5 Locations

Re-opened Martin City

Award Favorites

drink "Margarit'as"

Lenexa Location

serving breakfast

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Plopping on a Patio

Kansas City Patio

Last night I was on McCormick and Schmick’s very comfortable and very large patio overlooking the Plaza, enjoying enough of a breeze, wine, and their delish fish tacos, with two friends.  We commented that now is really the best time to enjoy Kansas City and for at least the next month, being outside is usually just a joy.
McCormick & Schmick's 

We talked about where we like to go best before we’re forced back indoors for our too long, too gray, and too cold winter. Kansas City does have many good places to eat outside.  Since sidewalk dining seems so much more glamorous when I’m away than when I’m home, patios that are some way or the other surrounded by cars, moving or not, are not among my favorites.  I like a lot of greenery, a little not-too-loud music, a lot of conversation and laughter, and the vista to be, well, somewhat serene.  Yeah, I know I’m picky.

The one that came to my mind first is relatively new and rather a surprise.  It’s JJ’s just beside the Plaza in the Polsinelli building.  There’s much to like about it: It’s enclosed but the air circulates; it feels quite private, your own green oasis; the chairs are the right height and you can “set a spell”; you have the full delicious Italian array of excellently prepared foods to choose among.  There’s a Happy Hour here now, too.  And of course the famed wine list still exists – but the bar is full service.   

All in all, a perfect fall setting in Kansas City for gourmet eating, drinking, and befriending in the great patio- civilized outdoors.

900 West 48th Place, Suite 110 
Kansas City, MO 64112 
Ph. 816- 561-7136 

JJ's Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, September 25, 2015





September 25th-27th
(Friday, Saturday, & Sunday)

Take $10 off per person
(up to 4 People per table)




Monday, September 21, 2015

5-Bucket Beers & Hometeam Appetizer Trio!

12 Baltimore

Kansas City Restaurant

12 Baltimore is the place to see and be seen in downtown Kansas City. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days per week with great happy hour specials. You won't find a better place for a power lunch, pre-theater snacks or to relax over a specially crafted cocktail.

Daily specials include hearty sandwiches, refreshing salads and house made soups. Taking advantage of the partnership 12 Baltimore has with Boulevard Brewery, our Executive Chef uses many of their locally crafted beers in his recipes, creating unique, flavorful offerings sure to satisfy anyone's appetite.

Call for reservations at (816) 346-4410 or reserve a table online 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Herf Burger for One Great Dish

One Great Dish:  As Told by Erik Hyre at Hereford House

Corporate chef Erik Hyre of the Hereford House admitted to me recently that his go-to, standard favorite is a burger.  Yep, the lowly burger.  But not just any burger of course, it’s the Herf Burger which you can get for lunch or dinner at any of the four Hereford Houses. 

He shared the recipe recently and the only thing I would add is if you want the true HH flavor, you’re going to have to grill this burger, expertly, over a hot charcoal fire.  So give it your best shot and see if yours looks as pretty (and tastes as good) as the picture.

The Herf Burger
Hereford House Restaurant Group
Serves 4:

4-8oz. Ground Sirloin per burger
1 Tbls. Salt, Kosher
½ Tbls. Pepper, White
4 Slices Cheddar Cheese
4 Hamburger Buns
8 Slices Bacon, Cooked
4 Eggs, fried
4 Lettuce leaves, cleaned
4 Slices Tomato
4 Slices Red Onion
12 Pickle Slices

Season the patties with the salt and pepper and place on grill and cook to desired temperature.

Place the hamburger buns on the grill to toast. Remove and put on plates.

Once the hamburgers are cooked to desired temperature, top with the cheddar cheese to melt over the hamburgers. Top with hot, cooked bacon slices.

In a sauté pan, fry the eggs to over easy. This way the egg yolk will break over the burger when you bite into it.

Garnish with the lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.

Enjoy with your favorite side dish!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Places to Fall in Love - Story Restaurant

Story Restaurant

 is an elegant, upscale neighborhood restaurant serving fresh, local, seasonal creative American cuisine with Spanish, French and Italian influences. 

