|Before Clint Eastwood, there was William S. Hart|
"I was intrigued by a picture near the bar. The photograph was an old still from some silent movie. The actor in the picture wore a ten-gallon hat, a six shooter, boots and spurs. He is standing at the bar, facing the camera. I do not recognize the silent movie actor, but the picture is signed Witzel. Can you tell me more?"
Actually, yes I can.
Patio openings confirm that spring has arrived -- although not all outdoor spaces are created equally.
Fat City's Charles Ferruzza and a panel of food critics are set to talk about some of the city's best outdoor-dining spots on The Walt Bodine Show (KCUR, 89.3 FM) from 10 to 11 a.m. tomorrow. Weigh in with your opinion at 816-235-2888.
|Governor Stumpy's braille menu was created by a customer.|
I recently got a call from a midtown resident named Lawrence Thomas, who told me about a problem that I hadn't thought much about.
Thomas is legally blind and says he can't afford to go out to eat as often as he would like. But when he does, he
'd rather be able to use a braille menu than have a dining companion (if there is a dining companion, because he sometimes eats alone) read the menu to him. What surprises him -- and me, for that matter -- is how many local restaurants don't offer braille menus.
The manager of one restaurant within easy walking distance of Thomas' home told me that "it wasn't in their budget" to have a menu copied in braille.
For the record, that's no excuse: The Kansas Braille Transcription Institute will reproduce menus into braille for a $50 tax-deductible contribution.
Fat City reader Larry -- a self-proclaimed cheapskate -- wrote to say that he had used a coupon for a reduced-price meal at a local restaurant but had been taxed on the full amount. In other words, he had been taxed on the coupon. In Missouri, he said, that isn't legal. A little research from Pitch investigative reporter David Martin verified this (there's also this report by KSHB-TV's Jenn Strathman on the same issue). If you use coupons at a restaurant in Missouri, you should pay sales tax only on the discounted prices. The law reads:
"Notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, sales tax shall only apply to the sale price paid by the final purchaser and not to any off-invoice discounts or other pricing discounts or mechanisms negotiated between manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers."
KSHB-TV's Strathman discovered that many businesses were overcharging customers anyway.
(Image via Flickr: Waffle Whiffer)
Kathy -- a Fat City reader in Fort Wayne, Indiana -- wrote us to ask about a restaurant that she remembered from her childhood in Kansas City:
"My parents took us to Maranzino's on Wornall at least once a week in the 1950s ... wonderful memories. And my glands still water 50 years later when I recall a relish they served. We would buy a quart from the kitchen to take home. It must be a family recipe as each garadiniera I have tried is too hot, too chopped or too oily. Are any Maranzino's still in KC who might have the old family recipe?"
The relish that Kathy mentions, giardiniera, is a marinated vegetable salad that is, like the traditional American relish plate, often served before meals. I've enjoyed plates of giardiniera with bread or crackers in the homes of many Italian-American hosts; my parents used to serve it to friends who stopped by for a glass of wine.
Because most cooks put their own spin on the dish -- some prefer it spicy, others like it blander and crunchier -- each version can be different. But if anyone has a copy of the old Mancuso's recipe, we'll be happy to pass it on to Kathy.
(Image of Mancuso's Gondola Restaurant courtesy of OldKC.com)
|Do the teppanyaki chefs still put on a show at GoJo?|
"We've gone to GoJo's since it opened and still enjoy the food. But there's no show anymore," wrote Larry, noting that when teppanyaki steakhouses like GoJo were all the rage in Kansas City, "most of their cooks/chefs put on quite a show. They were jugglers, percussionists and all 'round showmen, but now it seems that they just do a perfunctory basic cooking routine."
Larry and Barb want to find a Japanese steakhouse where the cooks still juggle pepper mills, flip cooked shrimp into the mouths of giggling patrons, break eggs ("Bad egg!"), build volcanoes out of raw onion rings and make bad jokes. I could hardly understand why -- as most Fat City readers know, I find the "show" at Japanese steakhouses to be sort of tiresome. I mean, once you've seen one flaming onion volcano, haven't you them all?
Still, I found it difficult to imagine that the grillmasters at GoJo, one of the city's oldest and busiest teppanyaki restaurants, would resort to a "perfunctory basic cooking routine" since it's more of a tourist draw than anything else.
So, is there such a restaurant? Well, the Raphael Restaurant in the Raphael Hotel used to have a little dance floor near the space, just off the bar, where musicians or a pianist play. But since the restaurant was renovated earlier this year and became Chaz on the Plaza, the music stayed, but the dance floor did not. "We have jazz musicians every night except Sunday and Monday," said a hotel employee, "but there's no more dancing."
So I called one of the ballroom dance clubs in town and asked one of the instructors if she knew of any restaurants where couples could dine and dance. She could think of only one: Plaza III on the Country Club Plaza. So I called there and was told that yes, on weekends there was still live music in the club downstairs, but since the entertainment varies "sometimes you can dance to it and sometimes you can't."
Just when I thought I'd never find a place for Valerie to kick up her heels, I called the Oak Bar, adjacent to the Oak Room Restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel on the Country Club Plaza. Yes, I was told: the bar features live entertainment several nights a week and yes, there's a dance floor.
(Image via Flickr: black_currant)
A steak dinner means a celebration. And whether you're celebrating a birthday or just the fine piece of steak you're about to eat doesn't matter because you're about to tuck into a prime rib or filet mignon.
This morning from 10 to 11 a.m., you're invited to celebrate steak with Charles Ferruzza as he makes his regular appearance on The Walt Bodine Show on KCUR. Forget talking turkey -- the professionals talk steak. Together with a panel of experts, he'll be discussing everything from strip to skirt -- and all of the possible methods of preparation.
So get your thoughts together on who has the finest T-bones in town and where to get the right meat for grilling. You can call in at 816-235-2888 or e-mail the show.
But, he asked, did he do something morally unethical? After all, we could assume that maybe his food was almost ready to be served before he took leave of the little restaurant.
I've always said that the aural component is as important as any of the sensual qualities one experiences in a restaurant. Frankly, I don't care how fantastic the cuisine may be if the restaurant is too grimy, if the servers are too inattentive, and if the music doesn't enhance the dining experience in some way. Have I walked out of an excessively noisy dining room? Hell yes!
(Image via Flickr:dimitridickinson)
The reader wrote: "Any idea where to get good bialys in Kansas City? The New York Bakery & Delicatessen had excellent bialys when it was still under the original ownership, but the last time I bought them there (probably over 25 years ago), they were quite mediocre. Is there another bakery that makes them?"
Any answers for C.B.?
(Image via Flickr: ang_williams)
stopped in the other day , had the choriqueso and mole verde empanadas with a…
"soccer" is a purer sport than most i.e. no dancing after every other play, no…
Great Game, Great Season.
wow would really explain alot while i was there i had a diabetic problem b4…
State seized property is a boon! They went after an investment group in Branson, sued…