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worst represented food in KC? ie. what should we eat lots of before moving to KC?

We've got just over a month before moving to KC from London. Obviously the state of Mexican and bbq will improve by light years. I suspect the quality of Vietnamese food we are used to will remain constant. What is called pizza will change, but neither stand up to my NJ definition of it. My googling suggests that we'll be able to go for a drive and end up with dosas and other South Indian delights.

What should we be stuffing our faces with in the mean time?

Please advise!

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  1. The only foods I can think of off the top of my head would be Japanese style bakery goods, the less sweet westernized versions and the wagashi. But, I don't know that these are well represented in London, either. I just know that I have to wait to get my fix on the west coast, because no one is doing these here, not the sweets nor the cakes and pastries, and what's trucked in is often stale or sub par. I've come to rely on Pichet Ong's recipes, meanwhile. Luckily, they're not foods I could eat as a daily staple anyway, so I don't know if you'd want to stuff your face with them if they are available in London. That might not have good results anyway!

    There might be some cuisines not represented so well in KC. I don't know of any resties serving traditional British fare, though there is a shop in Lawrence where you can get tea, canned goods, candy, and similar items if you're missing Cadbury chocolates or treacle. PG Tips is available at Whole Foods, for instance.

    Is there anything fantastic in London you're concerned won't be so good here? Maybe we could get more specific?

    1. There are lots of good restaurants focusing on specific cuisines, such as Indian, Vietnamese or middle-eastern, but few restaurants or grocery stores that cater to international palettes, other than simple Asian or Mexican fare. For instance, I live on the east side of Kansas City in Independence and would love to see a true gyro shop somewhere close by.

      For the best pizza, I'd recommend Funhouse Pizza on the east side (Raytown & Independence, specifically). I consider it the best in the area, but it is definitely a local thing and their pizzas bear little or no resemblance to most New York or Chicago style pizzas. I would also recommend D'Bronx. They're probably as close as you're going to get to your usual pizza fare.

      After the move, if you'd like to contact me, I'll be glad to help steer you in the right directions.

      I hope this helps.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rw253

        That brings up an important point, relizabeth. Do you know what part of the metro you'll be living in when you move here? It can make a HUGE difference in access to ethnic or even conventional kinds of restaurants and groceries. It's improved since Cosentino's put a grocery downtown. We do live in quite a sprawling metro area...

          1. re: relizabeth

            Oh, you are so lucky! Brookside is just delightful, and really centrally located.

            We do have a couple of good Indian restaurants, but I would guess that area of the world is the least represented.

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            Brookside Cafe
            15668 W Center Rd, Omaha, NE 68130

            1. re: Parrotgal

              Did you mean Indian specific to Brookside? There are actually quite a few Indian restaurants and groceries in the Kansas City, JoCo, and even the Northland areas, many in and around Metcalf Ave. Touch of India, Ruchi, Korma Sutra (with 2 locations,) Paradise India, Taj Palace, Swagat, Masala's, and probably many more I'm not remembering or aren't on my radar.

      2. I would be traveling with suitcases packed full of McVities, but I'm a low-rent kinda gal. When you get to KC just eat bbq all the time, for every meal, I would.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tonifi

          If you're a Marmite fan, you can get it in the USA but you cannot (cheaply) get Marmite XO (which IMHO is vastly superior to regular Marmite). So bring a few jars along with your suggestives. Also, regarding your expectations of better Mexican food - you can get it here but you usually find it a hole-in-the-wall where the food is both cheap and delicious. Pretty much all the chains and fancy places are a waste of time.

        2. This may sound strange, but English food doesn't exist here. And by that, I mean, a full English fry up, chip buddies, fish n' chip stands, etc. So, enjoy those while you can! :)
          Other than that, I think KC has kind of a lousy German/Polish/Russian representation. Which is so odd considering the amount of immigrants from those areas that came to settle farmland.
          I love Polish food, and I have not located a Polish or Russian place.
          Happy moving!

          3 Replies
          1. re: stellamystar

            There used to be a russian market than prepared lunch, and you know, I never made it down there when i hadn't already eaten. Such a shame, because it's closed now, maybe a little over a year ago? I used to buy avjar there...I got a jar yesterday at Trader Joe's and was thinking about that little market. They had a grill out back, I remember, and I think it was near 80th and Metcalf, but I can't remember the name.

