held every year in March at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutch. The purpose is to raise money for disaster relief and other Mennonite Missions. It is a culinary extravaganza! They have fresh baked cookies and milk, pie...tons of pie, scores of pie, infinite pie! They serve homemade German specialties like Verinike (sp?) with a ham gravy and sausages, bierogies (sp?) - a bean paste-filled roll swimming in a hot sweet cream sauce (I know, it sounds weird, but it tasted good!), New Year's cookies (round, with rasins, and somewhat donut-like), Russian Pancakes (kind of like crepes), and...it just goes on and on!

        They also have a huge quilt auction. I saw a quilt sell for $5700! Yikes! They also have a "regular stuff" auction - tractors, toys, furniture, paintings, knick knacks, tools, etc. It was quite an experience. I was enthralled by the auctioneers. And there were a TON of people there. Yeah, I'd definately recommend the Mennonite Relief Sale to anyone who isn't familiar with Midwest German heritage. It was a learning experience for me, a very enjoyable one!

        1. re: Antithesisofpop

          This is a wonderful post, Anti. I admire your passion for and knowledge of food in Kansas,

          1. re: jwagnerdsm

            I just moved here in October and I'm 800-1100 miles away from everyone I know. I have to entertain myself somehow!

          2. re: Antithesisofpop

            Excellent day trip information. I had a friend I worked with in Kansas City many years ago who was from "Hutch" and and her family had a funnel cake trailer that they would take every year to the Kansas State Fair she talked about there being nothing of interest in Hutchinson, KS. Nice to know that thing do change, and great when people in the know (like you) can tell us it has changed. Thanks!

          3. After touring The Roasterie, you can go have a cup of single origin from their $11,000 Clover.

            If you're interested in Christopher Elbow, you might be interested in the Kansas City Chocolate Festival. It doesn't happen until September, but it should prove to be a tasty and educational time.

            Oktoberfest Kansas City is September 26-28 in 2008, and the American Royal is September 29th, so that'll be a busy week for foodies in KC.

            Weston's Applefest is usually the first weekend in October. Mmm Apple Butter...

            Kansas City Irish Festival is Aug. 29-31...

            I believe Festa Italiana will be at Zona Rosa this year...

            My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

            1. The Chocolate and Wine Festival is always fun, you get to sample alot of local chocolates and taste alot of good wines from Missouri. It is at the Hyatt Regency on Friday January 25th, 5 to 9 p.m.. You can do just the chocolate for $10 or chocolate and wine for $30.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Irishbeer4me

                I always look forward to going to the 2 Greek Orthodox festivals hosted by the Annunciation (June) and St. Dionysios(September). Their websites haven't been updated yet, but it's usually the first or second weekend of those months. The desserts are the best, diabetics beware!

                I also like to eat my way through the Brookside and Plaza Artfairs in May and September. This year I hope to make it out to the Ethnic Enrichment fair but it often falls on a bad weekend for me.

                I was noticing in the February issue of Tastebud, an ad for a meat CSA/subscription for Amy's Meats. After getting my feet wet for the first time with the HenHouse CSA last summer, I am considering doing a meat subscription. Doesn't that sound funny? Subscribing for meat? Has anyone had Amy's meats before or is a subscriber? I just hope she has KC pickup locations.

                1. re: vsoy

                  Hey vsoy, I know I have probably missed you this year for the meat CSA, but I know several people who use Amy's Meat CSA and they say it rocks. She has a nice variety of meat each week, and I think her pick up point is always at that strip shopping Center on Mission Rd and say 85th?

                  I signed up this year for my first meat CSA with Parker Farms http://www.kcfoodcircle.org/KCCSAC/CS... and it has been great. We get many kinds of meat already butchered into cuts you would see at your local grocery store. We have received lamb, chicken, beef, pork and we always get farm fresh eggs. You would not believe how much better meat raised on grass only can be until you have tasted it . . .and the eggs are just perfection. We do a lot of grilling at my house in the summer and this meat CSA has really come in handy. Whatever we get that week, we just throw on the grill. The nice part about this CSA with Parker Farms is it is year round. I highly recommend them.

