The Kansas City Health Department has released its annual Grade A Food Excellence Awards for food safety, and tucked in among the stadium stands, theme-park kiosks, and school cafeterias of the world are a few local, independent restaurants.
The list, based on health inspection reports from 2010, includes 160 locations (up from 95 last year) that have consistently outperformed health department standards. The institutions recognized have permits in good standing, came in below a set number of violations, and were not the source of any food-borne illness in the city.
So, what can we as diners take away from the food excellence awards? Here are a few thoughts on where you should be eating:
- Not a lot of independent restaurants made the grade, but Cirque d'Alex, Christopher Elbow, Eden Alley, Fiorella's Fine Dining & Catering, Johnny C's Deli & Pasta, and Pizza 51 were all honored.
- When it comes to gas stations, QuikTrip is again the place to eat safely, with six separate locations being recognized (some for both their deli and retail operations).
- While you might not always be pleased with stadium prices, Aramark received high marks for stands at both Kauffman and Arrowhead.
- If you have to eat in a superstore, make it a Target, not a Wal-Mart.
Two Target locations earned an "A," while only Wal-Mart deli made the
- The Rozzelle Court Restaurant at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art retains its title as the nicest food court in town.
- Feel free to eat at Terminal B. Burger King and the Great Steak & Potato Company at Kansas City International Airport are on the list.
- Oceans of Fun Jim Bob's Belly Up Bar is likely the most amusing inclusion. I know that people are often concerned with food safety when purchasing alcoholic drinks from a swim-up bar.