A post about tired posts is..... also tired

Here is a list of fresh topics for local food bloggers. Just pick one and start writing. It's that easy.

1. Gas station eats
2. New cupcake boutiques
3. Anything Christopher Elbow or Ryan Maybee touch
4. Hip new "artisan" pizza places
5. Places to get an overpriced burger
6. Hotdogs
7. Tio
8. Mixologists
9. Recent closings of national chains
10. Brunch
11. KC's best BBQ

The Deep Sea Battle

Recently KC Food Guy and I were provided gift cards to sample the fare at Bonefish Grill and their "closest competitor". That comparable turned out to be Red Lobster. Way to shoot for the stars Bonefish. I'm sure your customers enjoy the fact that they are faced with the nightly dilemma of choosing you or Red Lobster. What about aspiring for The Bristol or even M&S?

Anyway our joint review of Bonefish is contained in our archives. (I guess if I was computer savvy this is when I add a link to that story, but you'll just have to scroll down and find the damn story for yourself). I recently hit up the Red Lobster "riding solo" to get a good comparison of the two places.

First of all, the service was fantastic. From the initial greeter to my actual server, I was made to feel welcome and cherished as a customer. Bonefish wasn't rude by any accounts; it was just that Red Lobster made me feel truly welcomed.

I ordered a shrimp and steak combo. I felt like this was representative of a good comparison with our meal at Bonefish. I didn't think it would have been fair to get a full lobster or something and then try and compare the two places. The price of the meal was fairly economical coming in at around 15 bucks. I upgraded my side to the grilled asparagus for a few bucks more.

First of all, all meals at the Red come with a side salad and their legendary cheddar biscuits. The Biscuits were as good as I remembered them. The salad was stuck in 1982 and sucked. Some crappy looking iceberg lettuce with pre-fab croutons and some slices of cucumber made me feel as though I was getting a salad from Winsteads (yes they have salads there!).

The meal itself was solid. The steak was a smallish 5 ounce cut that was tasty but unspectacular. The shrimp was cooked to perfection, and while slightly over seasoned, it was good. When I mean cooked to perfection I mean not overdone (as most shrimp offerings are in places like the Red). I confirmed that the shrimp was actually placed on the skewer at the restaurant. There is no way that Bonefish does this.
Overall, the meal was good. Service was great. Drink selection was normal.

The big complaint most folks have about the Red is the price. They don't mind spending more cash at a nicer seafood joint. They just feel as though Red Lobster should be more economical.

I want to sincerely thank Bonefish for giving us the opportunity to sample their fare and put it to the test with another restaurant. I just didn't see a marked difference between the two places. And in my opinion that makes Red Lobster the winner. You see, when you choose to go to Bonefish you are choosing to have a better dining experience. You expect to pay more and also get better food. The food at Red Lobster was average seafood. You expect that... nothing more.

So maybe Bonefish is a victim of its own aspired standards? I don't know. I do know that if someone gave me a free dinner and the option of going to Bonefish or Red Lobster... I'd choose the Red.

Define Neapolitan

Andrea from SPIN! invited us over to sample their menu the other day. It was my first visit, and maybe my last.

It wasn't bad pizza, it was very average pizza. We arrived around 11, and were the first people there for lunch. We met the owner, Gail Lozoff in the "ordering area", the area in the front of the restaurant where the menu hangs and people order at the register. You order your pizza and then move to your table to wait for it.

This procedure works fine at a deli where everyone is ordering individually, it doesn't work so well for pizza. People are picky about what they get on their pizza, everyone likes something different. As groups of folks file in the door, they must come to a collaborative decision on what they are going to order before sitting down. This is easy for some groups, and not so easy for most.

Does your group of six that has quickly decided what to order cut in front of the group of four that has not? There really isn't a formal line, just an area where groups sort of stand around and look at the menu.

By about 11:30 the confusion started. Groups are coming in the front door and the back door. Folks from the back door are going straight to the register bypassing those who came in the front door. Those from the front door are wondering if they should skip in front of the group of four in front of them who can't make a decision on a pizza.

Just let us sit down to order the pizza already!

I ordered the daily pizza special, four cheeses and mushroom. I added Italian sausage since Gail said they get it from Scimeca's. Terrence got the Pollo Arrosto E Chevre (chicken and goat cheese) pizza and Jim decided on the SPIN! sub and Minestrone soup.

The pizza came out on a stoneware plate as shown above. The crust was super thin and crisp but the pizza was cold. I wonder if the the stoneware plate cooled it off? Do they cook the pizza on the plate? Do they heat the plates before they put the pizza on them?

Before I'd taken a bite, Gail came over to see how we were doing. I noticed there wasn't any Italian sausage on my pizza and mentioned it to her. She said, "It really doesn't need sausage, it's a great pizza without it". It wasn't an excuse or apology for the lack of sausage, it was more like I was an idiot for messing with the perfect combination in the first place. That's not what I wanted to hear. I like meat on my pizza. She made no effort to correct the mistake.

