In midtown, three new spots for cheap thrills

04/09/2014 1:00 PM

05/20/2014 6:57 PM

Kansas City is rife with new bars and restaurants — so many that it’s hard to know where to begin.

Do you start with the delectable doughnuts at the Westport Ale House or treat yourself to a peanut butter, Nutella, bacon and banana sandwich at the Bite in the City Market?

Do it all, I say.

One weekend at a time, spread out your drinks, eats and snacks and see what our local restaurateurs have to offer. And you don’t have to break the bank, either. In one weekend, I tried three new places and spent about $50 for two of us.

Late-night drinks

Drunken Worm

, 1405 W. 39th St., serves up some 75 tequilas, and the cocktails pack a punch. I wasn’t ready for the massive glass the waitress brought my way when I ordered the Pinata, a mix of Espolon Blanco Tequila, Coco Real Coconut, creme de bananas, pineapple juice and lime. For $7, you get a drink for two. Is it a coincidence that David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” played when I took my first sip? I think not.

Whether you are looking to wind down or turn up, the Drunken Worm has it covered. And if you get there before midnight, you can fill up on tacos and tamales, too. Light lunch

Meeting friends for a midday bite and looking for a sexy place and a meal that doesn’t slow you down?

iPho Tower

, 3623 Broadway, is your spot. The vibe is loungelike, with a bar and cushy seats. And the music will have you digging through old Portishead records. Perfect.

We went straight for the shrimp rangoon ($6.95), though it’s worth noting they offer sweet potato and shrimp fritters, too. The pho, just $8.95, is for the diner who likes big bowls. You pick your own toppings. I went vegetarian. Rice noodles, onion, cilantro, broccoli, carrots and tofu in a flavorful broth seemed to never end, and even though I felt full, I didn’t feel stuffed.

Instead of wanting a nap, I was ready to walk around and enjoy the day. Desserts

My sweet tooth rules, and I serve it happily. So while I gladly brag about

Baked in Kansas City

’s addictive grilled cheese sandwich, let’s focus on the sugar rush at the bakery at 706 Westport Road. I’m talking caramel lattes in mason jars, macarons the size of your palm and homemade candy bars, baby.

And for those days when it’s warm enough to imagine summer, you’re going to want to order a French Cream Soda. For $3.25 you get to build your own drink. You pick the flavors from a menu that includes hazelnut, chocolate, blood orange and blackberry. I went with a coconut passion fruit soda with whipped cream and a cherry on top. Cheers to that.


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