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Westport Café and Bar
419 Westport Road, 816-931-4740, westportcafeandbar.com
The dish: Lemon ricotta pancakes (brunch only)
The popular lemon-ricotta pancakes at Westport Café and Bar are available only at brunch, only on Saturdays and Sundays. Damn. Or maybe that's good. Because the delicate ovals are so light, so subtly flavored, so easily devoured, that you could forget you're eating, you know, carby, caloric pancakes. That are delicious. More thin than thick, these properly sized, soft hotcakes come with berry compote, maple syrup and a large pat of butter that sits atop the mound and melts over and around it. The rich yet nuanced lemon and ricotta flavors meld together and don't overpower. You'll clean the plate before you know what happened.
The Corner Restaurant
4059 Broadway, 816-931-4401, thecornerkc.com
The dish: Swoonin' Biscuits
Price: $6 for a half-order, $11 for a full
The Corner reopened last year, to much fanfare. But people expecting a straight reincarnation of the Westport staple, with its eminently affordable menu, complained when they saw that prices had changed with the times. The quality of the food generally justifies the inflation, though; this café's take on biscuits and gravy is better than most offerings of the same dish around town. The peppercorn-sausage gravy has a slight kick that amplifies the biscuit's topping. As for fair pricing: Unless you have a monster-size appetite, the half-order is seriously ample.
2021 Broadway, 816-842-2298, towntopic.com
The dish: Truckstop omelet
Price: $10.49 with meat, $8.49 without
The beauty of the Truckstop lies not in its presentation — this is Town Topic, after all; we're not bellying up to the counter for artful garnishes — but in its efficiency. It provides all the classic ingredients of a heavy greasy-spoon breakfast (four eggs, hash browns, your choice of ham, bacon or sausage), cooked together into a hefty gob of first-meal goodness. Of course it's topped with five slices of American cheese. The dish's sheer size precludes all but the largest or the most inebriated among us from finishing it in one sitting, but a leftover Truckstop turns out to be surprisingly OK.
251 East 55th Street, 816-333-3305, aixois.com
The dish: Croque monsieur
From your grandmother to your dentist, everyone swears by some hangover remedy. Maybe the only one you need to remember: the croque monsieur at Aixois. You've probably tasted some version of this enchanting French classic before: ham, grùyere and béchamel sauce. But Aixois has perfected this decadent sandwich: two extra-wide slices of country bread, piled with grilled French Madrange ham and imported grùyere, drenched in house béchamel — the emperor of sauces — and pan-fried like a grilled cheese. It's topped with even more grùyere and, for $1 more, finished with a sunnyside egg, which is absolutely worth the addition. Cut into it, and the medicine flows: an intense wave of oozing, yolky, cheesy goodness. Bonus: At Aixios, the bloody mary arrives in a pint glass.
1663 Summit, 816-997-9089, thewestsidelocal.com
The dish: Apple-bread French toast
We've said some nice things about Westside Local lately, and the place deserves pretty much unreserved praise for having become a truly fine neighborhood restaurant. But that doesn't mean the kind-of-unfortunate portmanteau "blunch" — what the Local calls its Sunday spread — gets a pass. Sure, nobody likes saying brunch anymore; the very concept, word and meal both, is a bourgeois cliché, even when the food is both a necessary tonic and a taste sensation. But blunch? Really? When your place makes a genius move like serving soft and sweet house-made apple bread and perfect almond butter with pieces of apple and smooth Canadian maple syrup, can't you just say it's on the "awesome midday you're welcome" menu or something?