I didn't know the definition of Neapolitan pizza until I went here today. After my visit to SPIN! I thought it meant thin, dry and cold, with very little topping. I really missed that Italian sausage now that I was facing a tiny bit of cold cheese and mushrooms on my pizza! Terrence's Pollo Arrosto E Chevre was better since it wasn't as dry, but the chicken, he said, was "tasteless". Jim said his sandwich was good although we thought it needed some vinegar and oil to help it along. The bread is made in-house but could use a crust. It was very fresh with a Wonder bun texture. The Minestrone reminded me of Chef Boyardee. I couldn't detect a hint of basil or oregano, it was way to safe, tasted mass produced. Jim liked it.

I could mention the antics of our over-shy, forgetful waitress but I have already made to many remarks about a truly unremarkable experience.

Tapas of New Places

I love Tapas. Unfortunately this article does not talk about any tapas. I just thought that it would be a good term to use in making a few local food observations. As I've stated earlier, I only like to create a formal review of a place after I have visited it a number of times. As I haven't sufficiently visited a number of places with future reviews in the works, I wanted to make a few food observations:

1) The Beer Kitchen in Westport is really good. The food is top notch. And they wisely abandoned their McCoy's brewed "BK Gold" house beer. Seriously, that crap tasted like cold piss. Well, piss that could eventually intoxicate you if you drank enough of it. But you get the point. On my last visit they were serving a McCoy's brewed Saison of sorts that was super yummy.

2) The Art of Pizza in Westport was not nearly as good as their Crossroad's sister. I'm not going to give them a formal review as I really hope that it was a case of me catching them on a bad day. P.S. Get your liquor license as eating pizza without beer sucks. Oh, and if you have gotten your license... why did you open a place without having one in place. I'm seriously gun-shy about going back in until I know if the place has beer yet. It's kind of bad form to walk out midway through ordering unless I want a extra topping of saliva the next time I'm there.

3) I am looking for a new "football food". You know, that speciality that you gobble why watching the Chiefs. I'm tired of the wings and the Rotel/cheese dip and the brats, etc. Help me out. I want something new.

4) I'm heading to Las Vegas this week. I'm looking forward to the gambling and the food. And I'm laying big money on Mizzou vs Kansas no matter what the spread is.


It's Veteran's Day!

Drive over to Linwood and Broadway or the Liberty Memorial today and thank a Vet! I did and it felt great!


Let's all sing along

Here are some truly horrible songs about cheese. # 3 made me want to crawl in a hole and die. I expect you to know the lyrics by next week. It'll be on the test. 1 2 3

Michael Ruhlman Had Something To Say

In this video Ruhlman talks about theories in the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Harvard Anthropologist Richard Wrangham. Very interesting stuff even if the style of shooting makes me dizzy!

Now get in the kitchen!


Food Deals Galore!

With the economy in the shitter, food deals have become all of the rage. From Muncharoo, to Living Social, to Find Specials, etc., deals are in. The premise is basic. Pay a certain amount, get a coupon (typically for double your purchase price) and eat away. I've used them on a number of occasions. Some have been great deals (Room 39... 25 bucks got me 50 bucks worth of grub), some have been not so good (I won't mention names but some of these deals require you to read the fine print as they may only be usable during obscure times).

The downside to consumers is that the gift certificates must be kept around for that special time you wish to use it. I've got a Le Fou Frog gift certificate gathering dust right now because I haven't made the time to use it yet.

There is also a downside to the restaurants as well. I spoke to one owner about the deals and he admits that they probably lose money on the deals, but they hope that it leads to new customers. The worst situation is when they see a regular customer using one of the coupons. Owners also sometimes get burned when users only tip on the final bill amount disregarding the coupon's inclusion.

My personal take is that these deals are great for the consumer, so-so for the restaurants, and ultimately will lose their appeal. Restaurants don't mind doing one of these deals a year. However, since these deals are sent out on a daily basis, you have to sift through the crap to find the good deals (Every other day features some sort of spa or hair salon... my "fro" doesn't need that shit).

Once folks have a chance to try out a few new places, all but the hard-core savers will begin to lose interest. Until then, suit up and coupon up!

Ah..... memories of green bean casserole

Check it out dude. 69, that's right, 69 pages full of pictures of our parents entertaining each other. You can almost smell the fondue and doobies while looking at these photos.


The Winter of Cheese

Some who know me are familiar with my habit of naming a season after an ingredient or dish. Throughout that season I try to use that ingredient or make that dish in many different ways. Last summer was the Summer of Lemons. I declare this to be the Winter of Cheese.

Check out this list of cheeses! Damn, that's a lot of cheese.


Are you a Turophile?

I am, and this is where I learn the terms to impress people with my turos vocabulary. It's a glossary of cheese terms. They also have a nifty Cheesecyclopedia.

Get your fail on

Since the boom of food television some folks think it is glamorous to be a chef. This is correct if you relate glamor to being over-worked, under-paid, hot, greasy and generally anonymous.

Are you looking for a school that teaches the cooking stuff? Here is a terrific website to help you on your way to failure.
I hear the kids out at JOCO are making some noise in the field. It's not listed yet, but I bet it will be soon. I'll let Cindy know about them. Oh.... wait... I just did.

Here is what Bourdain has to say about getting started in the field of cooking stuff for people. You know, being a cookerperson. This article is taken from his new book Medium Raw you gotta read it.

