Smokehouse BBQ

KC's Favorite!

Best Choice for traditional

hickory-smoked barbeque

Family atmosphere

BBQ can be catered or delivered

Nationwide Shipping

Smokehouse can be shipped to anyone's door

Four Smokehouse locations

Gladstone, KC, Independence or Columbia

Friday, July 31, 2015

Onward (or Outward) to Hayward’s

Review: Hayward’s Pit Bar B Que 

Barbeque is a fairly localized event in Kansas City, due to sheer volume of tasty choices, if nothing else.  I’m told by a reputable source there are at least 100 in the metro area.  So we often stick to a place closer to home and call it our favorite.

But the other day I trekked out to Hayward’s Pit Bar B Que at 110th and Antioch and was very pleasantly surprised.  I’ve not been there since it was at 95th and Antioch and certainly not since Eric Sweeney bought it a little more than a year ago (Hayward Spears, the original owner, still remains the “face” of the restaurant and I assume his original sauce will [and should] never change.)

I can only speak for lunch, where the sandwiches are very large and very tasty.  The burnt ends actually tasted like burnt ends should.  The deep fried okra was crispy.  The beer, on special, was only $3 for a large glass of Boulevard pale ale – they have a decent beer selection in bottles as well.  Their sweet potato fries are waffle cut and they have four great sounding salads and their big platters of meats and sides are definitely filling.  They have barbequed salmon and baby backs, as well as lunch specials, including 5 ribs and a side which is what I’m getting next time.  Prices are reasonable.
We wanted their jalapeño poppers which aren’t on the menu but DO occasionally show up along with, say, cheesy bites or a specially created sandwich, on the “secret menu.”  Regulars there know to ask what owner Eric or manager Kyle have devised that day.  It’s not every day, and according to our waiter, “You come in on the right day and get lucky.”

We felt lucky enough to find traditional barbeque that was done right with an excellent sauce.  If you’re out South and about, try the locally owned Hayward’s, especially if you’ve not been there for a while.  You’ll be happy you did!   

When was the last you have been at Hayward's BBQ

11051 Antioch Rd 
Overland Park, KS 66210 
Ph. (913) 451-8080 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sosa's and some other restaurants

OPEN & CLOSE Restaurants

Sosa's 39th Street Diner, at 3906 Waddell is closed. The closing of Sosa's 39th Street Diner is just one of several bittersweet restaurant endings this month.

After two years of operation, the Futbol Club Eatery & Tap, at 12030 in Overland Park, has closed.

Beth Tully's 15-month-old Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates, which has shut the doors of its Prairiefire location 5601 West 135th Street

Blanc Burgers + Bottles shuttered its second Westport location, this one at 4120 Pennsylvania, after 17 months in business. 

And finally, Morton's Grille on the Country Club Plaza is closed after nine month. 
The Chocolat Frog Cafe - facebook 

Steve Gaudreau, owner of Dempsey’s Burger Pub locations in Lawrence and two other cities, recently completed a deal that will bring the restaurant concept to Westport in Kansas City.  Burgers are made with 100-percent chuck. They’re cooked on a flat griddle versus charcoal grill so the meat cooks in its own juices.  4120 Pennsylvania

Bouchon Lee's Summit - South Korea's popular international restaurant chain, has opened its first local outpost, in Lee's Summit at 1740 Northwest Chipman Road.

Pizzeria Locale, 505 West 75th Street, is the first outpost of the fast-casual pizzeria created by Denver restaurateurs Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson in 2011.

Standard Pour, 1511 Westport Road has opened in June,where Boozefish Wine Bar was. The menu features  salads, four sandwiches, a wrap, smoked-chicken pasta and fried chicken. The Reuben sandwich is delicious.

Double Shift Brewing Company – his microbrewery and taproom slated is opened at 412 E 18th Street.

The Chocolate Frog Cafe - 3935 West 69th Terrace

The W specializes in hand-crafted cocktails - 6 ½ SW 3rd Street in downtown Lee’s Summit Reservations by text (816-287-0000) are recommended, but walk-ins are accommodated when possible. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hollywood Casino - Sizzling Summer BBQ

Sizzling Summer BBQ

Turn 2
is a unique upscale sports bar with spectacular views of the Kansas Speedway and the casino floor. Designed for those who want to take in maximum sports action in an ultra lounge atmosphere.

