If you go to KC MO

An equally appropriate title would read, “Go, go to KC MO,” because we enjoyed a wonderful extended weekend in Kansas City.  We dined at some known favorite restaurants and discovered some exciting new dining destinations.

We stayed in the County Club Plaza (or simply, The Plaza) area of Kansas City.  The upside?  Many restaurants and stores within walking distance.  The downside?  Most of those restaurants (and stores), were chain-type establishments (with the exception of Eden Alley).  Not very exciting for these foodies.

With the exceptions of Eden Alley and Füd, all of the restaurants I mention offer both vegetarian and meat options.

Oldies but goodies*

 We started our gustatory adventures at Eden Alley, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that also uses many local ingredients.  My sister ordered a pineapple bruschetta that was the star of the meal (one of the daily specials, I believe).  I selected the egg salad on greens — it was only okay, definitely not the best egg salad ever.  From past visits, some of the menu stars include the sweet potato burrito and the spinach and mushroom loaf.

For dinner Thursday evening, we hit up Bluebird Bistro.  They focus on local ingredients, with food for vegetarians and carnivores alike.  They make everything from scratch, including ketchup.  Check out their eight for $8 menu served until 8pm, Monday through Friday.  Both the vegetarian shepherd’s pie and the baked egg dish from the $8 menu were fantastic!

We picked Bluebird Bistro knowing that we would return 24-hours later for my brother-in-law’s rehearsal dinner.  Twice in one weekend?  No problem.

*None of these restaurants are all that “old,” but we visited them on past trips.
New finds

Thanks to an insider tip (only illegal in stock trading, not restaurant selection), we discovered You Say Tomato, our Friday lunch destination.  Again, focus on high-quality, fresh, local, made-from-scratch foods.   Due to different eating schedules, our party of four managed to eat lunch here twice in one day.  By the time we returned for Sunday brunch, we were regulars.  If you pick one meal to eat here, go for the Sunday brunch (menu changes weekly).  Leek and mushroom galette — yum!
We really liked the idea of walking to dinner on Saturday night, but after a bit of foot scouting, we remained nonplussed by the options in The Plaza.  (Eden Alley was closed for a private party.)  Instead, we followed a tip from our friends at You Say Tomato and headed over to The Westside Local.  Perfect choice!  Again, a strong commitment to local, made-from-scratch deliciousness!  I ate the first French fries I’ve had in quite awhile, dipped in homemade ketchup, of course 🙂
Saving for later

We saved a few places to explore on our next visit to KC MO: Füd (we think this is pronounced “food”), Room 39, Cafe Seed, and Chez Elle.
The Westside Local, Füd, Bluebird Bistro, and Chez Elle create a cluster of fabulous food options at the intersection of Summit Street and 17th Street.  Our ideal return trip includes finding a bed and breakfast somewhere in this neighborhood (any recommendations?).  We plan to travel to Kansas City on Amtrak, bicycles in tow, so we can explore the culinary delights of Kansas City using our favorite form of transportation.

June Eating

I really like food — eating food, cooking food, talking about food, thinking about food.  Fortunately, the husband shares these interests, so we usually cook together.  When my sister asked me for recipes awhile back, I was stymied, because we don’t often cook from recipes.  Sure, we have a shelf with lots of lovely cookbooks sitting on it, but except for some tried and true favorites, the cookbooks get little attention.

We prefer to cook with what we have on hand, trying ingredient combinations based on what sounds good and variants of dishes we enjoyed in the past.  If we have any ingredient we’re unsure about, well, that’s where internet searches come into the picture.  We also prioritize local foods which are abundant here right now, so without further ado, here are some recent creations.

  1. Sauteed swiss chard* with garlic and sun-dried tomatoes, served with quinoa.  Side of broiled asparagus**.
  2. Broccoli* and celery* stir fry with garlic and peas, served over rice.  Side of roasted beets*.
  3. Chanterelle mushrooms* sauteed in butter and olive oil with garlic.  Served over homemade bread with a side of steamed asparagus**.
  4. Salad of mixed lettuces* and arugula*, topped with roasted beets*, goat cheese**, and homemade poppy seed dressing.
  5. Whole wheat cappellini with homemade basil* pesto.  Side of grilled beets* and sweet potatoes.

* Food we grew (or foraged, in the case of the chanterelles).

** Food grown locally that we purchased from the farmer’s market or farmer.