I love the new hyper-inventive craft cocktails as much as anyone, but mixology is only one component of bar excellence. At least 60 percent of it, in my book, is what I called the Woody factor — a quirky, otherworldly charm that makes you feel like you’ve stepped inside a movie. Here are some other area bars that have it in spades.
The menu at Chilli n Spice boasts a broader range of options from the north and south regions as well as Indo-Chinese-influenced dishes of the east, with a greater emphasis put on the spicier fare of the south. Located in a nondescript suburban strip mall, the restaurant sits next door to KC India Mart, a well-equipped Indian food market that it shares a kitchen and ownership with.
This week all 33 Chipotle Mexican Grills in Kansas City are rolling out sofritas, a new menu item that features a mixture of shredded and chipotle-braised tofu mixed with roasted poblano peppers. The tofu is GMO-free, made by California-based Hodo Soy.
On first glance, the sizable sizeable menu at Lemongrass Thai Cuisine in downtown Overland Park looks as though it might be making a few culinary detours along the way, but the restaurant is known for making its mark with traditional curries, salads, soups and noodle dishes.
Although Calvin Trillin may have called Winstead’s’s famed steakburger “the best hamburger in the world,” a five-buck luncher will have to bop elsewhere around the menu if he or she wants a side, too. The Star's Edward M. Eveld felt like he hit the jackpot with the grilled cheese sandwich and an order of tater tots — $4.88.
“Drink creatively” is the motto on Paint Nite, when canvases and colors take over restaurants and bars around town. It goes on across the country, and in Kansas City, depending on the day of the week, it might be at RecordBar or Drunken Fish or Milieu.
When the West Bottoms restaurant Voltaire wouldn’t bend its policy and do take-out, a customer took to Yelp to complain. Now Voltaire’s cheeky response has been picked up nationally. Voltaire’s response was written by owner Wes Gartner. “When a customer wants to get their way by using Yelp as leverage,” Gartner said, “I thought that was way out of line.”
Tens of thousands of local kids go without enough food on weekends. The Star is partnering with Harvesters to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. All money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children weekend meals. Just $25 provides a child BackSnacks for a month; $250 provides BackSnacks for a year. Everyone who donates before Christmas Eve will be entered in a drawing for a football autographed by Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.
You don’t have to be hung over to enjoy the “hangover brunch” at the Phoenix downtown. For some, the jazzy rhythmic groove of Alex Abramovitz and His Swingn Kansas City Jazz Band combined with the Bloody Mary bar might serve as hair of the dog. To me, it’s a beautiful way to start any Saturday.
Diners love discounts, and Tasty Thai in the Northland has a knack for serving up enticing specials. Particularly all day on Wednesdays, when an even $5 gets you a heaping, hearty plate of stir-fried rice with a handmade egg roll on the side, preceded by a serving of soup.
Almost 11 years ago, chef Bob Palmgren left fine dining behind and opened to open RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack off of Lamar Avenue and Johnson Drive in Mission. Business at RJ’s, which is named after Palmgren’s son, was slow at first, particularly on Sundays. So Palmgren started serving country breakfast. It was sort of like barbecue brunch, with eggs, smoked ham, sausage, bacon and cinnamon rolls.
Reyna’s Express in the Roeland Park Price Chopper, an offshoot of Reyna’s Mexican Bakery in Kansas City, Kan., offers a variety of filling Mexican dishes for less than five bucks. Just know you’ll want to be famished when you order the loaded nachos.
New El Salvadoreño’s food cart sets up at the Overland Park Farmers Market until Nov. 22, offering plenty of Five Buck Lunch options. The mobile vending setup supplements the walk-in traffic to the quaint cafe, which has offered a long picture menu of appetizers, traditional entrees and desserts in a charming space with a distinctly tropical vibe since it opened across the street from the market back in 2011.
The barely two-month-old Slap’s BBQ is tucked neatly away in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan., a short jaunt across the state line from downtown, but feeling much farther than that. Luckily, that hasn’t stopped a steady flow of traffic from finding and lining up at the door of this lunch-only barbecue newcomer.
We’re compiling a list of area restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, other restaurants that will be open that day serving their regular menus, as well as operations offering Thanksgiving dinners to take home.
Join us as First Friday and Food Truck Friday intersect with Red Friday. For the fourth year in a row, you’ll get a chance to sample the city’s best street fare from 12 local food trucks. Come hang out and talk with Jill Wendholt Silva, The Star’s James Beard award-winning food editor and restaurant critic, plus meet former Chiefs players and some of The Star’s sports columnists.
We can’t all live that three martini-lunch life, but sometimes a noontime break needs to go beyond leftovers at your desk. And let’s face it, everyone deserves a nice, affordable break. A midday getaway, even for just an hour, can refresh your whole attitude. There are a handful of happy-hour lunches to help you ease through the workweek.
Rosa Parra opened the truck in September with her husband, Raymond Chau. They aim to serve traditional and fusion Mexican and Vietnamese dishes. It’s hard to believe how many choices under five bucks one little orange truck can offer.
Rob Magee, the American Royal winner and owner of Q39, which opened in April at 1000 W. 39th St., believes in fresh everything — from the apple coleslaw to the smoked meats. So don’t be surprised if the restaurant runs out of a menu item sometimes.
During a recent vacation in Paris, The Star’s Steve Paul sought out a handful of relatively new restaurants, each of which delivered its own highly original brand of cooking in unstuffy and inventive ways.