In August, Story’s wine list won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, an honor that’s been bestowed upon just 10 Kansas eateries. Story was one of just a handful of the 3,800 restaurants to make this year’s Award of Excellence list to get a feature in the magazine. 

Some meals are just so special you can hardly write about them. Or take pictures. That’s apparently what happened at Story last night. This time we brought good friends, good eaters. The sun was out, and the breeze was light which made for a pleasant evening so we decided to seat outside on their nice patio and our service was delightful. 

Jeff Thrall, manager and sommelier at Story, came to our table and talked about wine. In September 29, they are having a wine dinner that sounds amazing. For more information, go to our calendar events. 

Braised beef short ribs with gnocchi, green beans, bacon and onion rings.

The food is always exceptional: meticulously prepared, flavorful, and pretty – that night even a relatively simple dish like “Ceviche” was executed with flair. Next course consisted of short pork ribs were simply delicious. Finally, a wonderful chocolate torte felt pretty good to our voracious appetites. 

Great wine, great food, great friends. What do we have to ask for more?

3931 West 69th Terrace 
Prairie Village, KS 66208 
Ph. 913-236-9955 

Story Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Spotlight: Corporate Chef Erik Hyre

Being responsible for four Hereford Houses and Pierpont’s is all part of the day’s work for Corporate Chef Erik Hyre.  What does being a corporate chef mean?  Well, perhaps fewer late night hours (except during holidays) and more decision making to ensure all five restaurants move smoothly, create delicious meals, and train responsive staff, all necessary for happy customers. 

Chef Hyre began working in restaurants in high school and soon decided he liked it and wanted to move up.  That meant school and he graduated from Johnson County Community College’s extensive culinary training in 2000.  From there, he began climbing, working his way up from the line, to sous chef, to chef, to executive chef and now being the guy who’s in charge of entire group.  To that task load, he’s also currently the general manager for the Zona Rosa location where he’s adding extensive front of the house experience.  The major difference from the whirlwind in the kitchen is “always listening to the customers and determining what they are really saying,” he remarks.  It’s a different field of vision and really enlightening, especially when changing the dinner rolls can apparently rock a person’s world, he says wryly. 

The newest thing at the Hereford Houses is a new menu, debuting September 3rd, which, while it will retain some of the must-have favorites like chicken fried steak or beef stroganoff, is more geared to “foodies” and the next generation of eaters.  Creativity and presentation are important and even the favs will be tweaked.  He’s hoping this doesn’t cause an uproar with the many traditionalists who have relied on Hereford House for years for their filets and KC steaks (almost equal in their top popularity) but of course, the restaurant IS a long-time Kansas City steak house and the charcoal grilling won’t ever change.  The unique flavor of all the meats done this way is too important he points out.

So what does the top chef at a mainstay steak restaurant eat?  For lunch, nearly always a burger.  His absolute favorite, which you, too, can order is their slow cooked prime rib, rare, then tossed on the grill for a minute to caramelize it – the sweetness and full charcoal flavor make it taste like the best ribeye in the world, but different.  It’s just great, he fervently claims.  At Pierpont’s, since he’s eaten everything so often, he extols the variety of the menu which changes quarterly to take advantage of what’s fresh and local.  And he loves the “wow” factor of the Union Station location, and its beautiful bar – but he’s well aware it takes more than a pretty place: service and food must be exemplary as well.

With four daughters, from 16 years to 8 months, Chef Hyre doesn’t have much free time.  He doesn’t cook at home – his wife likes to – but he will grill.  Or call for a pizza.  He and his wife eat out as much as they can – it’s research, too, of course.  Maybe twice a week he puts on his head phones, gets out his bicycle, and zooms away for stress relief. 

He notes that the stress is mitigated by the enjoyment of running restaurants and making people happy. He trusts his team of chefs and staff and knows that everyone plays a role. “The happiest hours are when we’ve pleased someone from the front door to the back,” he says.  And that happens enough to keep him happy, too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lunch at Pierpont's

Lunch at Pierpont's 

If you haven't been to the Gridiron Glory Exhibition and you call yourself a football fan, get your fanny down NOW to Union Station. The Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of its 50 year anniversary, is touring the largest traveling exhibition in its history and it's billed as "The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame." There are hundreds of artifacts, many exhibited for the first time, from the Hall of Fame's collection and for a few moments, you could maybe feel like Will Shields. To celebrate, Pierpont's is offering a $10 Gridiron Lunch Special which is a 12 hour short rib sandwich and side of fries, poblano coleslaw, and fried pickles on a potato bun. The exhibit leaves September 7th and so does this special. Don't drop the ball - go now!

