Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Royal Pains: Eight things to watch for as the Royals' Opening Day approaches

The eight keys to the Royals' upcoming season.

Posted By and on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 6:01 AM

  • The eight keys to the Royals' upcoming season.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There's a solid South American breakfast in Englewood

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Huevos rancheros, tortillas and pupusas are on the breakfast menu at Plaza Market y Restaurant.
  • Huevos rancheros, tortillas and pupusas are on the breakfast menu at Plaza Market y Restaurant.

Yesterday, we reported on a couple of family-owned restaurants in the historic hamlet of Englewood, a tiny business district inside the boundaries of Independence: the Detour Coffee Shop and the Englewood Cafe.

Another relatively recent restaurant addition to the shopping district is La Plaza Market y Restaurant at 11000 Winner Road. Macario Contreras and his wife, Olga, run the little 12-table cafe in the storefront immediately adjacent to their neighborhood convenience store. A native of Durango, Mexico, "Mac" Contreras was a cook at the former Majestic Steakhouse for five years before launching his own business in 2010.

The cantaloupe-colored dining room opens each morning at 9 am. and serves an array of hearty Mexican-style breakfasts, including huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo, huevos en torta and huevos revueltos (Mexican scrambled eggs) served with frijoles, queso crema and either flour or freshly made corn tortillas.

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The Sonic Angels' Marc Hacquet on the sound of France

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

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The French garage-rock act the Sonic Angels is making a rare Midwest stop tonight at RecordBar, in support of their most recent album, Don't Mess With the Angels. The band is on a self-booked tour through the country, and we took advantage of their swing through our neck of the woods to speak with guitarist and vocalist Marc Hacquet about the band's self-made sound.

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National Barbecue Hall of Fame moves closer to finding a home

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM

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The search for the center of the barbecue universe moved one step closer to being solved this week. The Kansas City Business Journal reports that the American Royal Association has acquired the assets to the National Barbecue Hall of Fame.

While the assets currently consist only of the name and a website, the purchase suggests that the project could finally move from virtual to reality. A physical museum or hallway filled with busts (those aren't controversial, right?) would go a long way toward placing a clear landmark on the nation's barbecue map. This is a deal that made sense and perhaps can lead to bigger things in conjunction with the Royals' pursuit of an agricultural complex where Kemper Arena currently stands.

Coming Soon: The Pinoy Cafe

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Theresa Spencer will be serving Filipino dishes at the Pinoy Cafe this spring.
  • Theresa Spencer will be serving Filipino dishes at the Pinoy Cafe this spring.

It's been several years since Kansas City has had a Filipino restaurant. The most recent attempt was the La Filipina Cafe on North Oak Trafficway, which closed several years ago. But Theresa Spencer, the charismatic bar manager of the Uptown Arts Bar, is planning to change all that. Spencer is in the process of turning the intimate little dining space at 3605 Broadway into the Pinoy Cafe, a restaurant serving classic Filipino cuisine.

If the address sounds familiar, this space was, for many years, Nabil's restaurant and then was restaurateur Sean Cummings' popular Grille on Broadway (which advertised as "Dangerous neighborhood, killer food" until the neighbors complained). The last tenant in the space was Messy's Birds & Brews, which was not offered a renewal of its lease and closed in February (and is moving to 3228 Troost).

Theresa Spencer, a native of Manila, will be running the Pinoy Cafe with her uncle, Rod Valentin. They plan to serve only family recipes in the restaurant, which will serve lunch, dinner and a Sunday off-menu brunch. Spencer is hoping that the restaurant will be open by early May, but to give her future customers a taste of coming attractions, she'll be serving a selection of dishes on April 13 at the Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway, when she hosts Filipino Karaoke Night.

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Should Kansas City still be in the fountain business?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 9:39 AM

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Anybody who has looked at their water bill recently knows that it's not cheap to keep the tap on at their house. Now imagine that you had more than 200 fountains in your backyard.

