Five Ways: Kansas City’s pot roast options defy convention

The pot tots from the Foundry in Westport feature slow-braised beef, peppercorn gravy, horseradish cream and scallions.
The pot tots from the Foundry in Westport feature slow-braised beef, peppercorn gravy, horseradish cream and scallions. Special to The Star

Pot roast, by definition, is braised meat that is first browned or seared and then cooked in a liquid until tender. From there the seasoning, marinade and braising liquid choices may be as varied as the day is long. Beef pot roast, while not much of a looker, is a hearty and comforting dish, and there are options aplenty on Kansas City menus.

Chinese Style Pot Roast

Blue Koi, with locations at 1803 W. 39th St. and 10581 Mission Road in Leawood

The Chinese style pot roast ($14) at Blue Koi is served with a choice of noodles or rice or in noodle soup. The meat is tender and easily falls apart at the touch of a chopstick. While full of flavor from its marinade, it isn’t as spicy as the menu may have you fear. Add a nice swirl of Sriracha or Blue Koi’s house-made chili sauce to kick it up a notch.

Irish Pot Roast

O’Neill’s, 9417 Mission Road in Leawood

A more traditional take on meat and potatoes, the Irish pot roast ($12 or $15) is by all indications a popular dish at this Leawood restaurant and pub. Served atop mashed potatoes, the pot roast is surrounded by chunks of carrots, celery and mushrooms. What makes the dish stand out is the rich and savory Cabernet sauce drizzled on top. The small up-charge for an extra order of sauce is worth every penny.

Pot Roast Nachos

Pot Roast Sliders

Summit Grill, 520 W. 75th St. and 4835 N.E. Lakewood Way, Lee’s Summit

Summit Grill elevates its nachos ($9.95) beyond a plate of piled-high tortilla chips covered in mounds of meat, heaps of cheese and toppings. Instead, four large triangle chips fan a plate to form a base for individual heaps of pot roast, melted cheese, peppers and a drizzle of spicy chipotle cream. This is a job best-suited for knife and fork, with help from hands and many napkins.

Summit Grill has expanded into the old 75th Street Brewery space, making a bigger bar for more to enjoy happy hour. From 3 to 6 p.m., the menu has several reasonably priced small plates, none more than $6, including pot roast sliders. These mini sandwiches have a generous pile of pot roast covered in cheese and slathered with horseradish sauce.

Pot Tots

The Foundry, 424 Westport Road

The Foundry, while a very good bar with a large selection of beers, has an expansive food menu that often flies under the radar. The menu — with wings, sandwiches, pizzas and appetizers — devotes an entire section of its menu to smothered tots, from a buffalo-inspired version to one smothered in green chili pork and topped with a fried egg.

An order of pot tots ($9) starts with a generous layer of tater tots topped with hunks of pot roast and smothered in a rich, zesty peppercorn gravy the color of barbecue sauce. Drizzled with a horseradish cream and scattered with scallions, it’s a modern take on meat and potatoes.

Five Ways is a monthly column celebrating one thing in Kansas City’s culinary scene, five different ways. Do you have a timely topic for Andrea Shores to explore? Send ideas to