restaurants | KCUR

restaurants

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

Art galleries are considered "non-essential" during metro-Kansas City's stay at home order, so April's First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District is canceled.

Black Sheep + Market / Facebook

Restaurants throughout the metro have been hit hard by the state of emergency in Kansas City. Many have closed, resulting in hundreds of laid off workers. And now, with food service limited to curbside and delivery, waitstaff is losing both hourly wages and tips. Meanwhile, restaurants themselves are facing an existential threat that increases every day the coronavirus epidemic continues. 

Lynn Horsley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City’s restaurant restrictions, forced by the coronavirus pandemic, left owners reeling Tuesday with the loss of their St. Patrick’s Day business, layoffs and big worries about the future.

“We just lost our busiest day of the year,” Westport business leader Bill Nigro lamented on St. Patrick’s Day, which usually brings large crowds to Westport’s bars and restaurants.

Courtesy - Kelly's Westport Inn

Officials across the Kansas City area on Monday called on all bars and restaurants to shut down dine-in service. In a sweeping e-mail announcement, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said restaurants and taverns should serve customers only through drive-thru, pickup, or delivery.

He also prohibited any gathering or event with more than 10 people. Officials in Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte counties joined in the push to limit gatherings where the virus could spread.

Segment 1: Rye's Megan Garrelts is a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. 

While some pastry chefs make a name for themselves for crazy concoctions, a significant portion of Garrelts' success is the result of elevating standbys like pies and cinnamon rolls.

Flickr user Dblackwood

Writer Calvin Trillin said he was 14 when he "made a firm decision about where the best hamburger in the world was." And, for the Kansas City native, it was Winstead's Steakburgers. 

Now, the iconic hamburger chain has filed for bankruptcy, although its three stores remain open.

On Feb. 24, Winstead's Company sought Chapter 11 protection, listing nearly $1.5 million in debts and $65,000 in assets. 

There are a lot of options for Asian cuisine in Kansas City: banh mi sandwiches, tasty curries, Thai noodles, ramen, hot pot, fried rice, shrimp and sweet potatoes, fresh sushi. And that's just a taste! Our food critics share their recommendations for the best Asian dishes in town. Plus, we get some advice on cooking Thai food at home from someone who grew up with it.

  • Pete Dulin, freelance food writer and author of KC Ale Trail
  • Bonjwing Lee, food photographer and blogger, The Ulterior Epicure
  • Danielle Lehman, Open Belly KC

Seg. 1: The famously dry comedian is coming to Kansas City and we're here for it.

You might remember her as the comedian who did a set about getting cancer, but there's a lot more to her awkward sense of humor, which she'll be bringing to the Uptown later this month.

Seg. 2, beginning at 14:49: The restaurant owner/chef is mixing things up in the Kansas City food scene.

Ca Va/Facebook

If you appreciate your own company but dining solo in a restaurant intimidates you, you're not alone. But it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try.

"I love dining alone. I'm almost evangelical about it," Liz Cook said on KCUR's Central Standard. "One of the reasons I love it is that I'm alone so seldom in my daily life.... This is a time to completely carve out for yourself."

Segment 1: Remembering the charismatic restaurant critic who never romanticized food.

It's the first food show since we got news of longtime KCUR food critic Charles Ferruzza's death, so we're taking a moment to remember the special sauce that made Charles Charles one last time.

Colombus Park Ramen Shop/Facebook

Kansas City can sometimes be a city of extremes. It has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and counting, yet it's also seen an explosion of more plant-based and vegetarian cuisine, including restaurants that are completely free of meat.

But as people across the country eat more vegetables for the benefit of their own health as well as that of the environment, it's spurring creativity on the culinary scene.

Segment 1: Meet Kansas City's Veggie Burger Artist

Zaid Consuegra at Pirate's Bone is known for the colorful veggie burgers he's painstakingly developed to be both pretty and tasty. He was recently profiled in Bon Appetit with his photo next to a headline that identified him as "The Undocumented Chef." He shares the story of his life and his burgers.

Paul Andrews / KCUR 89.3

Caitlin Corcoran has been a fixture in Kansas City's hospitality industry for about 20 years. She started as a barista on the Plaza as a 15-year-old and went on to tend bar, serve, manage and finally own a restaurant, Ça Va in Westport.

Now she's taking a break — possibly a long or permanent break — from this city's restaurant scene.

For a good chunk of her career, she figured, as many women do, that a hostile work environment came with the territory.

Segment 1: Meet the bar owner who doesn't think the customer is always right.

Caitlin Corcoran has been a force in the Kansas City food scene for a while now, most recently as the woman behind Ça Va. Her outspoken views on how to create a safe restaurant for both customers and staff have also made a name for her nationally. Does it mean that sometimes certain customers don't like her? Yes, but she's not losing sleep over it.

Seg. 1: Vision Zero Proposal | Seg. 2: Far-Flung Chiefs Bars

Jan 16, 2020

Segment 1: Kansas City councilman is aiming for zero annual traffic deaths by 2030.

