Guilty Pleasures

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bizz & Weezy Confections readies for an August 7 opening in the Crossroads

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 10:35 AM

It's all house-made at Bizz & Weezy - JEREMY LUTHER
  • Jeremy Luther
  • It's all house-made at Bizz & Weezy

Jonathan Pitcher has his fingers crossed, he says. He and his wife, Amy, want their candy retail shop, Bizz & Weezy Confections, at 1800 Baltimore to be open in time for the First Friday crowd in the Crossroads on August  7. "If everything goes according to plan, we'll be open on that date," he says. "Or maybe a day or two later."

Located in the former Kim Weinberger Art Gallery, the shop is set to offer, among other treats, six kinds of caramels: bourbon, bacon, chocolate, raspberry, sea salt, and root-beer float. They're buttery, creamy and very satisfying. 

But that's just the start, Jonathan Pitcher says: "We've developed recipes for over 40 caramels. We'll have quite an assortment."

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Amore Dolci Bakery opens at 3709 Southwest Trafficway

Amore Dolci Bakery opens at 3709 Southwest Trafficway.

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 3:12 PM

Mallory Omundson has vegan and gluten-free treats for you at Amore Dolci Bakery.
  • Mallory Omundson has vegan and gluten-free treats for you at Amore Dolci Bakery.

Mallory Omundson was perfectly happy working as a pastry chef for the Pig & Finch restaurant in Leawood when, she says, "an opportunity just fell into my lap." 

That opportunity was a storefront that the 26-year-old entrepreneur could lease, inexpensively, to open a new bakery at 3709 Southwest Trafficway. After a $10,000 renovation of the former tattoo parlor (including new ovens and a three-compartment sink), Omundson and her business partner, accountant Ashley King, opened Amore Dolci Bakery June 29. The urban shopping strip it calls home is going through a transition: A clothing company, Tokyo Underground, is closing in two weeks, and a new fabric shop has just opened.

Omundson, who attended the Art Institutes in Lenexa, wanted to open a bakery that sold vegan and gluten-free breads and sweets as well as traditional pastries. "I like to make miniature pastries, too," she says.

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  • Amore Dolci Bakery opens at 3709 Southwest Trafficway.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Doughnut Lounge brings a Doughnut Day preview. Get other doughnuts at these places

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 11:21 AM

Jake Randall has a hole in his doughnut shop budget.
  • Jake Randall has a hole in his doughnut shop budget.

If Jake Randall has his way, next year's national Doughnut Day will be a bonanza at the shop he means to open in Westport. But bringing Doughnut Lounge to fruition is going to take some dough — the kind you raise and then spend. 

Later this month, the 32-year-old businessman told me this morning, he plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000. That's what he says it'll take to complete construction on Doughnut Lounge at 4117 Pennsylvania (where the Imagery used to sell clothing — without, of course, a grease trap).

"There are a lot of plumbing issues to bring the space up to code," Randall says, "and updating the heating and cooling." At least that's what my notes say. I was distracted by the doughnuts he'd brought The Pitch, for sampling purposes, and by the two-man camera crew in tow, shooting footage for the Kickstarter campaign.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Can you still pu pu in Kansas City?

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 3:27 PM

The Steam Bowl restaurant has the real thing.
  • The Steam Bowl restaurant has the real thing.


It used to be a hell of a lot easier to find a pu pu platter in Kansas City.

I guess it helps to know what a pu pu platter is: a combination plate of popular Chinese-American appetizers, typically crab rangoon, fried chicken wings, spare ribs, egg rolls, and teriyaki beef on skewers that could be heated up on the tiny brazier that came along with the platter. (Some restaurants also offer that other great faux-Polynesian standby,  rumaki — water chestnuts and livers wrapped in bacon and fried).

The whole pupu trend sort of came along with the tiki craze of the 1950s and '60s, although a Los Angeles restaurant, Don the Beachcomber, was reportedly serving a version of this combo platter as early as the 1930s.

The question is. Why would anyone want a pu pu platter now?

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Tomorrow's No Kid Hungry charity bake sale is big on style and good taste

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 12:44 PM

Sweet treats for a good cause. - TRAVIS PUTMAN
  • Travis Putman
  • Sweet treats for a good cause.

I've been a fan of bake sales — our parish in my hometown seemed to be having one every month — since I first mastered the art of the Kenner Easy-Bake Oven (my folks were wary of me, in those pubescent years, using something more dangerous than a light bulb as a "heating element") and was able to construct something resembling a layer cake. There wasn't much of a competitive quality to those sales. If you showed up with something that seemed even vaguely edible, it went out on the tables with a price tag.

Gina Reardon, the chairwoman of the second annual No Kid Hungry bake sale in Kansas City, which raises funds for local school lunch programs and supports the SNAP program in the Kansas City metro, has higher aspirations for the baked goods being sold tomorrow, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in a tent to the north of the Brookside Commerce Bank at 6336 Brookside Plaza. She has enlisted more than 40 local bakers, including several professional pastry chefs, to provide sweets for the sale. That includes four "celebrity" bakers: Katie Van Luchene and Kimberly Winter Stern of KC Magazine, Laurie Ingram, the publisher of the Independent magazine, and yours truly (who will not be using an Easy-Bake Oven for this venture). Last year's sale raised $7,000 for the charity. Reardon's goal for this year's sale is $10,000.