Kansas City is both trapped and elevated by its reputation as the City of Fountains. It's a point of pride that the city has been building and filling fountains since 1899. KCUR's Up to Date will feature the Nelson's Paul Benson and Ann McFerrin, an archivist with Parks and Recreation, talking about the fountains as works of art today at 11 a.m. (Benson is also speaking at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library on Thursday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m.) Aesthetics aside, the question has to be asked: Should Kansas City still be in the fountain business?

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Is food your biggest vice?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 8:15 AM

Are oysters your dream date?
  • Ocala
  • Are oysters your dream date?
An acquaintance once told me that he was an unabashed fan of professional wrestling, even at the ripe old age of 35 years old, because it was a clean vice. He didn't hurt anybody by maintaining his disbelief, and it was a lot less expensive, and theoretically more healthy, than drinking beer or smoking.

New York magazine has written a piece, which is quintessentially a New ... York ... Piece ... meaning the kind of character featured, a 27-year-old Brooklynite who spends essentially every spare dollar on dining out, may only exist in the Big Apple. But the idea of food as conferring status or defining one's very existence is powerful enough to extend beyond the city that never sleeps - because there's always somewhere to eat at 4 a.m.

Don't dismiss this out of hand. Instead, take a moment and think about where you spend what you make. Is food your biggest vice?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wylie Garner killed in triple shooting at 57th and Mersington

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Wylie Garner was shot to death Sunday night.
  • KCPD
  • Wylie Garner was shot to death Sunday night.
Kansas City, Missouri's 25th homicide victim of 2012 has been identified as 31 year-old Wylie Garner.

Garner was fatally shot in a triple shooting at 57th and Mersington around 9:40 p.m. Sunday. Garner was found wounded in a yard; he was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two other shooting victims were discovered nearby - a woman in her 40s was shot in an arm, and a man in his 20s was shot in a leg.

Police say detectives are following up on leads, but they're still in need of tips. If you can help, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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If you can find it, there's good eating in Englewood

A few hidden gems in the Englewood neighborhood.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Look familiar? The sign for the Detour Coffee Shop was formerly outside the President Hotel.
  • Look familiar? The sign for the Detour Coffee Shop was formerly outside the President Hotel.

The Englewood Theater - which turns 63 years old this summer - is probably the primary tourist draw for the hamlet of the same name. It would be nice if the old movie house was open again, but it's been closed since the weather turned cold last year: "There were boiler problems," said the owner of a store near the theater. "You can't operate a theater without heat."

"Yes, the boiler shot craps in January. We should be reopening the theater in a few weeks," says the theater's owner, Wade Williams. "We just haven't decided if we're going to show classic films or first-run movies."

But even without a theater, there are a few delicious reasons to visit tiny Englewood, a kind of miniature downtown within the boundaries of Independence. There are three really fine little restaurants (and an antique store that serves tea and pastries). Englewood is still a charming place to visit, even after the passing of the five-and-dime store (the latest incarnation is having a going-out-of-business sale). There's even a Third Friday Art Walk in the neighborhood. And it's actually pretty easy to find: Englewood is located between Truman Road and 23rd Street just west of Sterling Avenue.

So what about the food?

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  • A few hidden gems in the Englewood neighborhood.

Frank Martin reportedly leaving Kansas State for South Carolina

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Remember the good times, Kansas State fans.
  • AP
  • Remember the good times, Kansas State fans.
The coaching carousel is reportedly hitting Manhattan: Frank Martin is reportedly leaving Kansas State to take the head coaching job at the University of South Carolina.

The State, a South Carolina newspaper, is reporting that Martin could be named coach as early as Tuesday, and the university's Board of Trustees has called a 10 a.m. meeting to approve Martin's contract. The Star confirmed the report. UPDATE: ESPN's Andy Katz says the two sides are simply meeting, citing a text message from Martin saying no deal is done.

Someone might want to inform 810 Sports' Kevin Kietzman, a K-State grad who last week called the rumors of Martin going to South Carolina a "non-story" in an interview with Stan Weber, that this is now a story. Kietzman sounded in utter disbelief that Martin would possibly leave the little apple for Columbia.

"That's square peg, round hole," he said. "I cannot see Frank Martin at South Carolina."

Maybe Kietzman was in denial.

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