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Monday, September 15, 2014

Preservation Market takes on table service, cheaper beer, bigger menu

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM

There will still be a large selection of domestic and imported beers at Bridger's Bottle Shop, but the primary focus will be on chef Alex Pope's cuisine. - DAVID HUDNALL
  • David Hudnall
  • There will still be a large selection of domestic and imported beers at Bridger's Bottle Shop, but the primary focus will be on chef Alex Pope's cuisine.

Get ready for some big changes at the venue known as Bridger's Bottle Shop at 510 Westport Road.

The five-month-old beer emporium has become, since it opened, better known for the restaurant inside the venue — Alex Pope's popular Preservation Market — than for the beer selection. Pope and his crew, including head chef Devin Campbell, are taking a more active role in the business (including the management of the business) now that two of the original managing partners, Phil Theis and Aaron Beatty, are currently more focused on their karaoke saloon, Offkey Karaoke Lounge & Suites; the third managing partner, Eric Flanagan, is now working for the Westport Ale House.

"In the short term, patrons will see very few changes," Pope says. "But we'll be introducing quite a few changes over the next few weeks. Starting this week, Adam Northcraft is the general manager, and we'll have a full-time host welcoming visitors. It was very confusing for people walking into the place for the first time."

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dennis Edwards keeps his family's grocery store alive in KCK

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Dennis Edwards makes a terrific spicy Reuben and a classic Philly cheesesteak in Kansas City, Kansas. He sells groceries too.
  • Dennis Edwards makes a terrific spicy Reuben and a classic Philly cheesesteak in Kansas City, Kansas. He sells groceries too.


Dennis Edwards was barely out of his teens, a young felon in Leavenworth Penitentiary, when he got a solid piece of advice from a fellow inmate and veteran Chicago mobster.

“His name was Joey Lombardo,” Edwards says. “He looked at me and said, ‘Kid, you’re too smart and too nice to be in a place like this. You need to get out of here and stay out.’”

The problem, Edwards says, was that he didn’t know what he wanted to do when he was finally released from prison after 13 years.

“I’m a very good mechanic. I can do that,” he says. “But my only other skill was working in my father’s grocery store, and he had closed that down.”

The two-story building that formerly housed the family store was still standing at 81 North Mill in Kansas City, Kansas. Edwards’ father, Cedric “Walkie Talkie” Edwards, was living on the second floor, in the big apartment where he had raised his four sons. However, the first-floor grocery store, which the senior Edwards operated from 1959 to 1985, was filled with junk.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Nicolette Foster leaving Baked in Kansas City for Parisi Artisan Coffee

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 4:21 PM



Pastry chef Nicolette Foster -- a veteran of the Michael Smith Restaurant and, more recently, Baked in Kansas City -- is moving to a new job as executive pastry chef for Parisi Coffee. - ASHFORD STAMPER
  • Ashford Stamper
  • Pastry chef Nicolette Foster -- a veteran of the Michael Smith Restaurant and, more recently, Baked in Kansas City -- is moving to a new job as executive pastry chef for Parisi Coffee.


Nicolette Foster has given her notice at Baked in Kansas City, the nine-month-old bakery and restaurant at 706 Westport Road (reviewed here). The talented young pastry chef starts a new job — executive pastry chef for Parisi Artisan Coffee — on September 15.

"I learned a lot at Baked in Kansas City," Foster says. "It was an amazing opportunity to be part of a new venture from the ground up. But after 14 months, I was ready to move on to the next level of my career. I have great respect for the Paris brothers and what they have done with the Parisi Cafés."

Foster takes over Parisi's bakery operation, which produces a line of freshly baked croissants, scones, cinnamon rolls and bagels for the two Parisi Cafés in the metro, inside Union Station and in Leawood.

"It's an awesome company," Foster says. "I can't wait to start."

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Corner Restaurant has one owner, a new chef

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The Corner Restaurant has had three chefs in the kitchen since opening last year; the newest is former Webster House sous chef Stephanie Dumler. - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • The Corner Restaurant has had three chefs in the kitchen since opening last year; the newest is former Webster House sous chef Stephanie Dumler.

Ten months ago, the Corner Restaurant in Westport had a new chef, Mickey Priolo, and two owners: Dawn Slaughter and Michael Pfeifer. Flash-forward to today and Pfeifer is gone (Slaughter purchased his interest in the venue several months ago), and this is the first day of work for the restaurant's newest chef, Stephanie Dumler.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

KCUR's restaurant critics have a last supper in the old format

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 8:21 AM

The late Walt Bodine loved discussing chili and chocolate malts during his tenure at KCUR 89.3, but the city's culinary palate has changed and, starting next week, so will the culinary discussions on Central Standard.
  • The late Walt Bodine loved discussing chili and chocolate malts during his tenure at KCUR 89.3, but the city's culinary palate has changed and, starting next week, so will the culinary discussions on Central Standard.

Back in the mid-1980s, I was invited on KCUR 89.3's Walt Bodine Show to discuss restaurants with a panel of local food writers including, at that time, the late Larry "Fats" Goldberg and KCMO's chatty Bobbi Marx (a total pro — I was entranced by her), restaurateur Lou Jane Temple, Squire columnist Johanna Hall, then-Pitch columnist Kathy Hale (and later, her successor, Jane Berkowitz) and John Martellaro, then of The Kansas City Star. In those early days, the food-critics show was an occasional feature of veteran broadcaster Bodine's schedule, maybe once every six weeks or so.

