Closed for Business

 Posted by at 4:26 pm
Aug 252008

UPDATE! El Pollo Loco in Merriam is not the same as the California fast food chain! See Faith’s post over at Frighteningly Uncommon Sense (Thanks Faith!)

A couple of updates on this front, please comment if you know more.

Pomegranate, local food maven, blogger and fellow Merriam Drive haunter tipped me that local tamale purveyors Coyoacan have closed. What’s worse they have been replaced by El Pollo Loco, a truly horrendous looking chain restaurant a mysterious local restaurant specializing in that traditional, age old classic, Mexican Grilled Chicken.

UPDATE: I visited Pollo Loco on Monday, 9/15/08.

Another favorite of mine which I had yet to review was Max’s Auto-Diner on 63rd near Holmes. They made very good little hamburgers, gyros and other deep fried delights. More importantly, they had really friendly ownership. It kept weird hours, though. I think they tried to subsist on the lunch trade alone and clearly it did not work out for them. As far as I know, there is still a Max’s down on Wornall. The good news is a big sign on the window announcing the future arrival of a hot dog joint. I’ll be first in line, and will report back faithfully in due course. This is a very cool little building (a former drive-in) and I’m glad it’s being re-used.

Lastly the blogosphere is all a-twitter (pun intended) about the closing of Bar Natasha. I only visited a couple times, but enjoyed the show and had a decent cocktail or three. Where will all the drag queens go now? This is a loss for Kansas City, hopefully something will step up to fill the void.

UPDATE: be sure to check out Making of a Foodie for a more comprehensive overview restaurants that are closed, closing, changing or moving.

Lunch Spots in the Third District

 Posted by at 5:25 pm
Apr 132008

I’ve been spending way too much time in Johnson County lately, at least as far as eating goes. About a year or so ago when the Viable Third movement started up I wanted to start exploring lunch spots in that area of the city. For various reasons, mostly involving a new job I have been unable to do much with the idea.

I started out blogging about downtown places precisely because of the apparent paucity of good, easy and delicious lunch options in the environs. Also I was new in town and seemed like a good way to explore what KC had to offer. Anyway, now I’m convinced that downtown has some decent options with some exploration and the solicitation of quality advice. Now I think I’ll make a concerted effort to try out the third district once in a while and blog about the lunch spots there.

The third district is known primarily for a couple barbecue joints and the restaurants in the 18th and vine area. Even though the Peachtree decided to move downtown, it proved that a good restaurant can thrive in that neighborhood, despite the other well-articulated problems of the “jazz district.” There are certainly other places that are well-known to those who live or work in the Third, and I want to know about them. There is a good list of restaurants on the viable third site and I’ve been to a few of them. What have your experiences been? Do you have favorites in the Third that are not on the list? Good or bad experiences with eating in the district?

Like any part of the city, the third district needs people from outside and inside the area to patronize its businesses in order to succeed. To me, it seems like a big reason people from Waldo or Lenexa or Leawood or KCK don’t go to the Third in numbers is because they don’t know what’s there. I won’t go into perceptions of race and crime because that varies with every individual-but it definitely plays a role.

Maybe there is not a lot to choose from, but I’ll warrant that there are a handful of restaurants that warrant our continued patronage. Let’s face it, Oklahoma Joe’s and McCoy’s won’t miss a few customers if they choose to eat somewhere else once in a while.

Local Food and Drink

 Posted by at 4:46 pm
Dec 112007



National sites

Beverage bloggers

Restaurant directories & info

Food Safety

Moving out into the metro

 Posted by at 7:50 pm
Oct 222007

For a variety of reasons, I have decided to give up any pretense at remaining downtown with this blog. I’m just gonna rant about crappy lunches whenever and wherever they happen. I still have very particular notions of what a lunch spot is supposed to be:

good value
comfortable for solo diners
tasty food

I think it’s clear that downtown KC has a long way to go before it has much to offer in that department.

But guess what? So does virtually everywhere else in this metropolitan area. KCK? no way. Waldo? not even on a good day. JoCo? forget about it. This can be a truly pathetic lunch town. But there are shining spots, you know about many of them. And I’ll bring them both to you, in the off chance that anyone out there gives a damn. You see I believe that complaining is an essential part of making things better. People try so hard to make restaurants work, sometimes in hilariously misguided ways. Other times, people are doing it right, and for some reason, they go out of business because no one shows up. So here I am, establishing a culture of excellence around the dispensation of lunch, with a membership of one.

Oh yeah, I also quit my job downtown so I’ll be eating at a lot of other places now.

About Kansas City Lunch Spots

 Posted by at 5:39 pm
Jul 302007

The Idea
I eat lunch at restaurants and write about the experience. Yep, I’m another jackass with a food blog. Why lunch? A good lunch spot is different than a good restaurant, and I think the demands of the working person’s meal are worthy of focused exploration.

Some of my posts are based on a single visit and thus not necessarily representative of everyone’s experience. In the real world, restaurants have one chance to appeal to us so I don’t feel that bad about it, but I try to be fair.

What makes a good lunch spot?

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Fast/Efficient
  • Inexpensive
  • Tasty
  • Friendly
  • Unique

Do I take suggestions?
Yes I do. I actually keep a spreadsheet of the restaurants I have yet to review. Although comments are more fun, feel free to add a place directly to the document.

Will you go to lunch with me?
Do you have a lunch spot that you want to show me? Generally if I have met you, if you are someone who reads and comments on the blog, or are someone who I know on twitter or facebook, I would be delighted to have lunch with you at the restaurant of your choice. I’m not in this game to meet strangers and develop my awkward conversation skills, but sometimes it’s fun to connect. I will not let you pay for me, and I will not pay for you. Give me a holler and we can work something out.