                  1. re: jvergara

                    Hey Jenny, thanks for the info on the Parker Farms. I am finishing up a 6 month subscription with Amy's Meats. She's also year round and now offers fresh eggs from her dad's farm in addition to beef and pork. There's some talk of goose being offered for the holidays at the end of the year.

                    She's by the CVS at the Corinth shopping center in Prairie Village every other Saturday (this week) from 2:30-3:30pm. We've had very good meals with some of the cuts we've gotten from her. The not so good ones were because of cooking errors.

                    1. re: vsoy

                      we get meat from Amy @ Corinth too- I had a rib eye last night that was delicious.

                      1. re: goroe

                        how do they sell it at Corinth? In bundles or separately?

                        1. re: jdl98

                          You can do a CSA subscription where you get bundles of different meats or you can just show up and buy whatever she has. The meat is frozen, so keep that in mind when you go.

              2. Look into Broadmoor Technical Center (Shawnee Mission School District). Their culinary program leads the nation in highschools and has just finished a very high dollar kitchen facility and dining room project. Some big name chefs will be coming in as guest chefs and this would probably be a great opportunity to get a deal on some great food and to also support local culinary education.

                Also, don't forget about The American Restaurant's Friends of James Beard Dinner - a good chance to try some great out of town chefs' food.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JWest

                  I know that The Roasterie does their tours on Saturdays at 11 because I have done one and it is a lot of fun. They are working on a new retail space inside the factory that will be opening soon. Boulevard does a good tour as well. If your looking for Elbows chocolates make sure and try his new coffee during your tour at the Roasterie.

                  1. re: JWest

                    Does Broadmoor serve meals, or can you order food from them?

                  2. Lots of great ideas. I would add Lidia's brunch on Saturday or Sunday morning, especially in the summer when vegetables are freshest.

                    Krause's in Lawrence is a definitely the place to go in the area.

                    Ingredient in Lawrence is also a great new place.

                    Free State Brewery is offering a Brewer's Banquet on a few days in February. It fills up fast. You probably need to call now. Very intriguing food and beer pairings.

                    1. Grab an issue of communiversity - ! Look at these great classes
                      Veg Cooking Made Easy
                      Coffee Conscuece
                      Home Brewing
                      Kombucha Brewing
                      Making Chai
                      Drinking Chocolate
                      Wines of S. France
                      Wines for Beginners
                      Champagne 101
                      Making Kolache
                      Truffle Making
                      Making baby food
                      Thai Food
                      Hungarian Cooking
                      Sushi Intro
                      Midwest Mexican Cooking
                      Living Food
                      Growing Herbs Indoor & Out

                      1. You must check out Christopher Elbow and have some chocolates. The Roasterie and Boulevard both give great tours. Also we are getting a lot of great new places in the power and light district.

                        1. If your a foodie from KC, then I would highly recommend searching out and finding some of the finest bar chocolate made in the USA. Patric Chocolates are made in Columbia, MO, Alan has been profiled on Jaspar Mirabelles radio show. Great 70% Madagascar chocolate. And also Askinoise Chocolates which are made in Springfield, MO. Shawn makes a couple of different bars. Both of these guys make there bars from Bean to finished bar. And they are in the top 5 chocolate makers in the United States today. And they both live in Missouri. The other three are Amano out of Utah, Eguittard out of California and DeVries out of Denver. Incredible stuff. Search it out.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: tiomano

                            So, I am revisiting this post . . .and I was at a blind wine tasting a couple of weeks ago when Patric Chocolates were brought out for me to taste. Unbelievable! Especially when paired with the bold, fruity reds we were sipping that night. I have never tasted any chocolate that had so much complexity. It was nutty and fruity without either of those ingredients being present in the chocolate itself. Great tip, and he is so close in Columbia.

                            Speaking of heading down I-70, I did head that way right before Mother's Day to purchase 6 lbs. of goat cheese for a Goat Cheese Gnocchi recipe I wanted to make for my "Mom's" who were all in town visiting me. Take exit 117 on i-70 headed east toward St. Louis, and go about 10 miles and you will get to the Goatbeard Farm http://www.goatsbeardfarm.com/ where I purchased goat cheese directly from Jenn Muno the lovely farmer who raises the goats and her hubby makes the cheese. My cheese was made the night before and I carefully put it on ice in a cooler in my trunk before heading back to KC, but not before I stopped at Les Bourgeois Vineyards http://www.missouriwine.com/ at their Blufftop Bistro for a glass of wine and a lovely local meat and cheese tray as my lunch. Photos attached.