BBQ Shrimp Skewers $11.99

Wood Grilled BBQ Short Ribs $13.99

Marquee Café
Casual contemporary dining features traditional American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With hearty meals, lighter fare and sweet treats beyond compare, you’ll want to come back for more. 

Open Face BBQ Burnt End Sandwich $11.99
Jack Daniels BBQ Baby Back Ribs $14.99  

Final Cut Final Cut is a contemporary American steakhouse featuring USDA Mid-Western Prime and Certified Angus Beef that is corn-fed and naturally aged to ensure maximum flavor. Each steak is hand cut to order and expertly prepared. Final Cut also offers an extensive menu of specialty dishes, homemade pastas, seafood and shellfish, plus incredible sides and fabulous desserts. You will also find a three hundred bottle wine list that features both New and Old World wines.

Appetizer: Colossal Grilled Shrimp, Cucumber Salad $17
Salad: Wood Grilled Hearts of Romaine Caesar Salad $8
Entrée: BBQ Muscovy Duck Breast $23     

777 Hollywood Casino Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66111
Ph. (913) 287-9764

Monday, July 20, 2015

Drunken Fish - New Happy Hour

Drunken Fish New Happy Hour Menu! 

More than just a restaurant, Drunken Fish has quickly become one of Kansas City's favorite places to see and be seen. Thoughtfully designed, Drunken Fish boasts trendy & sophisticated decor. With 2 locations, you will be able to enjoy selection of sensational sushi and Japanese cuisine that will satisfy every appetite and over 50 signature martinis, cocktails, and shots.

Drunken Fish  just launched their brand new Happy Hour, featuring delightful items like their signature Drunken Fish Roll!

P&L Happy Hour times:
Monday-Friday 11am-12pm
Monday-Friday 4-6pm
Late-night 10pm-close when open past 10 


14 East 14 Street
 Kansas City, MO 64106
 Ph. 816.474.7177
 Located at the Corner of 14th and Main

Click to add a blog post for Drunken Fish Power & Light District on Zomato 

Leawood Happy Hour times:
Monday-Friday 2-6pm
Sunday all day 

Late-night 10pm-close when open past 10

4331 West 119th Street
 Leawood, KS 66209
 Ph. 913-339-9335

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar - August 5

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar will shuck and serve more than 500 of its proprietary oysters on National Oyster Day

The world is your oyster, starting at 4 p.m. on August 5

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar is celebrating National Oyster Day with free oysters on Wednesday, August 5. Jax will shell out 100 half-dozen freshly shucked oysters on the half shell for free starting at 4 p.m. on a “first come, first served” basis.

Featured as the day’s free oyster will be Jax's proprietary Emersum oyster, sustainably harvested out of the Chesapeake Bay by the Rappahannock Oyster Company. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m., as well, and runs until 6 p.m. Guests enjoying Jax’s happy hour will have options ranging from signature cocktails, beer, and wine specials to signature dishes, including Chicken Andouille & Crawfish Gumbo, Fruit De Mer, Gumbo Cheese Fries, Fried Calamari and Peel N’ Eat Shrimp. Guests wanting to celebrate with more of Jax’s freshly shucked oysters can do so during happy hour with $1.50 oysters on the half shell.

Since it first opened its doors in October of last year, Jax Fish House has supplied the coastless Kansas City community with the freshest and finest the ocean has to offer. Jax is the first and, currently, only restaurant in Missouri to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and works with sustainable fisheries from across the country to fly in the freshest fish and shellfish available on a daily basis. The rotating selection of coastal oysters at Jax’s signature raw bar offers diners a taste of America's best bivalves, including Jax’s proprietary Emersum oyster.

Reservations and Information
Reservations can be made by calling Jax at (816) 437-7940 or online.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New menu at Morton's Grille

Summer sizzles at Morton’s Grille with dinner for two for $50

For the month of July, Morton’s Grille is offering a special dinner for two at the perfect price. Starting July 1, choose two appetizers, two entrees and a bottle of wine for only $50. The menu features a selection of Morton’s Grille signature favorites.

