I am both a fan of and yet disappointed in KC's Restaurant Week affair. Kind of like being a Royals fan, I guess. When I lived in D.C., Restaurant Week was amazing. You were able to get great food from places you would never be able to afford normally. The deals were great as you could get 50 bucks worth of menu items for 30 bucks. It became a challenge to see how many places you could hit for lunch and dinner during the week (at least 3-4 was the norm). The Restaurants were always booked full months in advance of the week. Great for diners, great for the economy.
While I applaud KC's effort (especially with a portion of the proceeds going to the Harvesters charity), it's deals are not always such great deals. I won't call specific restaurants out, but one should get more than any sandwich on the menu and a dessert for 15 bucks at lunch. The dinner choices are just as deflating. One place that I love and we'll just call it "White Hamburgers" to protect the innocent (or guilty) has a dinner restaurant week special that if ordered separately would cost you a max of $23 (plus a little for the chocolates at dessert). Hardly a special when ordering at 30 bucks. Many places fit this bill: Not enough bang for the buck.
Restaurant Week is a chance for Restaurants to show off their talents by providing economical, yet top notch food, to customers who may want to return when it's not on special. You shouldn't just provide a few dollars in savings, it should be significant.
With that rant out of the way, I found the absolutely best Restaurant Week lunch special in town at Harry's Country Club (112 E. Missouri, KCMO). My 15 bucks at lunch got me over 26 dollars worth of fantastic food that left me so stuffed I doubt I'll hit up dinner tonight (plus a half of sandwich still left!). Harry's gets Restaurant Week. It was a great value, a portion went to a great cause, and I'll undoubtedly return to a place I had never gone to for food before. I applaud Harry's. But I leave some thoughtful, respectful criticism (I won't complain too much as it's for a good cause after all) for those Restaurants that refused to embrace Restaurant Week for the opportunities it presented.