It’s that time of year. Time for stuffed bears, candlelight dinners and heart-shaped everythings. But being the bachelor that I am, this year I’ll celebrate my own way … with my own dearest love … food. Introducing a love letter to five local joints that are on my mind lately. These are the ones I crave about, fantasize about … and yes, [heart] the most this lovey-dovey time of year.
Avenues Bistro – Brookside is easily one of Kansas City’s most charming neighborhoods—and I rarely drive by this great local restaurant without swooning. If food is the way to a man’s heart, then this place hit the motherload. The menu here ranges from the delicious and familiar (lobster mac) to the more adventurous and European house specialties, like the Black Forest Jaeger Schnitzel. Those who like speed dating will probably enjoy the tapas. Small plates of ceviche, crab guacamole and bacon-wrapped jalapenos let you enjoy the bistro’s best, without the commitment of a full entrée. Read more
Earlier this year, Budget Travel magazine named Kansas City one of its Top 10 Budget Travel Destinations for 2012, touting the region as a “hotbed for high culture.” And while the year may be drawing to close, it certainly doesn’t mean the buzz for KC is subsiding.
Here are 10 reasons why the excitement for Kansas City will continue well into the New Year.
So says the Spanish proverb. But if you’re a bachelor like me, sometimes “the belly” comes second to “the wallet.” Or heck, even “the schedule.” So you gotta leap at those few-and-far-between moments when you can eat both well and cheap.
Duck Tacos ... mmm
Enter Extra Virgin, a cool tapas place tucked in the Crossroads. You may have heard of the executive chef, Michael Smith. He’s a James Beard Award winner and has lent his expertise to several well-known restaurants in the area—The American, SPIN, Michael Smith and 40 Sardines to name a few.
Sure, this place has pedigree. But it’s also a fun, relaxed environment where it feels safe enough to venture outside your dining bubble and try some new eats. Just reading the menu is bound to make you feel adventurous. Crispy pig ear salad, grilled beef tongue, fried duck gizzards, snail ragout. And on and on.
The fall calendar is blanketed with food festivals like an autumn lawn piled with leaves. Here are some golden ones.
One thing was for sure. When I moved to Kansas City, I’d be going to Town Topic.
Growing up in Wichita, my dad talked about burgers from Town Topic the way other people would about meeting the president. Or bungee jumping. Or watching the Royals clutch the ’85 pennant. That’s just how much he loved it. And whether it’s true or not, he still tells a story about a former co-worker who loved it even more.
by ChrisM70, via Flickr
As legend goes, a jet-setting colleague was so enamored with Town Topic’s no-frills novelty that he would schedule his layovers at KCI—just so he could escape the airport for an hour or two. His destination? Town Topic, of course.
And within 12 hours of moving into my downtown apartment, I followed suit. (After all, that’s what was expected.) Over the years, “the Topic” quickly became a favorite place of mine to catch a bite—but at a much later hour. You see, Town Topic has the distinction of being one of the few 24-hour kitchens in the city. The clubs are closed, the streets are bare, but dang if Town Topic isn’t hopping. Consider it the after, after party. Read more