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Central Standard

Food Critics: Dishes Worth A Short(ish) Drive From Kansas City

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Catalpa is a restaurant in the sleepy, historic town of Arrow Rock, Missouri.

If you've listened to any of our previous conversations with the Food Critics, you know that there isn't a shortage of top-notch food options in the Kansas City metro area.

Sometimes, though, you want a change of scenery during dinner.

"It has to have something special that makes you want to get in the car and go," said Food Critic Mary Bloch. 

On Friday, the Food Critics chatted with KCUR's Brian Ellison about the restaurants worth a short drive from Kansas City. (The Critics kept their picks to restaurants in a thirty-minute to three-hour radius.)

Charles Ferruzza, food writer:

  • Galvin's Dinnerhouse (St. Joseph, Missouri): Not a fan of even taking a trip to the grocery store, but has taken a roadtrip on occassion just eat the fried chicken here. 
  • 715 (Lawrence, Kansas): Never had a bad meal here. A very imaginative chef.

Jenny Vergara, Feast magazine:

Mary Bloch, Around The Block KC: 

  • Catalpa (Arrow Rock, Missouri): Only open for dinner on the weekends. Fine dining with a focus on fresh produce and meats from local farms.
  • 1900 Barker (Lawrence, Kansas): Arisan breads, croissants and pizza specials.

Listener recommendations:

  • Aviary Cafe (Springfield, Missouri): French-type menu for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Enjoyed the breakfast poutine. 
  • Askinosie Chocolate (Springfield, Missouri): Can't leave Springfield without stopping there.
  • The Blue Heron Restaurant (Lake of the Ozaraks, Missouri): Loves the deep-fried lobster and the ambiance. 
  • Next Gen's Chophouse (Maple Hill, Kansas):  The grain-fed steak, but would go there even for the wonderful dinner salad. 
  • Flyover: Wood-fired oven restaurant and a noteworthy cocktail bar. 
  • Josie's Baking Co. (Topeka, Kansas): World's best cookies.
  • Green Dirt Farm (Weston, Missouri)

Kathleen Pointer is a digital and associate producer for KCUR's talk shows, Up To Date and Central Standard. Reach out to her at kathleenp@kcur.org or find her on Twitter, @kathleenpointer