30 West Pershing 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. (816) 221-5111 

Check out their menu here

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Get your tickets now for The Bourbon Trail!

Walk The Bourbon Trail
To Smooth Flavor and Legendary Football

Thursday Aug. 27 | 5:00pm - 7:30pm | $40 per person

Come walk the Bourbon Trail and experience Hall of Fame Football on August 27th at Union Station. This one-of-a-kind event hosted by Union Station, Pierpont’s at Union Station and Sports Radio 810 WHB is one night only and will not be repeated.

The Gridiron Glory Bourbon Trail will feature six bourbon stations and food pairings, entry into Gridiron Glory the exhibition, one drink ticket (cash bar available), a customized tasting glass and autograph signings by Chiefs Football Ambassadors.

Learn about each featured bourbon from the experts. Taste the custom creations from Pierpont’s Executive Chef, Matt Barnes. Bourbons include:
  • Buffalo Trace
  • Eagle Rare 10-year
  • Blanton's
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Rye
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year
  • Bernheim Kentucky Wheated Whiskey

Walk among the most prized treasures of professional football – directly from the Canton, OH Pro Football Hall of Fame. Grab a friend and walk the Gridiron Glory Bourbon Trail on August 27th at Union Station.
  • Live Sports Radio 810 WHB Broadcast from event
  • Guest appearances by Chiefs Ambassadors, KC Wolf and Chiefs Cheerleaders
  • A Full Evening of Flavor, Football and Fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Beer of the Craft Variety by Chris Becicka

Beer of the Craft Variety

by Chris Becicka

We’re talking craft beer here, the now nearly ubiquitous beer whose popularity has soared. 

Regional craft breweries, microbreweries, and brew pubs (the total category) have really taken off from the mid-90s, rising from 537 to 3,464 in 2014. Hence, all the noise about them – it’s a battle out there. In Kansas City, beer aficionados are familiar with the huge variety of choices, from the local area to nationwide. In fact, a friend just showed me a picture of a restaurant’s menu in Beijing that was featuring Boulevard Beer. 
Biergarden at Grunauer

So what constitutes a craft beer? The Craft Brewers Association defines it as small (fewer than 6 million gallons annually), independent (less than 25% of it is owned or controlled by a bigger company who is not a craft brewer) and traditional (a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.) What it’s not: Bud Light or Coors or PBR.

The most common types of craft beers, like all beers, are ales and lagers. Ales are usually stronger in taste due to the fact they are fermented warmer and faster than lagers. That is also why they are more popular than lagers in brewpubs especially – they can be ready in about a week. Ales include brown ales, usually milder with coffee, caramel, or toffee flavors; pale ales are sharper and more bitter. This is the category that includes IPAs, India Pale Ale, so popular now. Porters are darker and “thicker,” and their cousins, stouts, are even darker and more viscous than porters. Ales are served at room temperature normally, unlike their colder counterparts. 

Those cold lagers are more trouble and take longer to make. They are made with bottom-fermenting yeast and brewed at colder temperatures – hence they take longer to make, weeks or months instead of days. They also tend to be somehow crisper or more mellow according to some. They are always served at a colder temperature, best at about 40 degrees. 

There are four broad categories of lagers. Pale lagers are, well, pale. Light. Highly carbonated, these beers are what most Americans consider to be mainstream. Pilsners are similar except they are usually more bitter and their taste more distinctive. Marzens, also called Oktoberfest beers, are more full bodied and usually amber or dark copper in color and taste more malty. Bocks are heartier still and are both hoppy (bitter) and malty (sweeter). 

 Of course, a craft beer devotee could add much more description to the above, and a certified or master cicerone – someone who has actually passed difficult tests in beer knowledge and serving – could just wax poetic explaining more than you could ever ask about all beers. Wesley Boston, Executive Chef at Sullivan’s and a certified cicerone (and sommelier) is an example of a passionate beer guy. “Beers are just as varied, just as complex, as wine,” he says. “But they’re less expensive and can be a lot more fun!” 