            1. re: amyzan

              yep! I went there once. It was OK. They had a grocery section. They also served middle eastern foods on their menu, so I think I had a hummus/chicken wrap when I was there. Anyway... I asked a Russian friend about this very problem and she gave me a long history about the local restranteurs trying to open Russian places and they all fail b/c they weren't Food & Bev experts, just businessmen. If she wants (and her group of Russian friends) Russian food, they just have parites at their house!
              Wish they would invite me!!!! :)

            2. re: stellamystar

              Hahaha, one of the things I'm looking forward to leaving is 98% of English food.

            3. The food in KC is actually really great (I've lived in DC and Chicago). You can find great ethnic restaurants and groceries. The catch is you'll probably find only 1 great restaurant representing each region of the world. Translation, you'll likely have to do some driving. The sushi here is pretty bad. The fish tends to not be fresh and the rolls are not inventive. It's hard to find sushi that doesn't have mayonnaise in it somewhere (blech!) Very few breakfast spots in town as well. Here's some restaurant (and other) suggestions...

              Italian: Bella Napoli in Brookside.
              Ethiopian: Blue Nile in City Market
              Greek: I hear Tasso's or Never on Sunday but haven't tried either yet. There's a fantastic Greek picnic but it only happens once a year :(
              Upscale American: Blue Stem, Justice or Julian
              Organic: Blue Bird Bistro on Summit Hill (or Westside Local across the street)
              French: Le Fou Frog near City Market
              Middle Eastern: Habashi House in City Market
              Chinese: Blue Koi on 39th or Po's just down the street
              Chicago style pizza: The Dish in Liberty
              Italian pizza: Bella Napoli
              Take out pizza: Pizza 51
              Salads: The Mixx
              Austrian: Gruneur (haven't tried it yet)
              Happy Hour/Tapas: Extra Virgin
              Snow Cones: Fresher Than Fresh
              Ice Cream: Glace or Murray's in Westport
              Burgers: Blanc
              BBQ: Oklahoma Joe's
              Hot Dogs: Dog Nouveau
              Breakfast: Jerry's Cafe
              Milk: Shatto (from regular groceries)
              Cheese: Green Dirt Farm (sheep)
              Bread: Farm to Market
              Grocery: Brookside Market and Whole Foods
              Farmer's Market: Brookside or City Market

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              Blue Bird Bistro
              1700 Summit, Kansas City, MO 64108

              City Market
              20 E 5th St, Kansas City, MO 64106

              Mixx
              4855 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64112

              The Westside Local
              1663 Summit Street, Kansas City, MO 64108

              Le Fou Frog
              400 East 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106

              Habashi House
              309 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64105

              Blue Nile Cafe
              20 E 5th St Ste 102, Kansas City, MO 64106

              Pizza 51
              5060 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64112

              Bella Napoli
              6229 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64113

              Blue Koi
              10581 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS 66206

              Brookside Cafe
              15668 W Center Rd, Omaha, NE 68130

              Snow Cone
              1325 N Janeway Ave, Moore, OK 73160

              2 Replies
              1. re: cciaccio

                That's a very good point, cciaccio. relizabeth should probably eat as much seafood as she can while still in England, fried, grilled, whatever. You can get decent seafood here, but it doesn't hold a candle to what's served or available on the coasts. Even flown in, it just can't match up. There is a truck that comes up from the Gulf every three-four weeks, and sells in Lawrence, though. Their shrimp is pretty tasty, and they claim not to freeze it.

                1. re: cciaccio

                  Yes, we will eat as much seafood as we can tolerate before leaving. Neither of us are big fish/ seafood eaters, so the change won't be oppressive.

                  We've been to Gruneur with my Austrian granny and German husband. It was lackluster and everybody was unimpressed. I doubt we will return.

                2. I think you'll have trouble finding a decent Pie and Mash. Although Gordon Ramsey and David Beckham are reportedly going to start up a place called PM and eventually they might open up a branch in KC.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: kagemusha49

                    Neither of us is British, so we won't have much homesickness for British food. And in a pinch we can just make some of it ourselves. In many cases, we are thrilled to say good riddance! That being said, can I get Lapsang Suchong tea in KC? I'm fine with Twinings in teabags, but I do know it isn't available at the Price Chopper in Brookside.

                    1. re: relizabeth

                      We buy Lapsang Suchong at Tea Drops in Westport.

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                      Tea Drops
                      4111 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111