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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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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