KC Restaurant Week

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.


Danny Lenihan said...

I went to Hereford House and paid $15 for lunch. The folowing is what I inhaled....I was stuffed.

4 crab stuffed mushrooms, cup of steak soup, cheddar ranch potatoes, 3 steak medallions and steamed vegetables.

I ate a good lunch for a good doesn't get much better than that!!!

Midtown Food Guy said...

Danny: I will definitely plan on hitting the Hereford House next year as well. As I mentioned about half of the places do it right. The other half just need a little push in the right direction.

Glad you had a great experience like I did with Harrys.

XXX said...

Preach it. We kicked off the week w/ Piropos. Had it not been for the 2 appetizers(4 if you count each empanada as a separate order), we'd have left hungry. What I thought to be a promising salad, arrived to our table tasting like wet romaine lettuce. There's nothing more disappointing than a weak salad. McDonald's can dress a salad w/ cheese and fruit, you can too! Adding insult to injury, the entree course wasn't even the regular sized entree from the menu. There were 2 shrimp, a couple pieces of mahi, and a scallop on a 1/2 cup of rice w/ a piece of asparagus. Dessert was great and was actually the regular size I believe. The entree was excellent too, just skimpy. We dropped $125 w/ tip and a shared bottle of wine that was 1/2 price. Hit Westside Local on Saturday and felt like we got our money's worth. The 3 localities choice on the Prix Fixe was a deal, as were the mussels and the quinoux entrees. Both were delicious and the bread pudding to finish was carbohydrate nirvana. Go there.

winediner said...

These folks really missed the boat. With all the hoo-haw, you would think that each of the participating restaurants would have a link on the front page of their web site, telling you what the Restaurant week menu was and inviting you to come on down. The vast majority of them did not; how is that for lack of promotion? If you showed up at Zest, there was no mention of a special restaurant week menu---YOU HAD TO ASK FOR IT! Some restaurant folks just don't get it.

Fresh Fish Creative said...

I became a "fan" of Restaurant Week on facebook and the atrocious photos they shared with us left a really bad taste in my mouth. Sloppy plating, bad lighting and the just plain, uninteresting food.