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Food And Drink

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It's been a long time since Kansas City was a Cowtown, but the city's rich history as a meat-industry hub has bestowed us with an equally rich present as a meat-lover's heaven.

Segment 1: A make-over with the Fab Five.

The owner and chef of Succotash in Kansas City recently food-styled the lifestyle book: "Love Yourself, Love Your Life.”

Segment 2, beginning at 16:43: How to stock your holiday bar.

Succotash / Facebook

Kansas City chef Beth Barden just finished a job she never anticipated having: food-stylist for the new coffee table book "Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life."

Like the "Queer Eye" television show, which recently wrapped filming its third season in Kansas City, the book is full of lifestyle advice, with pearls of widsom ranging from how to select the right cut of denim to what your go-to meal says about you.  

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Jackson County's new sheriff says he's trying to make the department "an environment where it's not fear-based, it's respect-based."

When the previous sheriff of Jackson County resigned in the midst of a sex scandal, former Kansas City police Chief Darryl Forte was asked to serve as interim sheriff. On Nov. 6, he was selected by voters to fill the post for a full term. Forte told us of the policy and personnel changes he has made already, and what he's working to do for a department he says is dysfunctional.

Eating crickets might improve the microbiome — the good bacteria found in the gut that wards off illness, according to a recent six-week study at Colorado State University.

Corner Cafe

With the recent closing of Chubby's on Broadway, Kansas City lost one of its iconic diners. But the metro has plenty of other places where people can satisfy late-night cravings or load up on breakfast standards.

This week on Central Standard, our food critics recommended their favorite places for consistent home-style cooking and the pleasures of comfort food.

Food Critics: Grits And Diners

Nov 9, 2018

Segment 1: Grits.

Whether you like them or not, grits are making a comeback on menus across the nation. Grits have been around a long time; they are a meal indigenous to North America. We talk with a local chef about the variety and versatility of grits. 

Segment 2, beginning at 13:10: Diner dining in Kansas City.

KC Bier Co.

KC Bier Co. was the only brewery in Kansas City to win a medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup, and now it's releasing that beer for sale in bottles, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

At 2 a.m. on Halloween night, Chubby's On Broadway was dishing out eggs, french fries and burgers to  partiers as Motown music played in the background.

Earlier in the week, Kansas City's late-night fixture announced it would be closing at 3756 Broadway Boulevard on 6 a.m. Thursday. The announcement galvanized people to spill into the diner during the post-Halloween party rush and throughout the dead of night for one last round of the legendary free cinnamon rolls and breakfast food.

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Fall has arrived in Kansas City along with a vast selection of seasonal beer, as breweries new and old have rolled out their finest brews to coincide with the increasingly chilly weather.

But one cannot survive on beer alone. So, in the interest of keeping stomachs full and hearts warm, Central Standard's food critics recently shared some of their top food-and-beer pairings.

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

Seg. 1: Food Halls. Seg. 2: Breweries.

Oct 26, 2018

Segment 1: Are food halls the next food trucks?

The Kansas City area now has two food halls, which are single buildings with lots of restaurant stalls inside. If you're thinking of a fancy food court, you're right. But rather than chain restaurants, food halls offer speciality foods from local vendors, like Yucatan-Turkish wings from Karbon in Parlor

Lisa Rodriguez

For 60 years, Spanish Gardens has been making taco sauce in Kansas City, Kansas.

You can find the smooth, bright red sauce in grocery stores across the Midwest, in glass jars embossed with the company's logo.

But that custom touch may be gone a few months from now if Spanish Gardens switches from its glass jar producer in China to one in the United States.

Tariffs imposed on a host of Chinese products, including glass jars, have forced the company to look elsewhere for its containers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Why voting to retain (or not retain) judges matters.

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the shift to a more conservative court, has shown that persons picked to serve on the bench matter. This holds true at the state level too. But unlike the federal courts, judges who serve in the Kansas or Missouri state courts are required to stand for retention. That means you decide if they keep their jobs. Today, we got advice on informing yourself and voting responsibly in these oft-overlooked elections.

White plate with baba ganoush on it.
Flickr

When he was in college, Kansas City author Adib Khorram taught himself to make Persian food.

