Even better: on Sunday nights, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Cafe Eupora is serving three-course traditional midwestern family-style dinners, including buttermilk-marinated fried chicken. The chicken dinners are a pretty terrific deal at $16 ($18 if you prefer all white meat) since the price includes a salad, the entree -- with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans stewed with bacon and onion, and a nice fat, flaky biscuit served with real butter -- and the dessert du jour.
Last Sunday, I took advantage of the deal with my friends Pat and Julie. The small salads, splashed with a light Dijon vinaigrette, are excellent and the fried chicken, with a crunchy tempura-style coating, almost made me forget the exquisite bird at Stroud's -- still the ne plus ultra of pan-fried bird in Kansas City.
Since Julie ordered the fried chicken special (permitting me to take several bites, I'm grateful to say), I ordered the other poultry option: Amish-style roasted chicken ($16) which was very tasty, but compared to the fried chicken, nothing to crow about. Pat is a fan of Cafe Europa's pan-roasted salmon ($20), so he ordered that -- and although I find most salmon to be boring, this beautifully-prepared hunk of fish was first-rate. The other Sunday supper option is the $25 wood-fired Kobe steak.
The tiny dessert served as that night's finale was an extremely pretty little ramekin of banana pudding, made with vanilla wafers -- just like Grandma's (not my grandmother, but apparently everyone else's) -- and topped with a delicate swirly cap of meringue.
Cafe Europa, small and tasteful, can't compete with the more raucous ambiance of the new Stroud's in Fairway, but it's a delightful, comforting alternative. And the price is more than right.