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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Extra Virgin

Posted on February 12, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

I’ve fallen behind on the blog again so I need to do some catching up. These are pictures from our first time at Extra Virgin, one of the restaurants along the KC Streetcar route.

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I took lots of pictures of the restaurant’s interior because of their interesting decor.

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There are actually two affiliated restaurants owned by the same chef sharing the same entrance. This is the Extra Virgin side.

The interesting part about this is that Selena and I got off at the correct Streetcar stop but then we had trouble finding the restaurant because we were looking for a big Extra Virgin sign. The only sign that we saw prominently from where we stood was the giant Michael Smith sign. As it turns out, Michael Smith is the chef/owner of both restaurants.

When we walked inside and saw one restaurant to our left and another to our right, it finally made sense. We were at the right place, we just didn’t know what we were looking for. I was still a little bit confused though, so when we walked up to the host station I had to ask, “Is this Extra Virgin?” To which he replied, “Yes.” And that is pretty much how our first Extra Virgin experience began.

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Here’s another picture of the interior. I took this one from where we were seated, which is toward the front of the restaurant, close to the bar area. Not sure what the purpose of this shelf is that is overflowing with books but it looked cool.

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Here’s another interior photo that I took from my seat. I think this kind of puts into perspective where were were sitting. We were at a table with four chairs. Selena and I were sitting across from each other and we used the two empty seats next to us to put our respective purses and coats. I know this is a strange detail to add but this will come into play later so I hope you’re paying attention.

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You can kind of see a corner of the bar in the upper left part of part of the above picture. Here’s a picture of the bar from where I was sitting. So I had my back to the bar and Selena sat across from me, facing the bar.

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This is a picture of the empanadas that Selena ordered. We didn’t order much because the prices were kind of expensive. I think I have gotten spoiled by the cheap food during “happy hour” at Nara, which has quickly become my favorite restaurant along the KC Streetcar route.

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I ordered the crab fried rice but I forgot to take a picture before digging in. It looks like a mess because it had a poached egg with a soft yolk.

It looked and tasted better than the photo but it was not what I expected. The rice has a crunchy texture which I’m not used to. I usually associate crunchiness with undercooked rice. Either that or bahaw (old, leftover rice). LOL. Selena liked the crunchy texture, though.

The funny thing is, I enjoyed the empanadas that Selena ordered more than she did and she enjoyed the fried rice that I ordered more than I did.

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Since the portions were relatively small, we both agreed that we had room for dessert. We ordered two: chocolate flan (above) and churros (below).

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The chocolate flan was very good. The churros were just okay. I like the churros dessert at La Bodega better.

Overall the food was just okay but it was service was great. Our server was attentive but the rest of the staff were too. I know this because something weird happened while we were eating. This drunk guy in his 20s randomly sat down at our table next to Selena and started to make some small talk with her.

I knew he was severely intoxicated so I didn’t want to engage. I looked down at my food and continued eating, avoiding eye contact at all costs. It was kind of awkward but I wanted it to be really obvious that we didn’t know this stranger. I felt really bad because Selena probably thought I was abandoning her. We couldn’t move because the drunk guy was sitting on Selena’s purse. If he wouldn’t have left after being made to feel unwelcome, I would have gotten up to ask the manager for help.

Luckily, they were paying attention. This woman who looked like the manager was watching the whole situation unfold. I suspect that they’d been observing this drunk guy for a while. It looked like she was trying to assess whether or not we knew the man. I suspect she didn’t want to ask him to leave if he was our friend. I was very awkward and stiff and not making eye contact so it should have been pretty obvious. Anyway, she disappeared and moments later reappeared with a man in a chef’s jacket (not Michael Smith but probably the man in charge for the night). She made eye contact with me while mouthing, “Do you know him?” I shook my head, “No.” He must have picked up on this because he said, “Don’t be shaking your fucking head!” He was quite angry and I really thought he was going to throw his drink at me. But, in an instant, the man in the chef’s jacket was at the edge of our table politely asking the drunk guy to leave. Drunk guy was like, “Can I finish my drink first?” I thought, here it comes. I really thought he was going to throw his drink at me but he didn’t. I don’t think he was happy about it, but he obeyed the request and got up and left. I was super grateful that the restaurant staff came to our table and escorted him out. I can deal with my drunk friends, but drunk strangers make me completely uncomfortable.

Anyway, Selena and I lingered at the restaurant for a while. I think that might have been part of the reason she was open to ordering dessert. We usually don’t get dessert. We took our time and I think deep down we were both making sure that he wasn’t waiting for us at the Streetcar stop. I think it was almost an hour after the incident when we finally got up to leave.