"I am frequently asked by aspiring chefs, dreamers young and old, attracted by the lure of slowly melting shallots and caramelizing pork belly, or delusions of Food Network stardom, if they should go to culinary school. I usually give a long, thoughtful, and qualified answer.
But the short answer is “no.”"  -Anthony Bourdain

I hope you are now even further inspired to prove everyone wrong. Now get over here and get your cook on!


Gin for the win!

You know I loves my Gin. This stuff looks awesome. Citadelle Gin.

"The unique flavor profile is the result of 19 botanicals sourced from around the world, ranging from Sri Lankan cinnamon to almonds and lemon rind from Spain, Grains of Paradise from West Africa and Moroccan coriander to licorice from China. But this heady mix is only introduced after the fourth intensive distilling process—which involves heating whole grain wheat from the Beauce region (the same used to make classic French bread) over a naked flame, and brewing with natural spring water to create the neutral spirit."


We have a global problem

The marine food supplies are in danger folks. Just ask the people in the Gulf of Mexico, Japan, Africa and Australia. This is a shame because I'll eat just about anything that comes from the sea, I prefer seafood to anything else.

Midwestern fresh waters have a big problem too. If you're in the mood for Asian carp, there are plenty. Here is a video of the carp in action. I don't know why the guy in this video is laughing. This shit isn't funny.

Here is the Wiki.

"Dave Camp, Congressman for the 4th District of Michigan, along with Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced the CARP ACT, which directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take action to prevent Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes. It is estimated that it will cost more than $30 million in 2010 to prevent the carp from invading the Great Lakes."

30 million? I suggest that you put a $5 bounty on every dead Asian carp turned over to Conservation Departments. I have a feeling their numbers would drop off rather steadily.


Hotdogs for homophobes

This is funny!

Yes, your menu is tired

BA Foodist points out the 5 most played out restaurant dishes. I can think of a dozen dishes that could be added to this list. Kansas City, especially, seems stuck in a culinary time-warp of copycat dishes. Do chefs in KC dumb down their menus to suit the pallets of their patrons or do they lack creativity? Both I think.

"If imitation is the best form of flattery, then there's a whole lot of flattery going on in Kansas City restaurants."

What other menu items need to be retired?


Chinese Government to Execute Food-Safety Violators

Hot damn! The Chinese don't mess around.

"China warned Thursday that the worst offenders of food safety rules would get the death penalty in a new crackdown on an industry that has spawned embarrassing and deadly scandals in products ranging from seafood to baby formula."


Quick Bites

Preparing a well thought out review for a restaurant can be time consuming. It also often leaves me a little remorseful upon later visits for my opinions can change. I usually like to visit a place a number of times before I craft a review. In that light I am able to stand by my reviews with a clear heart... a clear mind ("Can't lose"... sorry for the Friday Nights Light Reference).

However, I have been to a number of local places recently so I wanted to give my first impression of said locations. I was mostly sober (usually) when I visited these places and I was able to remember key items about each. I also wanted to keep our readers informed about who may be on the Royals next season. You may not know many of these guys so it is my job to inform the mass of readers who yearn for Royals news as the season just ended.

The Billy Butler - All-Star Pizza ( is located in the Tuileries Plaza. Basically, it's in the Northland. Just like the young Royals slugger this place provides consistent pizza and a great pizza/pub atmosphere. In the same mode as Butler, this pizza joint will hit for a high average in providing heavily-topped pizzas and and a good selection of taps. It also features the best football game's line board. If you don't know what that is ask your uncle Morty who always looks sick at Thanksgiving when the Cowboys don't cover the spread. Just a word of warning... just like young Billy, don't expect many home runs with this place. It's good, it's solid, it's just not a homer every time.

The Alex Gordon - Granite City Food and Brewery ( is located in many places, but I hit up the Zona Rosa location recently. This place is just like Alex Gordon. When Granite City started showing up nationwide beer geeks went nuts. Afterall, the microbrewing craze was, in many parts, in its infancy. Unfortunately, just like young Alex, these places flopped in my view. The food was of an Applebees quality with a a much higher price point. However, I recently gave the place another look and I was surprised. The hand-crafted beer actually tasted, well... hand-crafted. The server was fantastic (and probably should leave that place and start working at Plaza III or the American). The food was good. The prices were appropriate. Just like Alex Gordon's recent resurgence at the plate (and as a left fielder), Granite City made a comeback in my book.

The Chris Getz - The Art of Pizza ( has opened a new location in Westport. I touted this move a few months ago and was waiting expectantly for the Westport location to open. The owner assured me he had trained the staff there and it was going to be great. He was wrong. First of all, how many times must I say it... DO NOT OPEN UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR LIQUOR LICENSE! This isn't a cupcake bakery or a tea hut, this is a pizza restaurant and as such requires at least beer. But what about the food? It was not good. The pizza by the slice was bland and lacked any real flavor. I made the mistake of ordering the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich (yes, I know I have an obsession with those). It was the worst, most bland Philly I've ever had. They should change it to the Erie or the Scranton. Philly, a town of battery hurling hoodlums, should attack this place and demand that the term "Philly" be removed.

