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Central Standard

Food Critics: The Best Creative Meat Dishes In Kansas City

Bill Walsh
More Kansas City chefs are venturing into the world of offal.

From nose to tail, chefs are getting creative with all parts of the animal. Whether it’s game or offal, we go beyond chicken breast to talk about the more unusual cuts of meat that are popping up on area menus.


On this week’s Central Standard, Ryan Brazeal, owner/chef of Novel, discusses how to prepare offal, and James Worley from the Missouri Department of Conservation talks about hunting and cooking wild game. Our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Bonjwing Lee hunt down the best creative meat dishes in Kansas City.

Charles Ferruzza:

Mary Bloch:

  • Extra Virgin — Duck tongue tacos. If you like duck dark meat, you won’t really know what you’re eating, so try it! It's very tender, served with pickled onions; it's a great dish. You'll think you're eating a regular taco.
  • Michael Smith — The rabbit gnocchi is very good.
  • Cleaver & Cork — The pork jowl appetizer is really, really rich. It's braised and served with fried grits. It's fatty like pork belly, but oh so good.
  • The Rieger Hotel Grill -- The Rabbit Marbella; yes, it does look like rabbit, but it tastes similar to a chicken thigh and is very tender. It’s sous chef Gray Washburn’s riff on the Chicken Marbella recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook; his mother used to make it for him. The restaurant also has crispy veal sweetbreads on the menu now.
  • The Local Pig in Westport serves a smoked pig's head for two; it's served with salsa verde and bread. It's supposed to be like pulled pork; very tender.

Bonjwing Lee:

  • Rye — I love the fried chicken and the fried chicken livers.
  • Taqueria Silva — The fried tripe tacos are great. They're crispy but you also have the elasticity of the tripe.
  • Bo Ling's on the Plaza — There's always a steamed tripe dish and chicken feet on the menu during its weekend dim sum.

Listener recommendations:

  • ABC Cafe (10001 W. 87th St., Overland Park) has a delicious beef tendon dish (that's served cold), and its tripe is pretty good. Ask for an authentic menu at any Chinese restaurant, like Pine and Bamboo Garden.
  • Justus Drugstore has done an amazing job of transforming "not-ideal' meats into a super high-class meal. It does sweetbreads really well and pig heart, too.
  • Broadway Butcher Shop has duck prosciutto. It's really rich, a little oily and really dark and dense. It's cut thin, and it's a nice addition to a charcuterie plate.
  • Room 39 has a liver appetizer.
  • Lidia's has sweetbreads.
  • Tatsu's French Restaurant serves cow liver.
  • Jasper's has liver and onions on its winter menu. It can't be beat; it's served with a beautiful balsamic wine glaze, and it's just delicious.


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