That’s the most eventful dinner we’ve had in Kansas City to date. I’m probably not going back there. It’s not the restaurant’s fault. They handled the situation perfectly. However, I thought the food was overpriced for what you got and it was just okay. Nothing spectacular. Also, I’m usually eating by myself and I really don’t want a repeat of that when I’m dining alone.

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Nara Restaurant

Posted on January 22, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

Nara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I discovered a new favorite restaurant last week with an excellent “happy hour” menu. We barely made it in time. I think we got there ten minutes before happy hour ended but they were nice enough to let us order from the happy hour menu, which was great because there were lots of different menu items to choose from at a fraction of the regular price.

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We sat by the bar, which is where happy hour happens.

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There was hardly a soul in the joint when we got there but by the time we left the place was buzzing. I don’t think there were any empty tables by 8 PM.

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I love that you have a great view of the downtown Kansas City skyline from the restaurant. If you look on the upper left corner of this picture, you can actually see the One Light Luxury Apartments building.

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Since everything was so inexpensive during happy hour, Selena and I started with some edamame and ordered several different things.

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This is the appetizer platter which consisted of two fried shrimp and pork gyoza (fried dumplings), two shrimp shumai, two crab rangoon, and a crispy pork and shrimp egg roll. All for $5.

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We also had some friend mac-n-cheese.

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The best part about chicken yakitori at Nara is you get three skewers instead of only two like at Drunken Fish. The yakitori at Nara is also much more flavorful. It’s pretty plain at Drunken Fish.

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We also had the beef yakigyu, which doesn’t look like much but it was also very good. Finally, I got an order of California roll because I wanted Selena to try it.

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You’ll never guess how little we spent on our dinner. Our total for all of that delicious food came to a little over $27 ($35 after tip). I think this place might have the best happy hour in all of downtown Kansas City. It’s definitely my favorite.

I can’t wait to go back!

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Oeno’s Last Day

Posted on December 29, 2016 by under Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

Oeno closed last week after ten years of business. It made us so sad because it’s our favorite place for salsa and Latin dancing.

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Well, we used to go to Suede. I remember when we used to go there religiously on Friday nights, even when it’s cold and snowing outside. That was our regular Friday night thing.

Then Suede closed and there wasn’t a fun place for us to go for dancing (at least the type of dancing we enjoy). That is, until we discovered Oeno. Naturally, we had to go on the final night. We didn’t care if it was just the two of us. We had to go to close out this chapter.

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Whenever we are at Oeno, we usually get the lavash.

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We also like their charcuterie (meat and cheese board).

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They were doing 50% OFF bottles of wine that night and discounted wines by the glass but Brian couldn’t drink (he can’t drink for a few more days – until after his follow up appointment with the doctor) so I ended up getting a pitcher of sangria. I don’t usually drink entire bottles of wine but I’ve been known to put away pitchers of sangria without remorse. LOL.

Anyway, it’s not as fun drinking by yourself. And, Brian gave me a look of disapproval each time he refilled my glass. I was hoping some of our friends would show up and help me finish the pitcher but everyone else either already had plans or they were too tired to come out. Christmas shopping and preparing for Christmas in general can take a lot out of you so it’s completely understandable.

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At least Hideki and Amy came by. They were down the street, having dinner at the Anchor. And then they had a show at Public. They stopped by for a bit, though.

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The rest of the sangria did not go to waste!

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Here’s the four of us on the very last night of Oeno being open. It was so very sad.

On Tuesday, after the holiday, local restaurateur Melad Stephan auctioned off everything. They auctioned off the furniture, plates, barware, everything.

So that’s it then. Now it’s time to look for a new place for salsa night. I sure wish we had a place like Cuba Libre here.

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Stearman Field Bar and Grill

Posted on December 28, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

After so many missed opportunities to try Stearman Field Bar and Grill, it finally happened. Brian and I finally got to check it out. Finally.

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Brian and I went for one of my Rotary Club’s after hours socials. I’ve never made one of these because I’m usually out of town or I’ve already got another commitment or we don’t have it for that month.

Stearman Field Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I was off work for a couple of days last week due to illness. It wasn’t until I got back to work that I saw the invite. Brian and I were so excited that we could actually go.

