Two things understood all around the globe: sports and food.

Bite-Sized World 

Two things understood all around the globe: sports and food.

Arestaurant doesn't have to be located in a casino, like The Range Steakhouse (see review), to ante up a little card game every so often. The 2-month-old Embassy International Bistro and Bar (3945 Main) serves up some Texas hold 'em action on Tuesday nights, giving away prizes that include gift certificates to ... the Embassy! Among the fans of the weekly card game is KCUR 89.3 morning announcer Michael Byars, who is also a big fan of the food served in this dark, narrow saloon. In fact, he dragged me there for lunch recently.

The space, formerly occupied by a restaurant-bar operation called Slammerz (which I never visited, sans regret) was completely overhauled by its new owner, Nathan Schwantes, who ripped out the kitchen, deep fryer and all, and built a new one in the basement. Now there's a long bar where the kitchen used to be and a movie screen that's used to show global sporting events.

That garlicky hummus, created by kitchen manager Dwayne Collins, is very good. It's one of five appetizers on an "international" menu. Each item is accompanied by its country's flag, such as Brazil's for the pao de queijo (a cheese bread) and Spain's for the little albondigas meatballs (that's not too complicated). There are also four salads and as many sandwiches. Sadly, the emparedado Cubano is Cuban in name only, sorely missing the roast pork, Swiss cheese and pickles of the traditional sandwich, but the Embassy sells more gyros anyway (and club sandwiches).

Schwantes says his top-selling item is the "Tour of the World" appetizer sampler, which isn't surprising given that his clientele isn't the burger-and-beer crowd. "On some nights, 70 percent of the people here learned English as a second language."

Now if Schwantes can just teach his patrons to eat too much, like most Americans, the Embassy's kitchen will be busy day and night.

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