Fedora lamely tosses its hat back into the breakfast business.

Eggs Uneasy 

Fedora lamely tosses its hat back into the breakfast business.

Breakfast, they say, is the day's most important meal. And plenty of restaurants in Kansas City, including Sharp's 63rd Street Grill (see review), give diners a solid way to kick-start the long day's journey into night with hefty plates of eggs, bacon and toast -- or some variation on that theme -- for six bucks or less. But when Fedora Café & Bar (210 West 47th Street) decided last fall to revive its once-popular Sunday brunch as a trimmed-down $10.95 "breakfast buffet," the management team somehow managed to overlook a few important details. Like visual appeal, staffing and selection.

A visit to this breakfast bash proved to be a massive disappointment. When the coaster-sized "waffles" finally made an appearance on the steam table, they were cold. The bacon was overcooked, the clump of scrambled eggs was tasteless and, most offensive of all, the watery sausage "gravy" looked like a gross-out prop from a Farrelly brothers film. I took a bit of everything and finished almost nothing.

"We offer made-to-order omelets!" gushed our peppy waitress. (Her bubbly personality was the best thing about the meal.) But the kid in the chef's hat at the omelet station was so backlogged that I didn't dare order one. He seemed so overwhelmed by his job that he might burst into tears. My friend Bob did order an omelet, and it showed up ten minutes later looking like a cheese-glazed envelope. The sticky buns were good, but an $11 meal of sticky buns and coffee seems rather exorbitant, don't you think?

Here's another question: Now that the "Opening Soon" banner hanging over the still-closed Mexican restaurant Excaret (900 Westport Road) has been there, according to landlord Chip Schmelzer, for more than a year, does anyone know whether the supposedly upscale Mexican dining room is ever going to open?

"Well, they're still paying rent," says Schmelzer, who adds that the in-laws of Joseph Fisher, owner of the long-shuttered New World Bistro (which formerly occupied the space), continue to sublet the corner location to the owners of the mysterious Excaret.

"I keep hearing that something's going to happen," says Schmelzer.

A different kind of food-related "happening" will take place on March 10 at the Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania) when waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cooks and dishwashers get a chance to have their own say at a special night of "performance art" to be called "The Customer Is Always ... Wrong." Restaurant workers past and present can read their own essays, short stories and poetry or perform songs about life in the culinary trade from 3 to 5:30 p.m. (For more information on the event or to participate as a performer, call Lesa Blalock at 816-753-1090 or send an e-mail to twpkcmo@aol.com.) The event will be free, but "tips" will be encouraged as donations for the nonprofit Writers Place.

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