The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene
Amazing graze: All-you-can-eat brunch and gospel every Sunday at the Westport Saloon
01/15/2014 7:17 PM
01/15/2014 7:17 PM
Winter Sundays in Kansas City are football, church and food. And that makes the Westport Saloon’s Backslider’s Brunch brilliant. Every Sunday afternoon, 1 to 4 p.m., there’s an all-you-can eat buffet, a bloody mary bar and live gospel music. And even though the Chiefs’ beautiful season has come to an end, the playoffs are on. It’s impressive what $15 can get you — I’m talking eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, fruit and more. It’s a down-home throw down, so be sure to wear something with a comfortable waistband because you will have a food baby. The eggs, so cheesy and yummy with green onions, were the perfect base for our breakfast pitas stuffed with bacon and hash. And then there’s the second plate we reserved for the Cajun brunch. That’s right. There’s more to it than your typical breakfast food. I need a moment of silence and prayer for the delectable red beans and rice and perfectly savory pork shoulder smothered in green peppers and spicy sauce, too. I usually wouldn’t eat everything on a buffet, but chef Peter Castillo puts in work in the kitchen. One customer even asked for a salsa recipe. Chef obliged. He hopes to bring “Bacon for Forgiveness” as a brunch theme soon, and as long as you still get a complimentary drink, we’re here for it. That’s right. The all-you-can-eat brunch buffet includes one drink, and their mimosas are something to sing about. Not bitter, not dry. It’s a glass of bubbly sweet citrus perfection. But at our table, the bloody mary bar was a big deal. We had a bloody mary expert and the bloody mary virgin. So a tutorial, or what I like to refer to as “all you can stuff in one cup,” commenced. The conversation covered all things pickled, from the asparagus and corn to eggplant and okra. And let’s not forget the bacon on top. Our first-timer put a little too much hot sauce (can you say Sriracha?) and pepper in her drink, but watching her take that initial sip gave me flashbacks of my failed V8 experiments in the ’90s. I cringe. Until I hear the music. A.J. Gaither and TJ Erhardt share the singing duties at the Saloon, but while we were there it was all about Gaither and his one-man band. Usually, I prefer the Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary, Aretha Franklin brand of gospel. But watching one guy rock the mic, a cigar-box banjo, drum and kazoo? And he makes all of his own instruments. Come on. It’s just shy of miraculous. His bluegrass soul bared awesome renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The spirit was catching. We clapped, we stomped our feet. We did all of that and wondered where the Panthers defense went, too. All right, maybe we spent some time talking about the Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but you’ve seen his, um, game, right? Talk about eat, pray, love.