We’ve never been because it’s located in Benton and it always seemed so far away. Brian and I RSVP’d but I actually thought we would be late for the 6 PM event start time because Brian doesn’t get off work until 5 PM and it usually takes him a good 30 minutes to get home. After we mapped it, we were surprised to find out that the restaurant is only a little over 20 minutes away from our house. We were both like, “We can totally make it on time!” That is until Brian found out that he had to pick up some prescription medication for grandma and her doctor doesn’t have the ability to call or fax prescriptions to the pharmacy. He literally had to drive all the way to Andover to pick up the prescription and then take it to the pharmacy and wait almost 45 minutes for them to fill it.

It was kind of a roller coaster of anticipation. At first I anticipated being a few minutes late, then we thought we would be on time, and then we ended up being super duper late (as in an hour late).

Brian just wanted to skip it after we realized how late we would be but then I told him that we already said that we would make it and the invite said come and go so maybe other people will arrive late also. No such luck. We were the only ones late. And, everyone else was pretty much finishing their meal when we got there.

On the bright side, everyone was still there so at least we got to say hi to people. And, the club picked up our dinner tab so it’s not like we had to pay for dinner. Neither of us expected that as we’d never been to one of these after hours Andover Rotary Club get togethers before.

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Here are some pictures of the restaurant interior.

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I had the stuffed pork which was on special that night.

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Brian had the chicken fried steak. It’s not exactly a low cholesterol meal but he only ate part of it (not even half).

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Both of our meals were delicious. I didn’t try Brian’s but he said that it was even better than the chicken fried steak at Cy’s Hoof and Horn, which means it’s amazing because the chicken fried steak at Cy’s is really good.

Anyway, we’re already planning our next trip back. We decided we will return for breakfast/brunch when the weather is nice so we can see planes flying about and get the whole Stearman experience. Don’t worry. I will be taking lots of pictures and writing about it here. Stay tuned!

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First Time at Anton’s Taproom

Posted on December 24, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

Selena and I got to try a new restaurant a couple of weeks ago. We had a couple of options along the KC Streetcar route — either Extra Virgin or Anton’s — and we let the Streetcar be the deciding factor.

We were actually over at the Courtyard Marriott by the Kauffman Center to pick up a cardigan sweater that she had accidentally left there several weeks ago. They found it and had been hanging on to it until she could return to claim it. She just kept forgetting to do so. Anyway, I talked her into going over there.

Anton’s is just right around the corner from the hotel, right by the Streetcar stop. We were like, if the Streetcar is there or only a couple of minutes a way then we are going to ride it to Extra Virgin. If it’s not there and it’s going to be a while then we’re eating at Anton’s. And that’s how our first time at Anton’s came to be decided by the KC Streetcar. LOL.

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When you walk in to the restaurant, you first have to go through these heavy curtains. The drapes are a bit odd but I actually thought they were cool and added to the character of the place. However, I think they were installed for the purpose of keeping the cold air out every time the door opens.

It’s a creative solution that actually works.

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The restaurant is not huge and it’s located next to a butcher shop, which makes perfect sense because it’s a steakhouse. The exposed brick walls give it a lot of character and adds to the restaurant’s unique ambiance.

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The cool art adds a hip vibe. It is located in Crossroads after all.

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There’s also plenty of beer on tap to keep the beer drinkers happy.

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The Anton’s story is actually really interesting. They are committed to delivering that true farm to table experience and only use the best, organic ingredients. They work with local farmers and also grow their own herbs. They even farm their own tilapia in the basement.

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Another interesting bit is that you can actually choose grass or grain fed beef and they cut their steaks to order. How much more authentic can you get?

This place is legit.

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Anyway, I had to take a picture of this part of the menu because of the “additional fat” option. Look at the short rib entree. For $4 you can add “additional fat” to the dish. Whatever that means. Sounds odd. I should have asked but I didn’t think to do so because that’s not what I was ordering.

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I had a four-ounce filet mignon with a side of green beans. I was trying to be responsible. Thus, the smaller portion and no mashed potatoes.

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Selena had the chili. She said she could tell it was made with premium grade beef instead of ground chunks of junk.

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We shared a dessert after. I just couldn’t resist. I tried to be responsible but I wasn’t that responsible at the end of the day.

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Anton's Taproom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So there you have it. My first Anton’s Taproom and Restaurant experience. I’m not much of a beef-eater. I’m more of a pork and chicken kind of girl. However, I really enjoyed my filet mignon. So much so that I actually wished I had gotten a little bit bigger portion. I think Brian would really enjoy this place. I’m definitely adding it to the list of restaurants to take him to on his next trip up.

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