Choice of appetizers:
Tuna Poke
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Morton’s Salad
Chopped House Salad

Choice of entrees:
6oz. Center-Cut Filet Mignon
16oz. Double-Cut Pork Chop
Bacon Fat Braised Ribs
Horseradish Crusted Salmon
“Cobalt” Chicken Sandwich
Double Stacked “Ravenous Style” Burger

Choice of wine:
J. Lohr, “River Stone,” Chardonnay, Paso Robles
Mirassou, Pinot Noir, California
Colores del Sol, Malbec, Mendoza

Morton’s Grille is located on the Country Club Plaza at 4646 J.C. Nichols Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64112.

Hours of operation:
Monday-Thursday: 3-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 3-11 p.m.
Sunday: 3-9 p.m.

Morton’s Grille is a new concept from Landry’s, Inc. The menu features a delightful mix of new, chef-inspired dishes, unique twists on traditional favorites and the classics you’ve come to know and love. With handcrafted cocktails and a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere, Morton’s Grille is the perfect place for a delicious meal or happy hour with friends.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Hour III - 12 Baltimore

12 Baltimore -  KC's Longest Happy Hour

The Hotel Phillips in the heart of downtown truly qualifies as a remarkable location. For one thing, it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, fifty years after it opened. It has art deco down pat and a gilded elegance you seldom see here.  Just walking into the hotel takes you back to a time we see only in the movies. 

Its restaurant and bar, 12 Baltimore, has a lovely, looonnnggg happy hour – from 3 – 7p.m. weekdays, which means, for many of us, dinner is available at a highly reduced rate – all the apps are half price. Beers are cheap, cheap I say and they have drink specials every night – the best are $3 margaritas on Mondays, 1/2 price signature cocktails on Tuesdays, or $4 wine (Coastal Vines) on Fridays. They also have a $6 blue Royals vodka lemonade drink on days the Royals play, though I haven’t had it yet.

The place has a laid-back vibe and feels cozy – you can come by yourself and not feel weird.  There is music three nights a week, Acoustic Thursdays, Feature Fridays and Live Jazz Saturdays.  Although I haven’t seen her, there’s an artist (and her studio) in residence.  How cool is that?

Lots of Kansas Citians forget this place.  They shouldn’t. 

106 W 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Ph. 816.221.9292            
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Bo Lings New Summer Drinks

Bo Lings New Summer Drinks

There are several new Drink Specials available at Bo Ling's Country Club Plaza location this summer. They currently offer a variety of wines by the glass at a great price Monday through Wednesday. 

Also, They have added a new specialty cocktail, the Citrus Hurricane. A rum based, spiked lemonade style beverage, the Citrus Hurricane comes across smooth and powerful per its name!

Lastly, They have added the lovely J. Rieger whiskey to their bar menu. This locally made, revived vintage recipe from the Rieger Hotel and Exchange is the first Kansas City whiskey and is wonderful for the novice, curious or experienced whiskey drinker. Pair one of these new beverages with our Daily Special Sushi Roll or your favorite entrée!

Bo Lings
4701 Jefferson
Kansas City, MO 64112
Ph. 816-753-1718            

Friday, May 29, 2015

You Sweet Thing, You III

The American Restaurant - Nick Wesemann

Although my mantra, or at least my desire, has always been eat dessert first, pastry chef Nick Wesemann at the American Restaurant has always known that the last thing that touches a diner’s lips could well be what s/he most readily remembers.  Dessert is the crowning touch, often creating a truly lasting impression. 

A semi-finalist for Best Pastry Chef (one of only 20 throughout the country) by the James Beard Awards this year, Wesemann has pointed out that such acknowledgment surprises and pleases him, especially because it adds recognition of the cuisine talent in the Midwest and his restaurant.  I’ve always wondered who actually selects these chefs, and it’s quite a process – this year, there were around 40,000 initial entries,  done in early fall.  The semifinalists, announced in February and finalists, announced in March, are voted on by over 600 people, mostly (I think) restaurant critics, magazine editors, food journalists, and cookbook writers across the country – experts but who have journalistic distance, i.e., no best buds among the competitors.
Chocolate Ganache

So others clearly recognize the American’s pastry chef’s expertise.  That is great!  But what I really like about Nick Wesemann’s desserts is how inventive they are.  They’re fabulously delicious of course – but so often with unusual flavors that most of us wouldn’t think of putting together.  Who would combine cucumber slush with a steamed honey cake and white pine gelato on the side? Or coconut, lime, pineapple (oh, yeah, piña colada) but with avocado as well?  All different textures from powdered essence to crunchy crackery wafers to suave sorbet underpin the flavors.  Always subtle flavor layers.  And they’re always beautiful.