Craft beers are in front of the public in both smaller and larger ways. Events featuring beers now occur continually. There are regular tours, tap nights, brewery nights, and special city-wide events all the time. These include parties such as the Kansas City Craft Beer Week, Westport Summer Beer Festival, Boulevardia, or the City Market Beer Festival which just occurred. Coming up are the UNICO Microbrew Fest in Zona Rosa (August 15) or the September 5th Craft Beer Festival of the Lost Township (Raytown) or the High Plains Brewhoff in downtown Overland Park (September 19). Grünauer’s 6th annual Oktoberfest begins on September 25th and is overflowing with beer, food, and music. They offer not only local beers but also central European beers all the time, not just during the festival. 

Not only does Kansas City have its own established craft breweries (besides the ever expanding Boulevard, there are probably around 20), but we keep spawning new ones. Four or five have surfaced in the last year or so, and another is on its way to the east Crossroads. Developed by Ted Habiger (of Room 39 fame and a James Beard award semi-finalist in 2014) and partners, it’s called Brewery Emperial. Slated to open early in 2016, it will brew 12 beers, Americanized versions of classic European Beers and food will be gastropub(y) with a wood-fired grill. 
BD's Craft Beer Offerings

It’s also true that practically all of our restaurants have embraced both local and national craft beers. Besides the growing popularity of these beers, chefs have begun to recognize the pairing affinities possible with beer. 

Some restaurants like BD’s Mongolian Grill in Independence not only serve but truly highlight craft beers which certainly entice a certain clientele to visit frequently. For instance, BD’s has typically 50 craft beers on tap and 200 bottled beers in their Beer Library at to-go prices. Every two months they feature a craft beer brewery with giveaways and the rep there to answer questions. Their refillable Howlers and Growlers are a beer lover’s carry-out or in-restaurant liquid dream. 

Speaking of sometimes the most unexpected places have a large craft beer selection, besides BD’s we have to mention Hawg Jaw Que and Brew in Riverside. Currently they have over 20 microbrews and are looking at adding many more. One especially cool thing? If you go in and they don’t have your fav, they’ll order it for you. Can’t resist adding that they have all kinds of old fashioned sodas for the kids, too. 

Waldo Pizza in Lee’s Summit is another somewhat surprising craft beer hangar. Around 20 beers on tap are craft beers and another 40 or so in bottles are as well. Their Waldo location has even more bottled varieties, about 90 or so, and they sponsor a brewer of the month when the brewer comes in and hosts a special evening. Their staff is particularly knowledgeable about their beers, which is important to those who don’t know what to choose among so many. Pizza never tasted so good. We wonder if there is a particularly great beer to go with their homemade desserts, too. Places like Westside Local know they must appeal to beer drinkers with more than Bud Light. They emphasize local breweries with ten or 12 on tap and a varying selection of national beers. Cleaver and Cork has six craft beers on tap, and another 30+ in bottles – they recognize beer’s flexibility with both casual and upscale food. The Pig & Finch in Leawood expands their clientele every other month when they do a beer dinner, utilizing such brewers is Mother’s out of Springfield, Missouri or River North Brewing next door in Denver. 

Upscale restaurants are certainly not missing out on this trend. They all know they must offer a few craft beers, at least. Practically all of the beers at The American fit the definition of craft beers. At Sullivan’s Steakhouse, the aforementioned Wesley Boston, a Certified Cicerone®, admits that probably nothing gives him more pleasure than the three craft beer dinners the restaurant hosts every year. He stocks 8 – 15 staple craft beers and then continually supplements with a revolving list of beers, all reliably tasted. And Jax on the Plaza which serves mostly seafood, also has a number of craft beers which not surprisingly, as their cicerone/sommelier Rick Compton knows, pair well with fish. 

Even catering companies have been seeing requests for craft beer for all types of events. Brancato's Catering (they run Harvey's at Union Station) has been complying with this trend for some time at especially corporate events and weddings. People want food stations paired with craft beer. Others want tasting stations with flights of 3 ounce pours with four or five selections on a tray for each person. Laura Fleming, Brancato’s Event Coordinator, says that the evolution of craft beer and catering have been parallel over the last few years. Clients’ tastes for food, display, and beverages have elevated. Craft beers have become part of a total experience that people want for themselves and their guests.” 