How does this apply to Getz? This guy was supposed to be good. We were told he had great speed and great defense and well.... we're still waiting. Just like I'm waiting on the Art of Pizza to hopefully iron out their kinks.

Happy Eats...


It's marijuana I swear!

Funny skit from 3rd Rock.

"This whole time we have been eating her slop and you're a damn gourmet!"


What's Next?

This is pure genius. Who comes up with this stuff? Grant Achatz that's who. There is so much innovation and advanced thinking going on here.

"Next Restaurant will explore world cuisine. It is being developed by chef Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas, and the creative team that built Alinea, including Crucial Detail designer Martin Kastner, Architect Steve Rugo, and Interior Designer Tom Stringer.
Next Restaurant will serve four menus per year from great moments in culinary history – or the future. Our team of chefs will investigate, test, refine, and present authentic menu interpretations from cultures, places and times."

Food from the past and future? Check.
No bar or bartender? Check.
Tickets instead of reservations? Check.

Here is the about, and here is the trailer.

Anyone for a deal?

The above pic is the logo for a relatively new restaurant in KC called "C. Withers Restaurant". This family run BBQ and comfort food joint was recently opened on Broadway (kind of across from the Uptown Theater). I really don't know too much about this place. I hear they have good BBQ and their side dishes are fresh and homemade.
I do know, however, that I will be trying this place soon courtesy of some FOX 4 deal thingy ( In short, you get 50 bucks worth of Gift Certificates to this place for $16.50. I recently used one of these deals for Room 39 and had a great time.
Also, from a practical standpoint it allows your cheap ass friend (we all have one... If you don't know who it is, it's probably you...) to actually go out to eat. According to some basic reviews, getting this deal should allow one person to get at least 3 meals out of this amount of Gift Certificates.
If you are into Mexican food, it includes the same type deal for Dos Hombres and a place called Maya's Mexican Bistro as well. Cheap Asses Unite!

"Do you think there is really a grill in here at all?"

I met Mid Town Food Guy over at Bonefish Grill the other night. We didn't meet because we like to go on "Guy Dates", we met because the Bonefish people sent us a couple "Challenge Packs". Basically it was a folder with a gift card for Bonefish and a gift card for what they called their "competitor". Their "competitor" turned out to be Red Lobster.

I had been to a Bonefish Grill once before, about five years ago in Clearwater, Fla. I remembered it being very good, I had salmon on a cedar plank. For this visit we chose the Northland location on 45 highway. The dining space seemed upscale, dimly lit and classy. The entire staff dresses in white chef coats. This makes it hard to distinguish anyone, from anyone else, that you may, or may not want to bother for something.

I sat at the bar and waited for Mid Town for a few minutes while sipping a cocktail. Mid Town eventually joined me at the bar and this is where things went horribly wrong. We ordered food! Mid Town ordered a house salad to go with his Mango Fish Tacos. I ordered Crab and Corn Chowder to go with "Grilled" Scallops and Shrimp.

Mid Town's salad was lettuce on a plate, nothing fancy and it's hard to screw up lettuce. The Corn and Crab Chowder it seems, is really easy to screw up. Not a hint of corn flavor anywhere in the dish. Isn't this the peak of corn season? There were some bits of something that more closely resembled crayfish tails than crab, but tasted like nothing. Yellow Water would be a more fitting name for the dish. No amount of salt and pepper was going to save this crap.

When the entrees came out I gave Mid Town a couple scallops and shrimp in exchange for one of his fish tacos. It was like trading crap for crap, neither of us got the best of this deal. The scallops and shrimp were so tightly packed together it appeared they could have been on a skewer at some point. There was no mention of skewers on the menu and there were no holes through the meat. This row of seafood "meat" had come out of a cryovac bag of some sort. It had "grill marks" on one side of the "meat" but they seemed to be airbrushed or painted on. The other side of the "meat" row was kind of a pale gray. After some inspection by Mid Town, he turns to me and says, "Do you think there is really a grill in here at all?". I was really doubting the presence of a grill at this point. I suspect my meal was cooked either sous vide or microwaved in cryovac. The only flavor it had was a salty, fake char taste.

The Mango Fish Tacos were just as poorly executed. After a bite of the super sweet, creamy, runny taco I opened it up and could not find one piece of fish.

How do they get away with serving this crap? If someone from Bonefish reads this please post, enlighten me on the preparation of that shitty shrimp-scallop dish.

I hope my trip to their "competitor" is a better experience. At least then I'll have something to thank Bonefish for.

See you in twenty years

The fine folks over at Sonic's PR house invited me to come try their food again. It had been twenty years since I'd visited a Sonic drive-in. I was offered a $50 Sonic gift card to try Sonic's menu. I knew It would take me some time to use all $50 so I invited three friends to join me for lunch in Westport.

Darin the manager hooked us up with all kinds of goodies. I had the Chicken Fried Steak sandwich and tater tots with cheese. I don't eat a lot of fried food these days so it tasted pretty greasy. To add to the greasy flavor was the fact that the oil the tots were cooked in was either past it's time or the oil wasn't hot enough. This resulted in tots that were super grease laden, nearly dripping with oil. My sandwich was good, definitely on par with most other fast food places. The other guys had the Foot-Long Coney Dogs and burgers. They enjoyed their meals, especially the Coneys. I think the ice cream shakes and sundaes were the biggest hit among the group, no surprise there.

