Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter brunches...up and down the bunny trail

Posted By on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Celebrate Easter by going out to eat!
  • mdgovpics
  • Celebrate Easter by going out to eat!

No, it's not too late to make Easter brunch reservations for this coming Sunday, March 31. In fact, there are plenty of local restaurants that would be - forgive me for this - eggs-cited for you to call and request a table for holiday dining. Here are a buffet of suggestions:

Chaz on the Plaza, in the Raphael Hotel (325 Ward Parkway, 816-802-2152), is still accepting reservations for its Easter buffet brunch. The $39 feast ($15 for children 6-10 years old; children under 5 are free) includes seasonal fruit, pastries, grilled Caesar salad, smoked salmon and accoutrements, a Belgian waffle station, omelet station, prime rib of beef, eggs Benedict, bananas Foster French toast, and four entree items, as well as a dessert display. The brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Renee Kelly's Harvest (12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, 913-631-4100) will host an Easter buffet brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring fresh fruit, a mixed green salad, glazed ham, roasted chicken, breakfast pastries, cheddar biscuits and sage gravy, French toast, an omelet station, spring vegetable frittata and an array of desserts. The brunch is priced at $25 per guest.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today is National Ravioli Day

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

  • flickr/timomcd

I was riding on a bus from New York City to Atlantic City one day when I overheard two older women talking, loudly, about ravioli.

"It's a pasta," said one. "And it's square, like a big postage stamp. And it's got a filling in the middle of it."

"What kind of filling? Pork? Beef?" asked her friend.

"I don't know, some kind of meat. Maybe there was some cheese in there, too."

"Is it like a kreplach?"

"Yes, that's it. It's an Italian kreplach. But different from the Chinese kreplach."

"What's a Chinese kreplach?"

"They call them wontons."

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Night? It's not too late to make plans

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Roses may be easier to find on Valentines Day than dinner reservations.
  • khawkins04
  • Roses may be easier to find on Valentine's Day than dinner reservations.

If you're thinking that all of the really popular restaurants in Kansas City are booked up for next Thursday, February 14 - Valentine's Day is one of the busiest nights for restaurants in the United States - you're probably right. But because there are always procrastinators out there who wait until the very last minute to take a loved one out for a romantic dinner, Fat City offers some possibilities to consider in addition to the, well, more obvious alternatives (Winstead's, hot dogs in the parking lot at QuikTrip, In-A-Tub). Everyone has their own budget for this night of head-spinning seduction, so we're presenting ideas for almost every price point.


The Horizon's Buffet at the Ameristar Casino (3200 North Ameristar Drive, 816-414-7000) isn't taking reservations on Valentine's Day. It's strictly first-come, first-served for the $24.99 all-you-can-eat buffet.

The California Pizza Kitchen on the Country Club Plaza (4743 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2420) will offer a special Valentine's Day menu for two that includes an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert for $30. The promotion will run over Valentine's Day weekend for four days, from Thursday, February 14, through Sunday, February 17.

Yes, Papa Lew's Soul Delicious (2128 East 12th Street, 816-421-3378) will be open until 7 p.m. February 14, serving the traditional Thursday-night menu (chicken and dumplings, fried fish, fried chicken, neckbones) for $12.33 per person, tax included. But for soul-food lovers who want to get a rush on the Love Train, the restaurant will offer a pre-Valentine's Day dinner this Saturday, February 9, for $35 per couple. A band will perform romantic hits, and the dining room will be open until 10 p.m.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

What's open on Christmas Day?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Someone is serving hot and sour soup somewhere on Christmas Day.
  • flickr/jetalone
  • Someone is serving hot-and-sour soup somewhere on Christmas Day.

Not everyone wants to make Christmas dinner. But there aren't a lot of restaurants open December 25, including many Chinese restaurants (no matter what the movie A Christmas Story suggests). The six Bo Lings restaurants in the metro will be open Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. None of the Bo Lings restaurants will be open Christmas Day. The New Peking Restaurant in Westport (540 Westport Road, 816-531-6969) will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Fusion Buffet in Westport (4039 Mill Street, 816-960-6598) will be open on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hong's Buffet and Mongolian Grill (6151 N.W. Barry Road, 816-741-9494) will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Calypso Buffet at the Isle of Capri Casino (1800 East Front Street, 816-855-7777) will be open on Christmas Day, serving breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. The Horizon's Buffet at the Ameristar Casino (3200 N. Ameristar Drive, 816-414-7000 - one of the most elaborate in the city - will serve continuously on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Not cooking? Go out for your Thanksgiving dinner

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Hell, you can always throw a TV dinner in the oven...
  • Hell, you can always throw a TV dinner in the oven...

My mother had an epiphany one year: She hated cooking Thanksgiving dinner and wasn't going to do it anymore. Unfortunately for my family, she had this revelation on Thanksgiving Day, and my father had to scramble to find a place to take his four small children, his impossibly snobby mother-in-law, her pixilated husband (he drank a bit on festive occasions) and my stubborn mother. He spent the whole morning on the phone, calling almost every restaurant in Indianapolis before piling us all into the car and driving us to the nearest VFW Hall where the buffet included roast turkey, sweet potatoes and "hot dog fried rice," a dish I have - thankfully! - never seen since.

