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May 27, 2011 12:32 PM

Breakfasts at Blue Bird Bistro (KCMO), Great Day Cafe (Overland Park), 119th Street Diner (Olathe)

Friday’s breakfast stop was BLUE BIRD BISTRO in the West Side/Crossroads neighborhood. The skies opened up for a deluge of biblical proportions, and I was grateful to my waitress who found a stray umbrella that I could take with me.

I loved the funky, casual, lived-in ambience here. The vintage tin ceiling is beautiful.

I tried a half order of biscuits and gravy including housemade sausage, $5.70, plus a side of one poached egg, $1.25. The sausage and the mushroom gravy were so good. Unfortunately, the biscuit seemed like it had been handled roughly turning out tough and hard. But it was easily ignored surrounded by so much wonderfulness. Coffee, $2.30, was characterful and kept refilled yet rather acidic.

Blue Bird Bistro celebrates local, sustainable sourcing. Here’s what I’m calling its “hall of fame” of local farms, growers, and suppliers.

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I’d overheard someone at the farmers market rave about the soups at GREAT DAY CAFÉ in Overland Park, so I headed over there to see what might be up for breakfast.

No wait at 9am on Saturday, but here’s the colorful bench in case there is a line.

A cup of green posole for breakfast turned out to be super sour from the tomatillos and little else to balance it. The chunks of white meat chicken were hard and dry. I did like the bread, and the a capella live performance of the National Anthem to start the day.

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About 10 minutes from my hotel, I tried 119th STREET DINER in Olathe early Sunday morning. It had only been open for three weeks at that point. Yet my server seemed assured and the manager stopped by to check on my satisfaction. It’s ready for prime time.

A contemporary take on an old-fashioned diner, this one has booths, a counter overlooking the open kitchen, and a full bar with seating painted in lively colors.

Unfortunately, with the dodgy weather and a lot of driving ahead of me, I didn't feel that I could have a breakfast Bloody Mary or martini to start the day.

My server said the Irish Benedict with Corned Beef Hash, $8.49, was one of his favorites on the menu. Easy to understand why. The corned beef hash is prepped in-house, as are the condiments and sauces here. The finely minced style with some potato is pan-fried in patty format, crisp and nicely browned. Just the right amount of toasting on the English muffin halves, soft-centered poached egg, velvety Hollandaise sauce --- what’s not to like?

Breakfast is served all day. Here are the front and back of the menu, rumpled from being stuffed in my carry-on.

Blue Bird Bistro
1700 Summit, Kansas City, MO 64108

119th Street Diner
14178 W 119th St, Olathe, KS 66062

Great Day Cafe
7921 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS 66204

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  1. I've been waiting for word on 119th St. Diner, so am glad to hear they're clicking on all cylinders. Good news! I've had similar missteps at Blue Bird. They just don't seem to get everything right in a meal. It's kind of odd, and a bit of a shame, because they do some things remarkably well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan

      119th Street Diner has a wide-ranging menu, so who knows if it can execute all of it equally well. But I feel that there were some elements in my benedict that other cooks screw up, so it says something about the skill of whoever was working the line that morning.

      I'm sorry to hear that about Blue Bird. It was so comfortable there and I like the commitment to local food. Hope they can get it together.

      119th Street Diner
      14178 W 119th St, Olathe, KS 66062

    2. That sounds exactly like the Irish Benedict at Santa Fe Cafe... I'm curious if 119th St. Diner is related in some way to it?

      Santa Fe Cafe
      9946 W 87th St, Overland Park, KS 66212

      2 Replies
      1. re: Katie Nell

        The is the article about the Diner that I found when I was searching for breakfast spots near my hotel. I don't know enough about local chefs movements or restaurant lineage to judge whether any of the crew or owners have a prior connection.

        I will mention that I heard some grumblings about price from neighboring tables. FYI, the benedict plate does not come with any potatoes. Hash browns were offered to me for an additional charge. I didn't need that much food, in fact, my plan had been to just eat half my serving since I'd be having lunch at Stroud's. But it was tasty, I polished it off and was more than full.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Doesn't seem to be related. I suppose an Irish Benedict isn't that much of a stretch for a breakfast place... it's just usually what I get at Santa Fe Cafe, so it got me wondering. We'll have to check out 119th St. Diner soon!

          Santa Fe Cafe
          108 E Santa Fe Ave, Burlingame, KS 66413

      2. Website for 119th St Diner, 18 kinds of egg benedict