The sale will feature a wide variety of attractively packaged sweets, including cakes, cookies, brownies — Ingram is baking many pans of salted caramel brownies — for purchase with cash, credit cards and checks. Last year's sale sold out early. I know. I stocked my freezer with my purchases.


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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Whimsy Cheesecakes is a fresh reason to visit 30th and Troost

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 1:27 PM

The midi-sized delicacies at Whimsy Cheesecakes. - .
  • .
  • The midi-sized delicacies at Whimsy Cheesecakes.

Carla Schreiber has a dream, and it's a pretty big one.

Schreiber wants to bring pastry customers back to a stretch of Troost that hasn't had much of a retail presence, let alone been a culinary destination, for nearly half a century. 

How? With cheesecake. 

This week, Schreiber officially set up Whimsy Cheesecakes inside Shannon Kimball's Flavor Trade shop, at 3000 Troost.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Natasha's Mulberry & Mott has some candy love to share

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 9:22 AM

Lanmou Chocolates co-founder Meghan Piel shows off pralines and truffles from the new candy line.
  • Lanmou Chocolates co-founder Meghan Piel shows off pralines and truffles from the new candy line.

The last time that The Pitch caught up with  confectioner Natasha Goellner, in October, the  local sweets maven, who operates her namesake Natasha's Mulberry & Mott at 320 Ward Parkway on the Country Club Plaza, was three months pregnant and had developed an unexpected craving for sweet things. Now she's just weeks away from her due date but still working hard, getting her small shop ready for Valentine's Day on Saturday — a huge retail day — and introducing the new line of chocolates she has developed with her store manager, Megan Piel: Lanmou chocolates. 

"I'm not usually a big sweets eater," Goellner says now. "But now I keep candy in my purse. And a brownie!"

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sweet T's soul food restaurant now open at 11th and Oak

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 3:11 PM

It's all you can eat at Sweet T's on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • It's all you can eat at Sweet T's on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Can fried chicken and coaster-sized cinnamon rolls take the bad mojo out of a restaurant location? Shawn and Devan Taylor think so.

The storefront at 1124 Oak, tucked into the street level of a parking garage, has seen more than its share of restaurants come and go: the Silver Spoon Cafe, Latin Bistro Express, Barbosa's Express, to name a few. But restaurateurs Devan and Shawn Taylor, who also operate a drive-through and carryout version of Sweet T's in Blue Springs (they briefly had a soul food restaurant in Olathe as well), have positive feelings about their three-week-old Sweet T's at 11th Street and Oak.

"We thought the location would be a good idea," Shawn Taylor says. "The rent was reasonable, and we felt the city would embrace us. We thought we'd at least try. And we've been busy."

Sweet T's offers fried chicken, fried fish, pork chops and brisket in various meal sizes: a Snack Pack, for example, offers a piece of fish or chicken, cornbread, and one side for $5.99; the Double Plate serves up four pieces of chicken or fish, a square of dense cornbread, and two sides for $9.99.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Pitch's Sugar Rush returns January 29

Posted By on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 12:43 PM

Ready for a bundtini? - NOTHING BUNDT CAKES
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Ready for a bundtini?


Unless you live close to Parkville, you may not have heard about Parkville Coffee. That’s why Tyler McCall, who roasts single-origin beans for his café, is coming to Sugar Rush. The Pitch’s fourth annual sweets-centric event happens at 6 p.m. Thursday, January 29, at the Promise Wedding & Event Space (1814 Oak).

“We’re a lot more than a Parkville coffeehouse,” McCall tells me. “We have our coffee in several area supermarkets, including the Northland Hy-Vee and Price Chopper stores, and the GreenAcres Market in Briarcliff.”

The roasting business grew out of McCall’s four-year-old coffeehouse on the Main Street retail stretch in Parkville. It also offers house-made pastries as well as breakfast and lunch dishes.

For Sugar Rush, McCall is bringing samples of his freshly brewed coffees. “We hope to be doing pour-overs, too,” he says.

A steaming mug of java might be what you need after a cupful of intensely flavored ice. Tropical Sno is coming, ready to hand out shaved-ice snow cones that drip with, say, Tiger’s Blood syrup. If no one has peach cobbler up for grabs, Tropical Sno co-owner Seth Golay says he’ll make you a snow-cone version with peach syrup, cinnamon syrup and a splash of vanilla. “It tastes a lot like the real thing,” he says.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Get pie-faced at 4th annual Sugar Rush event

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 2:38 PM

You'll get a Rush, all right. - TIPPIN'S
  • Tippin's
  • You'll get a Rush, all right.


One of Kansas City's most beloved pie producers, Tippin's — the pies outlasted the local restaurant chain by more than a decade — will be a first-time featured vendor at this year's Sugar Rush, an event sponsored by The Pitch on Thursday, January 29, that combines sweets, coffee and liquor in a setting both congenial and confectionary.

Tippin's plans to serve sample-sized portions of its most famous signature pies, including strawberry-rhubarb, apple, pumpkin, Dixie, and blackberry.

The sweets-and-dessert expo, which begins at 6 p.m., will be held at the Promise Wedding & Event Space (1814 Oak), and advance tickets cost $12. Featured vendors will bring a luscious display of delicious treats to sample. For ticket information, see pitch.com or call 816-561-6061.

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