                            While not a huge fan of the wine they make and serve there, there is one red wine I have found palatable . . . go for the views and the food, which is really very good. I had the best Tuna Nicoise sandwich and creamy scallop and bacon soup here. Every time, I stop here I am reminded that Chef Rob Dalzell from 1924 Main, Souperman, Pizza Bella and now chefBurger fame got his start in that kitchen at Les Bourgeois when he was just a college student. Enjoy!

                          2. Anyone who loves a good beer should make a trip to Free State. Or you go go to Liberty Hall (http://www.libertyhall.net/) next door for a movie or show where they have Free State on tap.

                            La Prima Tazza has the best coffee in town (between Free State & Liberty Hall).

                            Lawrence is definitely a good road trip for a foodie if you're in the KC area. Hookah House serves the best, authentic babaganoosh. Indo has great bubble tea. Sylas and Maddy's has the best ice cream. Southern Cuisine will make you think you're in the Mississippi Delta. The Orient is good Vietnamese. All of these are downtown.

                            I swear I don't work for the Chamber of Commerce. ;)

                            1. Have this one another thread, but WurstFest in Herrmann, MO is 3/29! About 3 hours E. of KCMO. Check out wineries while there.

                              1. You Say Tomato 2801 holmes. More amazing than you'll ever know

                                1 Reply
                                1. Went to greek festival last nigth (St. Dionysious at 95th, OP) - it was SOOO busy. Lines too long for food. Went to Tasso's instead...enjoyed the blue ouzo. Food was decent...Mousaka was a good one..

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: stellamystar

                                    Last year the lines snaked out the gym, down the hall, out the front door and along the sidewalks next to the parking lot. We joined the line when it was about halfway down the sidewalk along the front of the building, and waited maybe twenty minutes, IIRC. I don't think that's so bad unless there's a reason somebody can't stand that long. It's not much longer than you'd wait in a restaurant, albeit seated and hopefully with drinks!

                                    I don't think we're going to make it this year, though. I've been ill all this week and just need to rest this weekend. I'd love to hear reports!

                                    1. re: amyzan

                                      If you didn't make it to the St. Dionysious Greek Festival, you really need to attend the Annunciation Greek Festival in September. It's at about 121st and Wornall and usually in the beginning of September. Don't let the lines fool you! They have been running this show for like 40 years or something, so they have figured out how to make it go pretty fast...besides just get a glass of wine or two while you're waiting in line. Anyways, It's a great event, and my friends and i have made it a fun tradition

                                      1. re: amyzan

                                        No, i was with someone who COULD have waited, but did not want to. As is life..
                                        Will check out Annunciation....

                                        1. re: stellamystar

                                          haha understandable!!! well hope you enjoy it

                                    2. I'm in Wichita, and if you ever make it this far (well worth the drive) we have some amazing food here. Top of my list is THAI TRADITION, after having it, i'm spoiled and won't eat other lesser quality pad thai, N&J Cafe is meditterian food and so good that celebs actually fly in for a gyros or hummus and you can even ask if you don't believe me...mention harrison ford and your waitress will prob. go get out a binder full of photos of his last visit. We have a NICE COOL gelatto place called CHILL and it's the best gelatto outside of italy...I would also reccomend stopping by the mennonite relief sale; crazy looking food, but don't be like me and wus out and get a small helping....500 people standing in line ahead of me should have been a tipoff...get the verinike (perogies) and bena berogie and pie. the pies are all made by local mennonites so they're each a tiny bit different, but the verinike and bena berogies (bread with sweet bean paste with a tiny drizzle of white frosting on top) are worth the hour drive we make every year. There is also a great german homemade food place called the BREAD BASKET in NEWTON KS that is VERY GOOD (all you can eat homemade bread,butter&jam w/every order.) hope you can chow down to wichita sometime soon....

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: beangirl

                                        Relatives of the people that have Thai Tradition have Thai Treasure in Overland Park and it is equally good