The panel didn't change so frequently over the years, but in the last decade of Walt Bodine's tenure at KCUR, it became a more frequent staple in his lineup: first, once a month, then every other Friday. For most of the last decade, the panel has included me, Christine Becicka, Mary Bloch, and Gloria Gale. Food writer and culinary entrepreneur Emily Farris joined the panel nearly two years ago, discussing new restaurants and taking phone calls from listeners.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The French Market in Prairie Village will be serving crepes on Saturdays

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Members of chef Patrick Quillec's family -- including his sister, his niece, and his daughter -- will be manning the crepe grill on Saturdays, beginning next week. - KEVIN MARSH
  • Kevin Marsh
  • Members of chef Patrick Quillec's family -- including his sister, his niece, and his daughter -- will be manning the crepe grill on Saturdays, beginning next week.

Until Chez Elle opened at 1713 Summit in 2009, there hadn't been a restaurant devoted exclusively to crepes in the Kansas City metro since the Quaker Oats-owned chain, the Magic Pan, operated in Seville Square. That chain closed its local location in 1983. 

But several restaurants in the city — not necessarily exclusively creperie venues like Chez Elle — offer both savory and dessert crepes as part of their regular menus (even that iconic Mission diner the Village Inn!). For crepe lovers who want something completely different, the combination retail-and-food shop in Prairie Village, the French Market at 6947 Tomahawk in the Prairie Village Shopping Center, will be serving three kinds of crepes, Quillec-style, on Saturdays beginning next week, Saturday,  September 6.

It was chef Patrick Quillec's idea: The founder of the popular Cafe Provence restaurant only serves dessert crepes at that Prairie Village bistro, but he gets so many requests for the traditional crepes sold in shops and from food trucks in Paris, he decided it was time to return to a family tradition.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Why does Jack White look so annoyed in Kansas City?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

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The only thing that remains constant among Jack White's visits to various different baseball venues this summer is his scowl. 

Late in July, the guitar virtuoso was spotted at Wrigley Field in Chicago wearing an expression of contempt. He hardly flinched from a surly gaze as he threw out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers game three days later.

And Monday, White took on a churlish look as he stood before the mural outside the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum near 18th Street and the Paseo in advance of his evening show at the Midland.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Novel nominated for Bon Appetit award

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Chef-owner Ryan Brazeal's innovative entrees and desserts influenced the judges at Bon Appetit to choose Novel among Kansas City's new restaurants as a nominee for "America's Best New Restaurants." - ANGELA C. BOND
  • Angela C. Bond
  • Chef-owner Ryan Brazeal's innovative entrees and desserts influenced the judges at Bon Appetit to choose Novel among Kansas City's new restaurants as a nominee for "America's Best New Restaurants."

Until early this morning, chef and restaurant owner Ryan Brazeal was almost the last person to know that his 13-month-old restaurant, Novel, had been nominated by Bon Appetit as one of "America's Best New Restaurants." Fifty new restaurants from across the United States were nominated; the list will be winnowed down to 10 (and that list will be posted August 19).

"I hadn't even gotten an e-mail from Bon Appetit about the nomination," Brazeal says. "It wasn't until I began receiving text messages from chef pals like Patrick Ryan and Michael Corvino this morning — and Facebook messages of congratulations — that I knew that something was going on."


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bleu Burgers' Tony Olson is seriously changing things at Chubby's, Longbranch

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:15 AM

Chef Nathan Buckley, left, and restaurateur Tony Olson recently opened Bleu Burger in Lee's Summit, but Olson wants Buckley to reinvent the food at Chubby's and the Longbranch Saloon in Lenexa.
  • Chef Nathan Buckley, left, and restaurateur Tony Olson recently opened Bleu Burger in Lee's Summit, but Olson wants Buckley to reinvent the food at Chubby's and the Longbranch Saloon in Lenexa.





There are a lot of things you could say - good and scathing - about Chubby's, the 24-hour diner at 3756 Broadway, but I had never considered using the words gracious service before. This is, after all, no place for the genteel, particularly after 1 a.m. 

While a friend and I were waiting for cheeseburgers last Friday night, our server stopped by our table - without a word and totally inexplicably - and dropped off a plate of two coaster-sized iced cinnamon rolls. We eyed the rolls warily. "Did you order those?" asked my friend.

No, since I don't crave breakfast pastries with my burgers (chocolate cream pie is another story entirely). We decided that the waitress had dropped the rolls off by mistake. But when, after five or six minutes, she didn't return for them, we ate them. Nothing was said. They weren't on the bill.

But I couldn't resist calling Tony Olson, the 33-year-old restaurateur who took over the operation of the midtown diner in 2012. "What's the story with the cinnamon rolls?" I asked Olson.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

KC's Pride Fest isn't such a gay time for some

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM

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OK, let's get the jokes out of the way. As one bartender I talked to last week put it, this year's Kansas City Pride Fest - slated for the city's historic West Bottoms neighborhood June 20, 21 and 22 - is "an all-Bottoms party, tops not allowed."

It's easy to kid about it now, but in 1978, when KC saw its first gay-pride event, being out and proud in this town wasn't easy. Gay bars were still routinely raided by the cops, and Westport's Redhead Lounge maintained a back-door entrance that could be used by schoolteachers, who could be fired if they were seen entering a venue that catered to homosexuals.

By 1984, the festival had become a half-hearted carnival in the parking lot behind the since-razed Dover Fox saloon, at 43rd Street and Main. There might have been 100 people there, and the event lasted just three hours.

Last year's event in Westport, the first to be presented by the nonprofit Kansas City Diversity Coalition, attracted about 1,000 people over two days, according to estimates by several participants.

Or maybe 10 times that many people showed up?

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