Sam Mellinger

Stuff I like: Sam Mellinger smiles over KC Zoo chimps and bourbon beer

The chimps are Sam Mellinger’s favorite part of the Kansas City Zoo. This is baby Ruw.
The chimps are Sam Mellinger’s favorite part of the Kansas City Zoo. This is baby Ruw. File photo

Char Bar

We have two kids under 3. Our lives are a constant push and pull between what they need and what we like. Char Bar in Westport, as much as any place in town, gives us both. Great food (try the jackfruit!) and beer list for the adults, and what doubles as an all-ages playground for a back porch.


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Trader Joe’s tuna steaks

Relatively cheap ($7 for two), super easy to cook (10 minutes, tops), high-quality and healthy. What’s not to like? Season with salt and cayenne, use peppercorns or sesame seeds, sear for a minute or so on each side and enjoy. Always feels like we’re beating the system.

Kansas City Zoo

Underappreciated locally, always a good time with the family. Polar bear, sea lion show, train stop and the penguin house are all within 100 yards or so of the entrance. Walk around and see monkeys, camels, elephants, tigers, hippos or my favorite, the chimps. The year-round membership ($49 or $99) is some of the best money a family can spend.

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

Now year-round! Combines two of the world’s greatest things — beer, and bourbon — into one delicious bottle with a hint of toffee and cherry. There are better beers, and bourbon beer isn’t for everyone, but it is for me and this is my list, so there.

Sam Mellinger: 816-234-4365, @mellinger