Nick Wesemann

I didn’t used to think of pastry chefs as artists.  Now I do.  Thanks, Nick.

The American Restaurant
200 East 25th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. 816-545-8000 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Restaurants with a Past – The Back Story

Behind the kitchen, beneath the dining room, before the present

You sit down, perhaps at a white-garbed table, perhaps not.  Maybe the walls are old bricks, maybe they’re sheathed in drywall.   You enjoy the ambiance, whatever it is, and perhaps even remark on some of the accoutrements – the flowers on the table, say, an unusual picture, perhaps even the bar and its lighting.
Sitting there, you’re probably unlikely to ponder the history of your location.  But, as you await your drink, take a moment to think about where you are eating.  You may be surprised to learn some of the history behind a few of our eateries.   

Dining at Union Station
Let’s start with one you may know about, Pierpont’s in Union Station.  You probably have admired their bar and the elegant dining room, but what you may not know  is that the restaurant’s three story structure originally housed the women’s smoking room (gasp!) and the women and children’s waiting room.  (That was one large room; unfortunately, there was no place for the women to get away from the children.)   In the lowest level that currently houses the wine cellar, you can still see the original windows, low to the floor, and brass towel drying bars, also original to the site, which still adorn several of the private dining rooms.  These windows enabled the children to watch the trains pass, offering needed diversion.   
Amazing transformation – from ticket booth to Harvey’s first floor.

Still at Union Station, Harvey’s is based on a very old tradition – the original Harvey House chain of restaurants which began in the 1870s supplying the Santa Fe Railroad’s main line through the southwest.  Today, Harvey’s (fortunately) eschews the “Harvey Girls” and elaborate meals which revolutionized rail travel.  It now sits where the ticket booths were, with an addition of a second floor from which you can overlook the bustle of the transformed train station.  We highly recommend you take a look on your way to or from “Harvey’s upstairs to see the collection of photos and artifacts collected for the 100 Year Anniversary.

To the north of the station squats the historic Freight House, built in 1887 and now the name for an entire district. Then it was just one big building whose purpose was, no surprise, to hold unloaded freight from the rail cars until merchants carted it away to nearby warehouses.  The 500 foot long building fell into disrepair over the years, despite Kansas City being the second largest railroad freighter in the country, but it was saved by investors in the 90s who envisioned restaurants there from the first.  Lidia’s opened there in 1998; Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbequeopened two years later, and Grünauer replaced another restaurant there in 2010.
Built even earlier than Union Station, now downtown but then not so much, a gorgeous brick public school with a bell tower was completed in 1886.  Webster School was built with a revolutionary concept: that children learned better in large rooms with light, color, and ventilation.  Thus, 14 foot ceilings, colored block windows, and large transoms (crosspiece over a door with a window above it) were incorporated into its design.  This old public school building served thousands of children until 1932 when it closed, victim to commercialization of the area surrounding it.  The building was then used as a TWA training school, a radio trade school, an art gallery, the Kansas City Social Services Building, and a residence.

Today, of course, you know this building at 16th and Wyandotte as Webster House, just a skip from the Kauffmann Center for the Performing Arts. You walk upstairs to the dining room, bar, and private rooms where Chef Matt Arnold and his staff create very modern takes on traditional dishes.  If you really practice your visualization skills, you can see the bones of the school and imagine the kids in the classrooms, due to Shirley Helzberg’s meticulous restoration and recreation. 

We’re still talking about the 1800s: Margarita’s was a bordello for itinerant travelers as the wagon trains headed west, first coming down the hill from Westport to what became Southwest Boulevard.  Not the picture you had about our wagon train pioneers, right?  This space became, eventually, a tortilla factory after it failed as an earlier restaurant, St. Jude’s Mexican restaurant that didn’t sell alcohol, which was a bit of a problem apparently.
But past incarnations do seem to have an after-life.  The owners today swear the place is ghost-ful – a chef has been “seen” cooking after midnight when no one was there, bathroom doors open and close, shadows walk across the dining room, lights flicker on and off.  And just so you know – none of their delicious margaritas are involved in these sightings.