Credit for the craft beer resurgence has been given to England in the 1970s (though small breweries in Europe have been around for centuries) but only in perhaps the last ten years in this country have they begun their phenomenal ascent. Kansas City reflects this burgeoning interest in high quality, locally produced beers and our restaurants definitely cater to the trend. That’s a good thing, for as Plato said, “He is a wise man who invented beer.” We add, “and who drinks beer.” Craft beer. 

What’s in a Name? 
Craft Beers by Category Microbrewery – produces fewer than 15,000 barrels a year with 75% of it sold off-site. 
Brewpub – a restaurant brewery that sells at least 25% of its beer on-site. 
Contract Brewing Company -- A business that hires another brewery to produce its beer or one which hires another brewery to produce additional beer 
Regional Craft Brewery -- an independent regional brewery with most of its volume in “traditional” or “innovative” beer(s). Emphasis is on quality, flavor, and brewing technique rather than number of gallons produced. 
Regional Brewery – annual beer production of between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels. 


Did You Know? 

Vermont ranks first in craft beer drinkers with 16.2 craft gallons per 100,000 21+ year olds. 
Missouri is #17 with 2.4 gallons and Kansas is #42 with .6 gallons. But in terms of number of breweries per capita, Missouri is #26 and Kansas #34. 


If I Drink Beer, Will I Get Fat? 

According to Livestrong.com, typical calories are: 

12 ounce light beer: 103 

12 ounce regular beer: 153 

1.5 ounce 80 proof liquor: 97 

 6 ounce chocolate martini: 438 

8 ounce margarita: 453 

8 ounce Singapore sling: 230 

1 ounce wine: 25 (you do the math) 

So if you’re choosing between a craft beer or a chocolate martini, think thin and get the beer. What about you?

Saturday, August 8, 2015


OKTOBERFEST 2015 9/25&9/26 – Music Lineup Announced

HAZELNUSS, America's "Premier Oktoberfest Band," will headline OKTOBERFESTAPALOOZA this year and we could not be more excited!  Hazelnuss will be performing at this year's Grünauer Oktoberfest both Friday and Saturday nights.  Based in Los Angeles, this band covers the globe at festival season and according to Peter Grünauer, they are "the best."  Oktoberfest 2015 is scheduled for September 25th and 26th.

4-6pm – Terry Bell and the Kool Kat Accordian Orchestra
6-7:30pm- from Los Angeles: HAZELNUSS
7:45-9pm – Betty Jo Simon and the Alpen Spielers
9:30-12am – from Los Angeles: HAZELNUSS
8-10pm Nuthatch 47
10-12am – HAZELNUSS

1 token

Brezn – Bavarian style pretzel with Liptauer Cheese
Bierradi – Liptauer cheese with local radishes
Gulaschsuppe – Spicy paprika soup with potatoes
Bier und Käse suppe – Smoked gouda and beer soup
Würstl mit brot – Bratwurst or Cheddar bratwurst on bun
Side Trio – Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, and Potato Cucumber Salad
Streusselküchen – Streussel cake with peach compote
Bierocks – two ground beef, onion and cabbage filled pastries

2 tokens
Halbes Hendl – 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken, with choice of side
Würstl mit brot – Bratwurst or cheddar bratwurst on bun with side
Schweinebraten – Roasted Pork Shoulder with choice of side

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
We have a large free parking lot to the south of the building.  If that happens to be full, there is plenty of neighborhood parking
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Please email Office@grunauerkc.com
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
That will make everyone's life alot easier. 
How can I purchase food and Beer?
You can buy tokens in advance through eventbrite, or at the bar, or you can buy them at the event. 
What food and beer is available?
We will have a special menu for the event, and unfortuantely food from our dinner menu will only be avaialble in the dining room.  Please check the menu posted for full listings. 
Can I bring my own glass?
Sure, in fact we incourage you to bring a favorite stein.  We will also have steins available for $10 that you can keep.