Don't forget the side of marinara sauce...
To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue in October, we're celebrating our favorite 50 dishes from restaurants, bakeries, coffeehouses, bars, drugstores, saloons, and other metro joints. Until October 7, we'll feature one outstanding dish or beverage each weekday. Agree with us or make your own suggestions -- just don't come between us and these fantastic things to eat or drink.
For many Kansas Citians, it's a Saturday morning tradition: Get up early, throw on some clothes, wander through the stalls at the City Market and have breakfast at the venerable Cascone's Grill at 17 East Fifth Street.
For years, the family-operated diner was located in much tinier quarters across the street, and customers would wait in line -- one that sometimes extended out of the building and down the sidewalk -- until a table opened up or a stool at the counter became available.
The Cascones, who moved the business into a more spacious location several years ago, have always done breakfast well, particularly the house specialty: eggs cooked any style, served with a heap of crusty hash brown potatoes, split sections of perfectly grilled Italian sausage (made by the local Mendolia family). (You can order country sausage instead; it's also a Mendolia product but has more sage among its seasonings.) There are choices of toast, but the regulars know that the thickly buttered Italian bread is best. Toss in a stack of light flapjacks and a half-order of biscuits and gravy (that satiny cream gravy comes loaded with more Mendolia sausage) and you won't need to eat again until late Saturday night.
What really makes this an Italian breakfast is to request a small bowl of the slow-simmered sugo to use as a dipping sauce for the toast and the sausage.