Despite its storefront appearance, the Westside Local at 16th and Summit also began life in the 1880s, but as a residence.  A small park, movie house, maybe a gas station later were across the street, and by the 1950s, the area was all retail and the space was probably a pharmacy.  From there, a greater transition: it became Lefty’s Tavern in the 1970s, with a small apartment above the not so reputable bar.  Then it became the Summit Café in the 90s, then Porge and Brina’s Mexican restaurant, and then, most recently, in July of 2009, it opened as Westside Local Bar and Restaurant, specializing in fresh and local before that became such a fad.
Somewhat out of town but still in the 19th century, we can’t forget about 88 at TheElms, at the Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs.  (There’s also The Tavern there and Café at the Elms.)  The hotel’s past is a remarkable story, dating to when the medicinal qualities of the healing waters of Excelsior Springs began to attract serious attention, first because of the miraculous recovery of a child from tuberculosis in the aforementioned 80s.  The roster of guests at the hotel span from Al Capone to President Harry Truman and the New York Giants.   Although the structure has changed hands several times, some friendly and accommodating ghosts (and staff) still ensure an excellent meal, party, or wedding in this historical environment.  You can read the complete story at

Once at street level, now below.
About 30 miles south of the Springs and just east of Kansas City, there is another very historical and multiple restaurant site: Independence Square.  Everyone knows that Independence was the jumping off place for the west, as the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails tracked off into the wilds from there and that Harry Truman’s first job at age 13 was at Clinton’s drug store (then Crown Drug) which still serves sodas. 
Both Frank James (Jesse’s brother) and William Quantrill were incarcerated on the Square, but now more appealing are the old buildings that have been transformed into charming restaurants.  CaféVerona was an office for the Jones Store.  The Courthouse Exchange, whose tagline is “serving fine burgers and beer since 1889,” is now relocated below street level on Lexington Avenue after several stops on the historic square.  And Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn was a Katz Drug Store, probably dating from the late 40s or early 50s. All so different now!
The bar at Café de Venice - where a shot can be deadly

A more recent time-line comes from Barbara Rafael of Le FouFrog at 400 East 5th, which she and chef husband, Mano, own.  Built in the 40s, its first incarnation was as Café de Venice.  Owned by a couple who lived across the street, there was a little street urchin who they let sleep in the basement until they finally adopted him. But the rumor is that she was one tough lady, once shooting a patron dead at the bar.  Hmmm.  Gaetano’s opened there by the 1950s, reputedly named after alleged local crime mobster, Gaetano Lococo.  But it was also the hang-out for many judges, lawyers, and others who worked downtown.  Due to its popularity, it even survived the explosive demise of the River Quay in the 70s.  A bit later, it became the Red Front where it was known for great Italian sandwiches, homemade sausage, and sugo (usually a tomato sauce) – plus packaged liquor-to- go which made it very popular in Blue Law times on Sundays.

When the Rafaels leased and remodeled the space in 1996, they unearthed wood floors under three layers of linoleum. They pulled off faux wood paneling and discovered brick walls and they made two curio cabinets out of the windows that the Red Front had bricked over.  Of course, they did much more to create their charming space.  Since the area was founded by the French from Marseille, the couple feels that they’ve come full circle with their French bistro. 

And last but certainly not least, we come all the way up to the 1970s: The American Restaurant, constructed to be the jewel atop Crown Center, one of the first mixed use complexes in the country.  The area had been Hallmark’s home base since 1922 but J.C. and son Donald J. Hall realized in the 50s that the area surrounding their Hallmark headquarters was deteriorating and urban blight was escalating. 

Part of their grand scheme for their complex was a world-class restaurant and perhaps even more importantly, one that served American, rather than European, fare.  James Beard (yes, of awards fame) and Joe Baum, a legendary New York restaurateur, consulted.  The architect who designed Windows on the World in NYC and Water Tower Place in Chicago created the timeless design.  The American Restaurant’s design and even more often, its cuisine have been winning awards ever since.

There’s more to eating out than choosing a place and some items from a menu.  In Kansas City, that location, that table, that meal, can also take you backwards for a short time- trip to the past.  It’s a worthwhile and thought-provoking journey.

If you have pictures, please send them to us at ! Here are a few more