Get over to Sonic and get some food. I'm not all that into fried foods but I know your fat ass can't get enough.


Will one of our own become the next Iron Chef?

It's true, Celina Tio is staring on The Next Iron Chef this season. Personally I don't think she will go very for on the show. I'm rooting for Ming Tsai and Marc Forgione.


Good Pizza is Better than Good Art?

Maybe not... But the Crossroads pizza joint known as The Art of Pizza ( does a great job of making a spot on pizza pie. And it boasts some hipster art if you are into that sort of thing (like the "hands" extending from the wall).

The Art of Pizza is located across the street from its much publicized pizza cousin, Pizza Bella. While I had been to Pizza Bella at least a dozen times, I had always gazed towards The Art of Pizza and wondered what that place was all about. Sometimes as I munched on my Pizza Bella Brussels Sprouts I had even chuckled at that neighboring "red headed step-child" of local Pizza joints.

But this past week I decided to give it a try. And I was pleasantly surprised. In fact I was downright excited about the "find" I had made.

First of all, please know that this place is not, and does not attempt to compete with, their more upper crust pizza neighbor. This is pure NY style pizza with real ingredients like sausage as opposed to fennel sausage or ground beef as opposed to prosciutto. The atmosphere is much more laid back. The pie is super tasty. The price is super swell. And the friendly owner will pull up a chair and talk about anything from the weather to making beignets (which are also on the menu!).

I've only been to The Art of Pizza once and I am usually reluctant to review a place without multiple visits. In this case, I'll be making additional visits. And the place was just all around solid.

Also, The Art of Pizza is opening a Westport location in a week or so. Hopefully it will take off with the same standards that the Crossroads location has been putting out.


So overdue it's embarasing

When Thai Place opened in Westport some time ago (8 years?) I had no idea the impact it would have on my life. I'd eaten many Thai meals prior to Thai Place so I was delighted when I noticed they had taken over the space that was occupied by The Classic Cup in Westport. I raced in and haven't left yet.

I ate there constantly and quickly became friends with most of the employees, and the owners Ted and Pam. The food at Thai Place is always very, very good and super consistent. I've had most of the menu items and love them all. In my opinion Ted and Pam make the best Thai food in town. The dinning room is classy, dark and elegant. The kitchen is unbelievably clean and organized. They hire wonderful, efficient people who seem like they are all family.

If you haven't been to Thai Place, get your ass in there. If you have been there before, get your ass in there again. You will enjoy your visit, I promise. Thank you Ted and Pam for being so good to me over the years, I look forward to many, many more years sharing food with you and many more years of friendship.

Mystery trader buys all Europe's cocoa

What do you do with all the cocoa in Europe? I guess we're going to find out.

"It is unclear which person, or group of traders, was behind the deal, but it was the largest single cocoa trade for 14 years."

"The cocoa beans, which are sitting in warehouses either in The Netherlands, Hamburg, or closer to home in London, Liverpool or Humberside is equivalent to the entire supply of the commodity in Europe, and would fill more than five Titanics. They are worth £658 million."


A New Take on Mexican?

Well, Caliente Grill is no more. The 39th street Mexican joint finally bit the dust after a long struggle to establish a foothold on the Midtown Mexican landscape. As Pangea before them, Caliente was unable to generate enough business in their 39th street strip mall location to stay alive.

However, plans are being made to open a new restaurant at that (cursed?) location. Last week I was invited to a special tasting of some of the items which will be featured at the new eatery. It is also Mexican. I mean really Mexican. It will feature fresh flavors all around. From home-made mexican soups to hand cooked pork dishes, the yet to be named new grub spot will attempt to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowded Mexican food lineup in K.C.

Overall, the food I sampled was really good. But... it's one thing to cater for a group of 20-25 people as opposed to running a restaurant. In the true spirit of an annoying food critic I will withhold judgment until the doors open. But I'm definitely excited. The potential is there. Just please don't start serving food until the liquor license is approved (why does every new place in K.C. think it's a good idea to open three months before their liquor license is approved?).


The dim lights of a shining star in L.A.

Back in May I posted about a place in L.A. called the Edison. I said in the post that I was sure to visit when I was going to be out there later in the summer. The next day (seriously the next day) I received an email from their PR guy (Dan) saying, "Thanks for the Edison post!  Let me know when you’re in town, and ready to check out our space.  We’ll make sure you have a great time!" Last week I did, and they did.

Out of total coincidence, my blog co-writer Midtown Food Guy (MFG) was out in L.A. on a family vacation. Weird. I asked MFG if he would join me on my visit to the Edison, we agreed on Wednesday. I totally spaced off notifying Dan about our visit until about 3pm the day of. I texted Dan and let him know that we would like to come out that night and experience the Edison. Within like 4 minutes he texted back and said that we were set for reservations at 7:30 and the evening was on him! Man, this guy is good. If you ever need a PR guy, Dan is the man.