I haven't cooked a Thanksgiving meal myself since 1982 and have no intention of starting up the tradition ever again. Why should I? There are so many fine local restaurants offering to do all the hard work for me. For people like me - who just want to sit down, unfurl a napkin and be served - we've compiled a list of places that are open and serving some kind of dinner. We're not fussy. It can be a traditional holiday meal with turkey and green bean casserole or Peking duck or even a Town Topic double cheeseburger. As long as a place is open for business, it's fair game.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thursday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Its not as exciting as a dipped cone, but a DQ Sandwich is a lot tidier to eat in the car.
  • It's not as exciting as a dipped cone, but a DQ Sandwich is a lot tidier to eat in the car.
I haven't eaten one in, maybe, decades, so I was surprised to learn that Dairy Queen is still selling the round "DQ Sandwich," one of its few ice-cream products — like the Dilly Bar — that date back to the 1950s. It's also one of the fast-food chain's cheaper ice-cream treats, selling for about $1.15.

Although there are reports of ice-cream-sandwich confections — a rectangle of vanilla ice cream between two pastry wafers — dating back to the 1890s, the first ice-cream-sandwich-making machine was patented in 1926. It has always been a popular treat with parents, because the neat sandwich shape is less messy to eat than an ice-cream cone.

The most glamorous ice-cream sandwich in the city may be the ice-cream-and-cookie sandwich sold at Murray's Ice Cream and Cookies at 4120 Pennsylvania in Westport. It sells for $4.91, including tax.

And where do you, Fat City readers, go for an ice-cream sandwich?

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friday is National Creme Brulee Day

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Creme brulee has become so popular, you can almost find it everywhere...except Applebees.
  • Creme brulee has become so popular, you can almost find it everywhere...except Applebee's.

For years, egg custard — that creamy old-school dessert standby — was a staple on American restaurant menus and buffets (the old Putsch's Cafeteria had a great version), but it sort of became unfashionable when the "loving hands at home" style of desserts (tapioca pudding, layer cakes, prune whip) fell out of favor. But a more elegant spin on the same custard concept, creme brulee, was taking over.

Why? Charles d'Ablaing, the executive chef at Chaz on the Plaza, says, "It's a dessert that you can't go wrong with. People love it, it's not complicated to make, and America has always had a love affair with pudding."

Creme brulee — the recipe dates back to at least the 17th century — is technically a baked custard, but it's that wonderful soft consistency, like a rich pudding, that counts.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Storm the Bastille! Vive le France!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 7:06 AM

  • activefree

I'm thinking that with the exception of Cinco de Mayo and Bastille Day, Americans haven't really embraced very many holidays and commemorations specific to other countries: you never hear about a local restaurant celebrating Guy Fawkes Day or Sveriges nationaldag (National Day in Sweden).

More fun than Les Miserables!
  • AndyBrii
  • More fun than "Les Miserables!"
But slowly, Bastille Day — July 14th marks the 223nd anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison and fortress in Paris — has caught on, particularly since Kansas City now has several popular French restaurants. Here's a petit listing of some of the more lively celebrations scheduled for tomorrow. It may be wise to make reservations in advance for these restaurant's festivities.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Go ahead and eat some golambki, Saturday is Polski Day

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 7:38 AM

The volunteers at this years Polski Day in Kansas City, Kansas will serve up over 1200 stuffed cabbage rolls.
  • The volunteers at this year's Polski Day in Kansas City, Kansas, will serve up more than 1,200 stuffed cabbage rolls.

Last year, the line was so long to get into the Parish Hall at All Saints Church in Kansas City, Kansas, for the traditional Polish lunch served for the parish's annual Polski Day, that after waiting an hour, I finally gave up and drove over to have a hamburger at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant instead. This year, I've learned my lesson: If you don't want to wait a long time to get to the cabbage rolls and the pierogi, skip the parade and eat early.

"If you come to the Parish Hall early, around noon, before the parade has ended, you avoid the wait," says longtime Polski Day volunteer Cathy Kolenda Smith, who helps oversee the food service that day. "The food line really starts at 1 p.m., after the parade is over."

The next best time to get into the food line, she says, is when the All Saints Church hosts a polka mass at 4 p.m. Many of the festival participants attend this service, and the dining room becomes distinctly less full. But could the kitchen run out of food?

"That's only happened once in the 28 years that we've hosted the festival," Kolenda Smith says. "Four years ago. And it was a fluke."

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Your definitive Easter brunch list

The definitive guide to Easter brunch.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Not every Easter brunch in Kansas City has a man in a bunny outfit, but damn it, they should!
  • ppacificvancouver
  • Not every Easter brunch in Kansas City has a man in a bunny outfit, but damn it, they should!

Fat City has tried to find out all the different restaurant venues where the Easter Bunny - or a reasonable facsimile - might be appearing on Easter Sunday, but the only definitive confirmed appearance will be from 9 to 10 a.m. at Powell Gardens, which is hosting a "Breakfast with the Easter Bunny" featuring a Chris Cakes breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice and coffee. (The price for breakfast, including Garden admission, is $16 for adults or $9 for Powell Gardens members. The price for children, including breakfast, admission and the Easter Egg Hunt, is $9.25 for members and $11.25 for nonmembers.)

Alas, there will be no costumed Easter Bunny greeting the youngsters at the most expensive Easter brunch in Kansas City: the decadent buffet hosted by the Capital Grille (4740 Jefferson on the Country Club Plaza, 816-531-8345). For $46 per adult and $18 for children (kids under age 5 eat free), the restaurant will lay out a spread that features a breakfast station, raw seafood station, a carving station and a dessert bar. The choices range from citus-glazed salmon, roasted kona tenderloin, smoked turkey, oysters on the half shell to scrambled eggs and french toast with berries. There will be menu-only brunch items as well, including a lobster eggs Benedict. Reservations are required.

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  • The definitive guide to Easter brunch.

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