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KC weekend trip (THIS) anyone care to fix my quickly prepared itinerary?

I'm heading to KC this weekend, and actually I've known for quite awhile but only just now got serious about researching. Here are my thoughts, please tell me what's wrong and what's right and help me finalize a plan. FYI, cost is not a concern, nor is location, I know that helps with suggestions, but I honestly just want the best food. I'm staying in the Sheraton at Crown Center.

1.Driving from Omaha, should arrive in KC in the evening, I considered detouring to Justus for dinner but it seems like a bad idea considering I'll be schlubby from the drive, and it'll be relatively early, and i'm not that jazzed about veggie risotto (I'm a vegetarian, kind of, see BBQ below). Still, the desserts look amazing, so maybe reverse meal and do dessert and cocktails and then eat dinner somewhere in KC proper? Good idea? If so, where would be a good supplement to follow a dessert/drink primer?

2. I have to fill Friday and Saturday dinner. Of the usually suggested spots, the Westside Local looked most up my alley in terms of type of food, atmosphere, etc. In fact, I'm considering it for both a dinner and brunch. Or is that a wasted opportunity? I looked at the usual suspects (Bluestem, Rieger, Julian) and I just don't know if I'm sold, but if one of these is truly the best food experience in KC, I'm up for it. Otherwise, perhaps a nice ethnic place (I like everything) anything that would make for a super great dinner that is not barbeque or a steakhouse.

3. BBQ.. burnt ends are the priority. Sounds like LC's is the consensus pick but Oklahoma Joes would be a good choice too? I'll be coming back from Independence for Saturday lunch.

4. Brunch...so I've got Saturday and Sunday for Brunch. I thought I might do Bluestem for brunch, especially if i eschew it for another place for one of my dinners. I think I'm committing to one breakfast/brunch at Westside Local, but I could be dissuaded if you think that's off. I also considered The Farmhouse, and I think i would likely do that Sat. before going to city market and then jetting off to Independence. However, if Bluestem brunch is not to be missed, please let me know. Also, Succotash? Yes? No? I'm not above eating two brunches per day to fit it all in. Obviously I like brunch quite a bit.

5 Drinks...both Friday and Saturday I would like to try two different bars. I'm keen on the craft cocktail thing, and of course Manifesto looks great, and great beer selection would work well too. Any other places besides Manifesto that are close to my hotel (traveling for food is one thing, for booze, another)?

Also, regarding Manifesto, this is way stupid, but the website says reservations for tables of four, and I will be a table of two. What do i do with that? Reserve a table for four and be a jackass (probably not)? Try to reserve a spot for two? Can i? Or do I have to wait solely by virtue of the fact that I have limited companions? Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated as visiting Manifesto is kind of a highlight.

Thanks in advance, I know it's a lot, I'm just feeling like I haven't prepared enough and could really use some help.

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  1. I cannot address all of your needs, but here are some thoughts. Extra Virgin downtown is great for drinks and small plates. I really like LC's burnt ends. Room 39 is great for breakfast or brunch. I liked it better than Bluestem.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SFLisa

      Thanks for the suggestion, Room 39 looks great!

      1. re: SFLisa

        Seconding Extra Virgin, especially Friday happy hour. Half price on most of their small plates and $2 off drinks.

      2. I went to Manifesto, albeit over a year ago, with only two people. I can't remember, though, if we had reservations or not. It was a weekend night and we were having dinner upstairs but wanted to go early to Manifesto. We just walked in and got a table.

        1 Reply
        1. re: shannonstl

          Thank you, it sounded like it was impossible without a reservation based on reviews, but we'll wing it.

        2. We adore Royal Genesse Bistro for brunch; we are both semi veg and are happy there. I prefer it to west side local and all of my other kc brunches. Only open on Saturday.

          Lil Freshie is also very sweet for an afternoon coffee or snowcone.

          4 Replies
          1. re: relizabeth

            What a great suggestion, I forgot to ask for coffee recommendations. Thank you!

            1. re: Erinesq

              If you get down to the River Market, the Gillis Opera House is a nice eclectic place for coffee!

              1. re: Erinesq

                Oddly correct on main at 39th for pour over coffee and woodcuts. Not much seating.

                1. re: relizabeth

                  HiHat on State Line & 50th is neat. Broadway Cafe/Roasters 41st and Broadway in Westport. Roasterie in Brookside - Brookside Blvd and & 62ndish.

            2. "You Say Tomato" near Hospital Hill does a terrific brunch/lunch.

              I agree that "Extra Virgin" is v. good for drinks the Crossroads District. I also like the bar at Grunauer, the Austrian restaurant in the Freight House which is also nearby.

              3 Replies
              1. re: yooperprof

                I need like five more mornings with all the Brunch recommendations. I'm glad you mentioned Grunauer, I was debating whether to check it out for drinks, and I think I will. Thank you!

                1. re: Erinesq

                  I have been here all weekend and so far here is my list
                  BRGR Restaurant and Bar at 83rd and Mission, Great burgers and adult beverages.
                  Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop in the Crossroads, I can recommend the Blue Crab Fried Rice.
                  Affare 1911 Main, almost everything we ordered was very good. Small plates so we ordered appetizers, meats and desserts, Make a reservation.
                  Bluestem, I love love their waygu tartar on the bar menu. Craft cocktails.
                  Nica's on Southwest Blvd, great breakfast, interesting menu not your everyday eggs and whatever. The Yucatan items are very good and don't forget an order of beignets for the table to share.
                  JR's Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, pretty decent pulled pork sandwich, not quite Oklahoma Joes
                  And I have more to do. I love this town for a dining trip.

                  1. re: tiomano

                    For Ethnic.....I can't recommend any more highly: "Chai Shai"...it is absolutely the best ethnic food in KC. Pakistani/Indian located at 59th and Holmes. The pakistani grandmother that is the head chef is a world class cook...Only problem is NO ALCOHOL!

                    There is not a better meal to be had, from any better cook, that at Chai Shai...trust me on this.