Don't tell Kansas City's James Beard Award-winning chefs, but apparently our town is still flying under the radar when it comes to attracting foodies. Livability -- a site that continually generates lists in an effort to tell readers the best places to live -- has named Kansas City fourth on its list of "Foodie Finds: 10 Surprising Cities."
With Bluestem's Colby Garrelts a finalist for this year's James Beard Award and the American's Debbie Gold (also a James Beard winner) a contestant on Top Chef Masters, it would seem to be no secret that Kansas City is not just about barbecue. But this list is suspicious, anyway -- just look at who came in at No. 8: Wichita. Here's Livability's justification for that selection:
If you're a native of Wichita,
you've probably craved a loose-meat sandwich. Like a crumbly hamburger,
the delicacy is a citywide obsession prepared for decades at Nu Way Cafe, a local fast-food chain also famous for its homemade root beer. Finer dining options abound also, and the city likes its sweets. Both Cero's Candy and Cocoa Dulce offer inventive as well as classic confections crafted from high-quality ingredients. For local suds, try River City Brewing Co., a popular brewpub in a converted warehouse in historic Old Town.
While I can't speak with authority as to the dining scene in Wichita, bones can be picked with Livability's depiction of Kansas City.
Livability mentions three restaurants in Kansas City -- Chez Elle, Blue Bird Bistro and Stroud's -- in addition to noting that the Kansas Barbecue Society is headquartered here. I'll alert the Kansas City Barbecue Society that we may have a border war on our hands.
The entire list is below:
10). Pueblo, Colorado
9) Logan, Utah
8) Wichita, Kansas
7) Albuquerque, New Mexico
6) Eugene, Oregon
5) Walnut Creek, California
4) Kansas City, Missouri
3) Boulder, Colorado
2) Asheville, North Carolina
1) Traverse City, Michigan