The goal of Vision Zero is simple: eliminate all traffic-related deaths through smarter engineering, education and enforcement. Despite various levels of success in other metropolitan areas, one city official who is convinced it can work explains how.

Café Sebastienne/Facebook

Weekend brunch with its fancy avocado toast and creative cocktails has become an institution for many Kansas Citians over the years, even if not everyone is a fan.

In response to the haters, food writer Jenny Vergara recently had this to say on an episode of KCUR's Central Standard: "How can you not like breakfast with booze?"

"It's an approachable way to get into these higher end restaurants, too, at a bit more of an affordable price point," agreed food writer Liz Cook.

Segment 1: The cure to January might be going to a coffee shop inside of a greenhouse. 

We're starting off the first food show of the year at Cafe Equinox at Family Tree Nursery. It's a place where Kansas Citians can experience lush greenery and beautiful sunshine—even if it's 20 degrees outside.

Segment 2, beginning at 2:33: What's going on in the restaurant scene in Kansas City right now?

Segment 1: A new book from an MU professor says hidden fees are chipping away at the middle class.

A professor of History, Black Studies, and Public Affairs at Mizzou says banking fees, mortgage fees, student loan fees, and payday loan fees disproportionately affect people, with the wealthy being able to largely avoid them. 

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

A board member under fire for allegedly swindling an Indian tribe in Oklahoma. The organization’s $3 million Kansas City headquarters, bought and renovated just a few years ago, up for sale. The founder stepping away from day-to-day control. A CEO abruptly leaving after only a few months at the helm.

That’s the state of the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world’s largest organization dedicated to promoting barbeque, which appears to be in turmoil more than three decades after its founding in 1986.

Segment 1: Why we keep the objects that we keep.

If you were to pick one object in your possession that brings you meaning and joy, what would it be? An author shares intimate stories behind memories of knick-knacks, baubles, and even scraps of paper.

Segment 2, beginning at 33:45: When was the last time you had a Kansas City taco?

J.I. Downum/Extra Virgin/Facebook

  

Macaroni and cheese is universally beloved. That's not just due to its winning combination of creamy cheese and noodles, though. It's comforting in a nostalgic kind of way.

How to impress this holiday season without driving yourself nuts.

Our expert Kansas City hosts include a restaurateur who feeds people like they're her personal dinner guests and a bartender who makes strangers feel like friends.

Freshwater/Facebook

Yes, Kansas City is known for its chicken — whether it's fried, barbecued or one ingredient of many.

What about the other birds out there, though? On the Friday before Thanksgiving, KCUR's food critics took a moment to consider not just turkey but also grouse, quail, pheasant and duck. Especially duck.

"Pheasant, quail and squab should all be on this list," said Mary Bloch. "But duck seems to be more favored."

"I like to refer to ducks as beef that fly," said wild game expert James Worley. "Duck breast is very similar to a steak."

Pirate's Bone Burgers on Facebook

As evidenced by recent openings, closings and bankruptcies, the Kansas City restaurant scene is extremely competitive right now.

"Lots of players are competing for the same dollars, employees and customers," said KCUR Food Critic Jenny Vergara. "Only the strongest operators will survive."

Friday on KCUR's Central Standard, Vergara, Liz Cook and Mary Bloch shared the most important food stories in Kansas City from the past few months.

Segment 1: Thanksgiving's got us thinking about turkey (and duck and quail and pheasant).

Hunters and chefs are making plans for fall birds. From the key to a good brine to the effect of flooding on duck season, we get the inside story. Plus, the food critics help us find the best places to go in Kansas City for the fowl-less-eaten.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

The two operators of about a dozen well-known Kansas City restaurants sought bankruptcy protection within days of one another, with both saying the restaurants will remain open for business.

On Saturday, Bread & Butter Concepts LLC, which owns and operates Gram & Dun on the Country Club Plaza, Urban Table in Prairie Village and the Stock Hill steak restaurant just south of the Plaza, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Kansas. And on Thursday, HRI Holding Corp., which owns Leawood-based Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc., a casual dining chain, filed for Chapter 11 in Delaware.

Sura Eats/Facebook

The Kansas City food scene is more international than it used to be, and whatever else might be in those global dishes, the key to a lot of them is rice.

Segment 1: Missouri is home to choice wild edible fall mushrooms.

A hunt for wild mushrooms at Burr Oak Woods launches a conversation about foraging Missouri mushrooms. Then, a James Beard Award-winning chef offers mushroom-cooking expertise for the home cook.

Segment 1: A Kansas City restaurant teams up with a New Orleans chef on a popup event.

Ryan Prewitt is a James Beard Award winning chef at Peche in New Orleans, known for its focus on sustainability in seafood. When he comes to Kansas City to collaborate with Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, he'll be spreading a message of consuming ocean species responsibly. 

Americans spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in a lifetime. So what we do at work isn't separate from life. It is life. At a recent event hosted by Central Standard, people gathered to tell true stories from life on the job. We're sharing a few of those stories with you here.

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