In exchange for your doughnut, you might think about dropping some money in the Salvation Army donation kettles outside Lamar's. The 53-year-old doughut chain, started by Ray Lamar in Kansas City, Missouri, is also donating a portion of sales this week to the Salvation Army Oklahoma Relief Fund.
The Kansas City metro has plenty of historic drive-in restaurants: the beloved local Winstead's (opened in 1940), Mug's Up Root Beer Drive-In (1957), Harold's Drive-In (1958), The Humdinger (1962), and the drive-in that may be the oldest of them all, the cozy diner at 1320 S. Fourth Street in Leavenworth called Homer's. It started as a root-beer stand - with male carhops wearing long-sleeve shirts and ties - in 1931. The current location was opened in 1938.
Unlike modern drive-ins, Homer's doesn't have a drive-through window. Unlike Mugs Up, there are no carhops. And if Harold's and the Humdinger are old-fashioned drive-ins that require patrons to park their automobiles and actually go into the building, Homer's has a sort of car service.
This hot afternoon called for a cold milkshake. Not one of those bland boring (and probably chemical-laden) shakes at one of the conglomerate fast-food restaurants, but something a little more eccentric. Maybe a pineapple milkshake or a pina colada version. The 51-year-old Humdinger Drive-In at 2504 East Ninth Street (it's between Olive and Prospect) serves those flavors every day, along with banana, chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and bubble gum.
At noon today, it was standing-room-only inside one of the last drive-in restaurants left in Kansas City's urban core (Harold's Drive-Inn at 1337 Admiral Boulevard, dating back to 1958, is the other); neither has a drive-through window. You park, get out of your car, go inside and order at the counter.
The line was long enough at the Humdinger that I had plenty of time to peruse what may be the very longest drive-in menu in the city.
Chef-restaurateur Ray "Pete" Peterman's decision to limit service in his midtown restaurant, Peanches (900 West 39th Street, 816-709-3032), to patrons with reservations proved controversial from the beginning. But Peterman, perhaps the most iconclastic - and sometimes combative - chef in Kansas City, stuck to his principles for months.
Now that Peanches is nearly a year old, Peterman has dropped the policy of no walk-ins. Customers without reservations can now get a table. It wasn't an easy decision.
The Royals are bringing back nachos, Topsy's popcorn and limeades, Sheridan's frozen custard, and hot dogs (including the Dugout Doghouse, which sells bacon and blue-cheese dogs), but Aramark has called up a few prospects that it hopes to still be selling in October.
My review this week revisits Cafe Sebastienne, the sophisticated bistro inside the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. It's the only restaurant in a metro museum that offers full-service dining every day that it's open. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's celebrated Rozzelle Court offers full-service dining only on Friday nights, and Cafe Tempo, in Johnson County Community College's Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, doesn't employ a waitstaff.
All three of those museum restaurants are appealing, and each has its own executive chef with a distinctive style. Cafe Sebastienne feels more like a traditional restaurant, Rozzelle Court gives off a theatrical vibe, and Cafe Tempo is sort of an upbeat coffee shop. Each also has its fans.
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