MFG, his lovely wife, and I arrived on time and were quickly escorted to our reserved table. We sat for 10-15 minutes (seemed longer) before we saw anyone that resembled waitstaff. When we did spot someone, she walked passed us to a table next to ours. With their order she strolled by again. She then walked passed us a third time several minutes later to attend to the table next to ours. I stopped her (Jacquie (sp?) pronounced Jackie) this time and asked if we could start off with some drinks. She stated, "I'm sorry, I didn't see you guys". I said , "You walk passed us three times, how did you not see us?" "What can I get you to drink?", she says, and then under her breath, "This is going to be fun." WTF? What kind of shit was that? 

After the initial glitch in the evening, everything was great.

The Edison is stunning! I've never seen any place like it. They spared no expense taking an old power plant and converting it into a beautiful bar and restaurant. It was like stepping back in time. The space is very dark and classy with attention to every detail. Check out the virtual tour here.

The menu is small and unpretentious, good solid bar fare. We shared several appetizers including; Blue Dates, Deviled Eggs, Bavarian Pretzel, Shrimp Cocktail, Squid, Singapore Wings and a Charcuterie Platter. All of the food was very good and perfectly prepared. Yes, the food was good, but looking at the Edison's menu it is easy to discern that this place is all about the the tasty booze!

The Edison has over 50 types of gin. Are you kidding? Right on! First, I had an awesome specialty drink prepared with gin called Southside Fizz. I don't remember the order of the next five, but I know there were some Manhattans and Old Fashions in there somewhere. Super classic mixology at it's finest! Since I had never tried Absinthe, and they had several choices, I ended with it. I woke up naked in an alley near Silver Lake. I'm kidding, everything was fine.

To summarize, the Edison is a must visit in L.A. (rumor is that they are planing one in NYC). The atmosphere, food, drinks and attention to detail are brought together in a manner rarely seen. I would like to thank manager John Bakalar for being attentive, classy and genuinely interested in our experience and the circumstances that brought us there. Also I can't say enough about Dan Cox. Thank you Dan for the unforgettable evening, you truly did make sure we had a great time!


If you don't know, well, you don't know.

I'm talking about the greatest sandwich on earth.... the Italian Beef sandwich. Born in Chicago, this big feller doesn't taste the same if prepared outside of the Windy City. I've tried dozens around Kansas City and other cities, none compare. There is always something not right about it. It's a simple sandwich but, it seems, nearly impossible to replicate outside Chicago. Bread, beef, giardineria and au jus. Sounds simple right? Call me in 1000 years when you've perfected it. Until then guess I'll go to Chicago or Venice Beach!! My favorite place to get one is Max's on Western.

That's right, Chicago's own "Mr. Beef" has setup shop on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Read all about it here.  I'll try one if I find myself around Venice Beach while I'm in L.A. next week.

Here are some awesome pictures of the best sandwich on earth! 

If you don't know, well, you don't know.


Philly Anyone?

Occasionally I have a true "hankering" for a good Philly Steak Sandwich. This "hankering" usually coincides with me watching "Rocky" or an episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". Recently, my Philly obsession was spurred by watching the Cardinals match up against the Phillies this week. Ummmm! Phillies.

Just one problem for a KC dweller... where to go for a good, juicy Philly at a reasonable price? I stumbled upon PhillyTime in the Briarcliff Village area of North KC and this fast food-esque joint provided my Philly fix. (Site wasn't working but it is supposed to be

Relatively economical with most Philly's coming in at $6.99, this place provides some good grub. As you stare out the window at the newly constructed "stores for the elite" in Briarcliff you won't exactly be transported to the take out line at "Geno's" (or "Pat's" if you like that joint better), but you will get a good, juicy, cheese dripping, mushroom stacked Philly.

Michelin Guide coming to Chicago

Here's the scoop.

I predict that Max's Italian Beef on the North side will receive the prestigious 3 stars.


"Everything's dying"

This will not get any better for a long, long time.

Gulf coast fisherman hauling in dead oysters... surprise!


Kitchen essentials

Someone on Epicurious poses the question "What are the real kitchen essentials?"

"For the purposes of this little intellectual challenge, let's assume the presence of a fully-stocked, standard spice rack, with all the greatest hits accounted for (salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, thyme, and so on). What 10 ingredients are essentials in your kitchen?"

For me, it would be:

1. Olive Oil
2. Lemons
3. Fresh garlic
4. Yellow Onion
5. Soy Sauce
6. Pasta
7. Hot Peppers
8. Rice
9. Canned Whole Tomatoes
10. Beef/Chicken Stock


The begining of the end

These are truly sad times. French Quarter chef Paul Prudhomme talks Gulf seafood.

For the love of nuts

Is the recent Chinese craving for our nuts bad for us?

"“We are now at the highest prices ever in the history of the pecan industry for pecan meats and yet we have one of the largest supplies ever,” said Mr. Zedan. “All because of China.”

Mr. Zedan said the higher prices had not yet been felt strongly in American supermarkets, partly because many large buyers bought pecans last year on contracts negotiated at lower prices, before the market soared. That could change later this year. Mr. Zedan said higher prices might eventually lead ice cream makers in the United States to skimp on the nuts in butter pecan ice cream. And pecan pies might be selling at a premium this fall."

It's a winner!

