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Kansas City "musts"

I live in Kansas City but will be moving out of the area in about a year. In the meantime I don't want to miss anything I should try so am trying to fit in a new (to me) restaurant at least once every couple of weeks. I'd love to know what is on other food people's must list, as well as why.

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  1. Lunch at Cafe Sebastienne in the Kemper. You just can't go wrong! I'll have more but there's one to get you started.

    1. I like Grinders in the Crossroads. Also Lulu's Noodles is amazing!

      1. I'm guessing if you live in KC you've been to Oklahoma Joe's. If not, go, for obvious reasons. I would say the place I enjoy most in Kansas City is La Bodega. It isn't very expensive and can be very fun sharing tapas and sangria. I also think any taco (I like the al pastor) at El Camino Real and the tortillas from Ninfa's in KCK are both musts.

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        La Bodega
        703 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108

        1. Do your palate (1st) and your wallet (2nd) a favor and go to Cafe Tempo at Jo Co Community College. Open for lunch, and make sure you save room for dessert. Tonight, we tried Broadmoor Bistro, and were wowed with what those kids could do for $25/plate for 4 courses.

          Students need our critical and appreciative eyes to urge them forward in the culinary arts. Support these incredible programs. (Your stomachs will thank you).

          1. If you haven't already, you must go try all the breads at Fervere, 17th and Summit on the west side. I'd recommend you eat at Bluestem at least once, too--the lounge is great if you don't want to spend a lot on a special meal. I would eat at the original Arthur Bryant's at least once before leaving town, but I'm biased because my mom always tells me stories about the bbq stealing dog back in the fifties. Nostalgia is strong. Depending on where you're moving, I'd also go eat okonomiyaki at One Bite, because it's so hard to find (unless you're moving to one of the coasts.) I'll try to think of other musts and post again...

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            One Bite Japanese Grill
            8602 W 133rd St, Overland Park, KS 66213

            Arthur Bryant's Barbeque
            1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64127

            Bluestem
            900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

            Fervere
            1702 Summit St, Kansas City, MO

            9 Replies
            1. re: amyzan

              Do please elaborate on the barbecue-stealing dog, amyzan!

              1. re: GiGiWy

                I'll have to ask her the breed--boxer?--I don't remember which she said it was. She tells me that when she was young, her parents used to take her to Bryant's a few times a year. There was a dog who used to come up to the table, and without much ado, gently take some Q off the table. The owners would come whisk away the plate and replace it with apologies, but they apparently let this dog have his way, because she said the dog did it more than once. I just find that so quirky, I love hearing that story.

                1. re: amyzan

                  * Arthur Bryant's. I don't think it's the best BBQ in KC, but it's the most famous and "must" for sure.

                  Burgers:
                  * Town Topic (19th & Baltimore) long-time local favorite for burgers.
                  * Winstead's (east of Plaza), ditto.
                  * Max's Burgers & Gyros (83nd & Wornall). Haven't been there, but hear it's great.
                  * Blanc burgers & bottles (Plaza or 106th & Mission). Fancy burgers, beer & other drinks. (Friday I had a Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur in Thai Basil-Clove Soda Vie. Very refreshing.)

                  Se habla español:
                  * Piropos (Briarcliff), an Argentinean steakhouse. Next best thing to being in Buenos Aires.
                  * La Bodega (SW Blvd or 119th, by Apple store), Spanish tapas. Food, drinks, Miró-inspired decor -- it's all wonderful.
                  * Frida's (Metcalf around 150th), Mexican "nueva cocina." Like a very nice restaurant in Mexico City (no sombreros on the wall). The chille relleno is to die for. Get the margarita made w/ the "43" liqueur from Spain.

                  Brunch:
                  * Bluebird Bistro (17th & Summit), great for any meal but especially brunch. Fresh, local, organic.

                  Italian:
                  * Jasper's (103rd & State Line), great Italian food. Standard & seasonal menus, lots of local ingredients. Save room for dessert.
                  * Il Centro (Main, south of Plaza), very intimate atmosphere. My husband loved the veal meatballs.

                  Local history:
                  * The Majestic (downtown, on Broadway), part of KC history.
                  * The Savoy (downtown), ditto.
                  * Drum Room bar in the Hilton President (Barney Allis Plaze / P&L Dist). Been there forever.

                  James Beard Awards:
                  * Michael Smith (19th & Main)
                  * American Restaurant (Crown Center)
                  * Bluestem (Westport)
                  [I think these are the only JBA chefs in KC; might as well try them all.]

