TABLE OF CONTENTS
FROM THE BENCH
Spring 2003, Vol. 33 No. 3
FOOD AND FUN IN KANSAS CITY at SWALL 2003
SWALL Local Arrangements Committee
[Eds. note: The 2003 SWALL Meeting will be held in Kansas City, MO during April 3 - 5. As the Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee, Mon Yin Lung wrote this article about dining and entertainment attractions in Kansas City. It was originally published on the SWALL 2003 Web site: http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/swall/meeting2003/]
OFFICIAL KC WEB SITE AND MAP
For detailed information on Kansas City see: www.gointokansascity.com
For a complete KC Map see: www.kcmo.org/kcmo.nsf/web/gismaps?opendocument
Those who know me well know at least two things: I am very fond of food and I weigh every penny before spending it. The following suggestions are made with these two factors in mind. Kansas City surely offers the best choices to fit different types of budgets. For more information on restaurants please check out the Kansas City Visitor’s Bureau Web site at www.gointokansascity.com/dining/index.html
Main course price: $ = $5 or less, $$ = $5-15, $$$ = $15-20, $$$$ = above $20
A. Plaza Area
Located on 47th street and Main, this little hamburger joint is actually very famous (being mentioned in American Fried) and has several branches throughout the metropolitan area. It is very easy to get to: simply walk down the hill from the hotel and you will see it across street. Its hamburgers, made with grounded steaks, are considered the best in the Kansas City. I especially enjoy their special malt (lately renamed the frosty), which is called "a drink you have to eat with a spoon." You may want to try their skyscraper if you are with friends. This is a gigantic ice cream soda that takes three or four people to share! The interior is very 50s. The price is very moderate, similar to McDonald's but you can sit far more comfortably than under the golden arches. You can even play the real jukebox for some oldies if you want to relive my high school days.
Andre’s Tearoom $$
Main Street between 50th and 51st. Many Kansas City locals will tell you that this wonderful Swiss bakery and tearoom educates Kansas City’s taste for sweets and baked items. Open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., this place serves lunch and tea only. The flat price for a lunch includes main dish, a soft drink, and a dessert. The portions they serve would perfectly fit the appetite of a librarian. But the desserts, oh my, are heavenly. You can also take home their tea cookies, sweet rolls, cheese pie, or chocolate. Here each piece of chocolate is a sculpture. It certainly is a feast to the eyes as well as the taste buds. The interior looks like a Swiss mountain village eatery, and the service is very warm and professional.
Café Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum $$$ 4420 Warwick, http://www.kemperart.org/sebast.html
Next door (east) to our conference hotel on 45th Street is the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Arts. You cannot miss it because it has a huge sculpture of a spider in front of the entrance. Inside you can find several pieces of contemporary art and Café Sebastienne. With its contemporary deco and spacious arrangement, dining is a very enjoyable experience. Don’t forget the presentation of each dish: it is done as a piece of art, too.
The Grand Street Café $$$ 816-561-8000
On the left side of Winstead is the Grand Street Café. This is an upscale restaurant. You should get a reservation if you are going out on a weekend. They serve contemporary cuisine with nightly seafood specials. Those who enjoy a glass of wine will like their outstanding California wine list.
Fedora Café and Bar $$$$ 210 W. 47th . 816-561-6565
This casual but elegant restaurant is actually an American bistro. Full bar. I find their dessert to be the best part of a meal here.
Figlio Italian Restaurant & Bar $$$ 209 W. 46th Terr. 816-753-0054.
Walk down the hill on Main and make a right turn, pass the famous Neptune fountain and go across Broadway. You will be under the balcony of this restaurant. They serve very enjoyable Italian cuisine with a great view of the Plaza. You can request a table out in the balcony if the weather permits. With its dark, aged wooden floor its deco has a European atmosphere. Good food, good wine, and strolling accordion player Wed.-Sun nights.
J.J.’s Restaurant $$$$ 910 W. 48th St. 816-561-7136
This is the farthest from our hotel. In fact, a cab ride is much better because it is at the west edge of the Plaza while our hotel is at the east edge. It is located on a quiet, tree-line street, far from the rest of the Plaza. But I think you would enjoy it because their dishes are creative and good. Over the years I have learned a dish or two from them. The menu is a mix of American and Mediterranean. Casually elegant, they display local artists’ work. Wonderful wine list.