Since I'm in the video business I had to post this Emmy Award winning opening for Eric Ripert's PBS show. It's simple and tasteful.

"Remember the crazy awesome opening sequence for chef Eric Ripert's PBS show Avec Ericthat was nominated for an Emmy? Well, it won for "Outstanding Achievement in Main Title and Graphic Design"!"

Yum... fermented meat and poultry

Thinking of delving into the wonderful world of fermented meat and poultry? Me too. For a mere $191.99 (marked down from $239.99) this book can get you started. You better hurry up, there are only two left, and I just bought one.

Strawberry, baked bean, Mixed Plate!!!!

I'm not a fan of Tech N9ne (a local rap artist) but this song is the best! On his upcoming release he has a song about Gates BBQ! No lie, check it out here. I can't understand a lot of the words so maybe I'll ask Lisa Paris to translate for me. O.G. = Ollie Gates I figured that much out.


It's alive!

Someone (no one knows who) has burst on the scene as a cross between Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain. A Franken Foodie! The funny thing is they both love her, him it. Whoever's doing this is genius! Here are few famous folks taking note.

"It is kind of genius. I love it. I'm a total addict. I'm hooked already and, frankly, flattered and disturbed in equal measure."
Anthony Bourdain, Host, "No Reservations"

"Hilarious . . . very clever."
Ruth Reichl, Author, former Editor-in-Chief, Gourmet Magazine

"You are a shining star out there in [the] twitterverse."
Tom Colicchio, Chef, Craft

"You are truly a scary creation."
Michael Ruhlman, Author

"You're offal cute: the drag-queen love child of Fergus Henderson and Alice Waters. Meant as a compliment."
Frank Bruni, New York Times

"I don't know what's more disturbing: the avatar, the tweets or the whole damn idea."
Daniel Patterson, Chef, Coi

"I think i might be in love with u."
Kelly Choi, Host, Top Chef Masters

"Wow. This is so gross, it's sexy."
Brenna White, Twitterer

"In the world of foodies, there is a new, enduring mystery: Ruth Bourdain, who art thou?
Cross the evocative world of former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl with the scowl and crass sarcasm of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and, voila, you have one Ruth Bourdain."

Here is an article from WSJ.

Here's it's tumbl.
Here's it's facebook
Here's it's twitter


Here's a story about your meat

Not my meat, yours. I like mine cooked just passed the mooing state.

This article reminded me of a time when a friend and I were making homemade sausages. We had seasoned and ground 4 types of pork sausage. We had the meat in trays on the table and we were getting ready to stuff the casings. As we worked, another friend stopped in to say hi and have a beer. As we discussed the sausage, she reached over, picked up a fork, and took a HUGE fork full of the raw Italian sausage into her mouth. Yack. My sausage making buddy and I just looked at each other in disbelief as she took several more GIANT raw bites.

She's still alive to talk about it. In fact, today is her birthday. Happy birthday Victoria!

Randy Taylor is pissed at Jimmy Dean

He's not mad at him for dying, he's mad because they quit making the 16oz. rolls!

"How am I going to feed 5 people on 12 ounces of sausage and a couple dozen eggs?"

"Jimmy Dean sausage is for southern people to eat for breakfast with their fried eggs and their t-bone steaks!"


Obama says the seafood is fine


"Let me be clear: Seafood from the Gulf today is safe to eat," Obama said, after eating lunch in Gulfport, Miss., during his latest oil spill inspection tour, according to USA Today. He even pronounced it "delicious."


Food Gone Bad

I know that all of you must think that being a food reviewer is a sweet gig. You get to chow at great places and then review them for the millions of people that view our blog every day (or the six people that view it everyday... whatever).
Recently I paid the price for my food reviewer ways. I went to The Brooksider in, well... Brookside. I wanted to check out some sports, drink a cold beer, and have some good pub grub. Everything started pretty well. Great service... Check. Cold Beer... Check. Good Food... Uh Oh!
The pretzels we had were probably good two weeks ago when they were made (probably bought). Not so good on the day I visited. The Philly sandwich might have been good had it not been clearly covered in two separate spots with green mold. Seriously. Our server/bartender apologized and said they had some fresh bread they could use for their second attempt at our Philly. Oddly enough he then left out the front door for a few minutes (maybe a run to the grocery store next door?).
Anyway, I'd love to give The Brooksider a honest review. I just can't. You served me moldy bread. You lose. I've had good meals in K.C. and bad ones as well. But this is the first time I've been served moldy bread (was Ray Charles the cook? This thing was clearly green.).
On the bright side I can cross off one more place to grab food in K.C. The list was getting kind of long anyway.


Raw veganism is the dizzope? Huh?

According to Lisa Paris, Raw Veganism is a total party scene. She uses all sorts of hip, street lingo to convince you of such. Who talks like this? Raw vegan white girls from the means streets of Portland that's who. Suckas!.

"Most peeps think of raw and veganism as lackluster fruit and vegetable shenanigans but oh snap- there is so much more!"

"....the beauty is you don’t have to get all hardcore super raw gangster to experience the amazing benefits."

"I believe there are two key factors in attaining this state of raw dietary dope-ness"

"There is a majorly cool world of info out there and it is our pleasure to get you hooked up-phat."