Khorram, who grew up in Gladstone with an Iranian-born father, hadn't always felt comfortable embracing that part of his background when he was kid. The struggle to find cultural belonging would later be mirrored in his semi-autobiographical young adult novel. Another thing that found its way into his book, "Darius The Great Is Not Okay"? Iranian cuisine.

Three jars with amber liquid. The gradient starts with the lightest on the left.
Kathleen Pointer / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The seasonal nature of honey. 

Like wine, honey a product of the world around it -- weather, region, time of year all impact the crop. Today, we chat with some beekeepers about the varieties their bees in Raytown produce.

The Secret To Kansas City's Most Popular Pita Bread

Oct 12, 2018
Celisa Calacal / KCUR 89.3

Located just a few hundred feet away from The Olive Cafe restaurant in south Kansas City is an unassuming, medium-sized warehouse — the Olive Cafe’s bakery. Filled with a number of strange machines, the bakery serves a singular purpose: making pita bread.

Salah Mansi is the owner of the Olive Cafe and has been overseeing the daily operations of the bakery since its opening in 2003.

“I do this for 15 years,” Mansi said. “It’s hard work, it’s not easy work.”

Food Critics: The Best Sauces In Kansas City In 2018

Sep 30, 2018
Nicole Lee / Flickr

Sure, you know Kansas City has barbecue sauces, but is there more?

Central Standard's host Gina Kaufmann has a theory: This place is a sauce town, and not of just one variety.

She came to the conclusion last year when Central Standard's Food Critics chatted about guilty pleasure foods. During that segment, many listeners chimed in to say that their guilty pleasures weren't main dishes, sides or even desserts, but the sauces that come with those things.

Emily Brown

Emily Brown's lifestyle acutely changed when her two young children were diagnosed with severe food allergies.

“For kids and individuals living with food allergies, it can be isolating. You are reminded every time you sit at the table that you can’t have something," said Brown. "We tend to celebrate with food in our society, so food is everywhere — for the holiday, the birthday, celebrations at work and school.”

c/o Born With Seoul

 Segment 1: Twist on a Korean hot sauce available throughout the Kansas City region.

Angela Hong grew up watching her mom make the Korean hot sauce, Gochuchang. As an adult, she started making it for her family, but had to adjust to accommodate her daughter's food allergy. Today, that recipe adjustment has made it into bottles and onto shelves around the city. 

Segment 2: Food Critics

Lucas Richardz / Flickr CC

A vibrant restaurant scene brings comings and goings. Guest host Brian Ellison spoke Friday with Central Standard's local Food Critics — Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch, and Jenny Vergara — about what's new and what's out in the Kansas City area. 

Opening

Catapla / Facebook

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. 

Segment 1: From the tree to the pie, we learn about the past, present and future of apples.

Fall is quickly approaching and many crops are ready for harvest. On this segment we talk with a relative of Johnny Appleseed about all things apples.

Segments 2 and 3, beginning at 14:56: Sometimes food is worth the trip, and sometimes it is best to stay close to home.

Segment 1: Regaining the right to vote is a defining moment of reintegration.

The right to vote is a privilege many Americans take for granted. On this episode, we discuss what regaining the right to vote means to formerly incarcerated individuals.

Segment 1: Tailgating is more than an activity in Kansas City. It's a culture.

Tailgating is a big deal to local sports fans. Why is that and what's the meaning behind it? On this episode, we explore those questions and more in light of a controversial new tailgating policy at Arrowhead Stadium.

Food Critics: The Best Pork Dishes In Kansas City In 2018

Sep 2, 2018
A sandwich with meat, cheese, pickles and mustard on a wooden surface.
Pigwich / Facebook

Located in the heart of the Midwest with some of the most famous barbecue joints in the world, it's no surprise there are lots of meaty meal options to be found in Kansas City. 

"Since the dawn of Kansas City I would say pork's been having a moment," KCUR Food Critic Jenny Vergara said. "It's definitely on the menu."

But what menus have the best pig dishes around?

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

Some restaurants just have a corner on the market for a particular dish.

In this case, that would be Kitty’s Café and its pork tenderloin sandwich. The longtime Kansas City establishment is on 31st Street, just east of Martini Corner and just west of the longtime non-profit Operation Breakthrough on Troost Ave.

It's more diner than restaurant, with six stools tightly together at the counter tops. Outside, there's some patio seating, but Kitty’s is not a destination-stop kind of place. Most of the orders are take-out and you can only pay with cash.

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