                  South of Plaze/Crestwood/Brookside:
                  * Andre's (Main south of Plaza -or- 119th), Franco-Swiss food and yummy pastries. The one on Main is the original location. Not sure how old it is, but it was there in 70s. The sell their house dressing, so grab a bottle to take home.
                  * Glace (Main, south of Plaza), Christopher Elbow's ice cream shop. As unique and delicious as his chocolates. Skip dinner and get 2 scoops. [Near Il Centro]
                  * Aixois (Crestwood). I've eaten there only once, for lunch, and it was quite good.
                  * Avenue Bistro (Brookside). Ditto -- lunch, once, quite good.
                  * Sharp's (Brookside). Great little neighborhood place. Good breakfast.

                  119th:
                  * Trezo Vino wine bar (Park Place). Delicious small plates to go with the wine.
                  * Bristol (119th) for seafood and cocktails. And stained glass dome.
                  [Also in this area, southern branches of Andre's and La Bodega]

                  Way South:
                  * Llywelyn's Pub (151st, 1 block east of Metcalf) Irish/Welsh pub in an old church. [Near Frida's]

                  Not restaurants, but local specialties:
                  * Topsy's caramel and/or cinnamon popcorn
                  * Bogdon's Reception Sticks
                  * Sifers Valomilk, made in KC for 80 years

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                  Bluestem
                  900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

                  La Bodega
                  703 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108

                  Aixois
                  301 E 55th St, Kansas City, MO 64113

                  Trezo Vino
                  11570 Ash Street, Leawood, KS 66211

                  Town Topic
                  2013 Broadway St, Kansas City, MO 64108

                  Drum Room
                  1335 Baltimore, Kansas City, MO 64108

                  Michael Smith
                  1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

                  1. re: KansasKate

                    The Savoy was a HUGE disappointment, and an expensive one at that. Don't bother. Valomilk, on the other hand, is one of the great candies of all time.

                    1. re: alan

                      Hope your experience at the Savoy was a fluke. That used to be such a great place to go. Even if it's no longer a good place to eat, it's still worth popping in for a drink or maybe dessert, just to soak up some KC history.

                      1. re: KansasKate

                        I am a long time lover of Savoy, but have not been in 10+ years because I 'fear" the disappointment. Someone needs to take that ship over and give it the respect it deserves.
                        In an age where Capital Grille has taken over, places like the Savoy are nearly extinct in Kansas City. Sad times.

                    2. re: KansasKate

                      A little bit outside of KC, another James Beard nominee-Jonathan Justus, Justus Drugstore, Smithville, MO

                      1. re: wekick

                        Also within driving distance are Teller's and Pachamama in Lawrence.

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                        Pachamama's
                        800 New hampshire, Lawrence, KS 66047

                    3. re: amyzan

                      Me, too! We had a boxer when I was little, and she used to go down the street to a house where they were doing construction, and the workers would share their lunch with her. My father had to finally put a sign around her neck asking that they please refrain, as she was getting fat! (Sorry, Chow, know this is off-subject, but still fun!)

                2. We moved from KC to Lexington KY last summer.

                  The things I miss most are barbecue and Mexican.
                  Specifically Brobeck's ribs and the tacos at El Camnio Real.

                  There is nothing like Bluestem here, so we can add that to my list as well.

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                  Bluestem
                  900 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: chileheadmike

                    Is AP Roots still open, chileheadmike? They weren't quite Bluestem when I ate there in, 2008?, could have been earlier, but they were good. There's also a rather charming place out of town near Midway called Holly Hill Inn. When Ouita's kitchen is firing on all cylinders (and you can ask her which dish she's most proud of when ordering,) the food is really good. Nothing there will have the same ambience as Bluestem, but there is some good food to be had.

                    ...and sorry, I know this is entirely tangential to the KC area...

                    http://www.hollyhillinn.com/

                    1. re: amyzan

                      Until now I have not heard of AP Roots. There is a pretty favorable review on Lexgo.com. But it is not dated. I'll have to check. Thanks for the head's up.

                      The KY/Tenn board, at least for Lexington, is very slow.

                      My daughter goes to KState and we plan on hitting Holly Hill when she is back on Spring Break.

                          1. re: chileheadmike

                            Well, that's lovely, thanks for the news! She's a former student of my father's, so we were lucky enough to eat with her from the beginnings. It's been a pleasant journey and now to see her recognized.