And finally she has a "crazy hook-up" that is going to "blow our minds!" Aw Yeah!

 Ready? Here it is, straight outa the Kitch!!!

Straight from the Raw Beets Kitch:
The Parisian Love Crumble
Makes 1 Beautiful Crumble
1 ¼ cup raw almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 lb. strawberries
¾ cup pitted dates
¼ teaspoon sea salt

"Make a million friends with this tasty crowd pleaser…"

If I served this to my friends at a party I would expect them to punch me in the face. Don't let this little white chick from Portland, Oregon scare you off with her straight-dope street speak. Check out her website here.

Best restaurant name ever?

When choosing a name for your restaurant, make it a good one. Fatty 'Cue in Brooklyn did just that. The menu looks terrific. Asian freshness and heat paired with smokey, fatty, BBQ goodness. I guess some folks call this "fusion". I call it a great idea.

Could something like this fly in KC? I'm not sure if this city would embrace such an exotic rendition of their beloved BBQ. We folks, are BBQ snobs, and we don't like people messing with our cherished pastime.

"Fatty ‘Cue is an effort by a few of the members of the Fatty Crew to bring to Brooklyn a little Southeast Asian fermented funkiness and a whole helluva a lot of smoke. Local and humanely grown/raised/fished products are subjected to our unique flavorings, scrubbed and rubbed, perhaps dropped in a salty-sweet dip pool, and then lovingly treated to low temperature smoke “baths” all for your dining pleasure."

I'm in. You?


Look... it's a book review... sort of

The folks at Workman Publishing Company asked if I would like to review a copy of Steven Raichlen's new BBQ cookbook Planet Barbecue. What a book! This thing weighs 3 pounds, it's an inch and a half thick and it's full of glossy pictures of delicious food!

Like the cover states, it has 309 recipes from 60 countries. Most of them look awesome and I'm dying to try them. This is the guy from the show BBQ U,  that tremendously boring show with the soft-spoken, anal retentive fella on PBS weekend mornings. I admit he does great food, but to watch him cook is like watching a pot never come to a boil.

The book is all about his food, without the boredom of him. Get a copy already! You can get it on amazon for like 12 bucks. This is a lot of book for $12.

Please pass the margaritas

Damn. I meant to type, "Drive passed Margaritas!"

It was Sunday and I wanted fried tacos, so I went down to the Blvd to get some. La Fonda was closed, damn, as were a lot of the restaurants. I kept driving, thinking I would hit up Rosedale BBQ, then I saw Margaritas.

As I pulled in the lot, there was a family of  7 piling out of the place. Damn, I thought, now I remember why I don't eat here. Margaritas is the Denny's of Mexican food. I took a seat at the bar. The barkeep was behind the bar entering information into the touch screen. For about 10 minutes I stared at her awesome neck tattoo proudly displayed below her ponytail.

There are people with neck tattoos, and then there are the rest us. Eventually, I received a menu and a can of Tecate. "Last one!", she says, as she digs it out of a lukewarm tub of water from under the backbar. "Last one?", I said  "Did you have a run on Tecate today?". "No, that's left over from Cinco de Mayo." Damn, I thought, almost a month in that tub? I picked up the menu as I put down the beer.

I stared at the Dennyesque menu for the next few minutes. While looking at the pretty pictures of food I realized this place has free entertainment. The bartender and a server were fighting over a ticket! A lost ticket, that reappeared! In front of the TÄ“teoh and everyone they fought!

As soon as the entertainment ended, I decided it was time to leave. I asked the bartender for my check but she didn't acknowledge me. Instead she turns toward her friend the touchscreen. After several minutes she leaves the touchscreen, and the bar. Damn. I had no entertainment, I couldn't drink the warm beer, and I couldn't pay my way out.

She returned a few minutes later and started putzing around behind the bar. I asked her what I owed for the Tecate and she replied, "He's looking it up." WTF? Looking it up? Who is looking it up? It's a can of warm beer, not a gold watch. I asked, "Will 5 dollars cover it?" She said, "I don't know, some of our imports are $5.50". F this place! I thew 7 bucks on the bar and left.

MexiDenny's does not have their shit tight stuff together.

She folks, was a loser. Just another loser with a neck tattoo. From the moment I first saw the super hip neck tattoo, I knew not to expect much from her. She, just like all neck tatted people, lack certain things most of the rest of us possess, common sense and job skills.

I would like to bag on Margarita's Dennymex food, but I couldn't get that far. Maybe you can.

And the oysters shout with glee!

You heard it here. The fine peoples at BP have decided that drilling two more wells, that intersect the broken one, is the solution.

"But the best-case scenario of sealing the leak is two relief wells being drilled diagonally into the gushing well — tricky business that won't be ready until August."

Oysters love oil and dynamite?

That's right folks, as far back as 1960, scientists (hired by oil companies) have proven that oysters like oil, oil drilling mud and dynamite.

"Don't believe it? Check out the evidence for yourself. Skip ahead to 9:17 in the video, or watch the earlier segments... all brought to you by the unbiased documentarians at the American Petroleum Institute."

I love the comments.
"I like how it cost them 2 million dollars to watch 3 tanks filled with oysters for 6 months."