K.C. Masterpiece BBQ Grill and Restaurant $$$ 4747 Wyandott 816-531-3332.
If you have not gotten enough barbeque during our Thursday night outing, then you should give this restaurant a try. They also sell their own special brand of barbeque sauce. This is a rather upscale BBQ place. The atmosphere is enjoyable, although sometimes it is too loud for listening to the piano.
Plaza III , the Steakhouse $$$$ 4749 Pennsylvania 816-753-0000
It takes a long walk to go to this restaurant from our hotel. But then again walking can improve your appetite and digestion. You may need it after a big meal at this place! I include it here because it is one of the oldest restaurants on the plaza. It is considered the "Gold Standard" of K.C. steakhouses. I know for a fact that this is one of the favorite eateries which corporations use for recruitment.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House $$$$ 700 West 47th St. 816-531-4800
This is one restaurant I have not yet visited. If the one in Miami is any indication, this should be very, very good, too.
B. Beyond Plaza
If you prefer to go beyond the Plaza, or you happen to be some place else when you feel like eating, here are my suggestions in different areas.
Hereford House $$$$ (2E. 20th, K.C. MO 816-842-1080) is the first one that comes to mind because of their excellent steaks. The downtown shop is the original and the best. They do steaks justice.
Golden Ox $$$$ (1600 Genessee, K.C. MO 816-842-2866) is a famous and historic steak and chop house. Located in the old stockyard where the great Kansas City strips (some call it New York strip) came into being, you will feel like taking a KC history lesson by looking at the old photos on the wall.
Crown Center area is actually about 20 blocks from our conference hotel. If you are there for the Crown Center shops, the Hallmark Visitor Center, the Union Station/Science City, or all of the above, you might as well take advantage of one of the restaurants in the area.
American Restaurant $$$$ (2450 Grand, K.C. MO 816-426-1133) is called Kansas City’s occasion restaurant. It was founded by the Donald and Adele Hall (of the Hallmark Cards) for Kansas Citians to have an exquisite dining experience. The view is spectacular. The food is exotic. The service is formal.
Bryant’s Barbeque $$ (1727 Brooklyn, K.C. MO 816-231-1123) is one of the best, if not the best KC BBQ joint. They have served every U.S. president who has visited KC. Do try the burnt ends if you make it there.
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque at the Freight House $$ (101 W. 22nd ST. K.C. MO 816-472-7427) serves certified Angus steaks. I still like their BBQ better than other dishes. You should not miss the bake beans if you are there.
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant $$$ (Crown Center, 2450 Grand, K.C. MO 816-472-1717) serves authentic Japanese dishes. If you like sushi this place is very good.
Peppercorn Duck $$$$ (2345 McGee St., K.C. MO, inside of Hyatt Regency, 816-435-4199) has a great chocolate bar. But their main courses are very good, too. The professional service and elegant atmosphere makes dining here a wonderful experience.
Town Center Plaza
This is a newly developed upscale shopping center. If you like expensive shops and food here is the place. And your help is close by if you cannot find you way back to the hotel: my home is literarily down the road.
The Bristol Bar & Grill $$$$ (5400 W. 119th St. Leawood, KS, 913-663-5777) has been a very good restaurant for many years. Watch out for the biscuits they keep serving. They melt in your mouth (without butter) and before you know it you have eaten too many. Everything they prepare is great.
Hereford House South $$$$ (5001 Town Center Dr., Leawood, KS, 913-327-0800) is a branch of the original. Its steaks and seafood are also very good.
There are so many places you can go, so many things to see. I just cannot list all of them. You really should check out this Web site: www.gointokansascity.com/.
1616 E. 18th St., K.C., Mo.
Experience the rich history of jazz and some of its greatest performers as told through dozens of exhibits and interactive stations. Hours: Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. Noon-6 p.m. Admission: Adults $6, children $2.50. www.americanjazzmuseum.com (816) 474-VINE
American Royal Museum
Hallmark Visitors Center
Harry S Truman National Historic Site
Kansas City Art Institute
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Linda Hall Library
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Toy and Miniature Museum
Truman Presidential Museum & Library