Last week I was in Kansas City for a work trip. Can’t say I was super excited about the location when first announced, but I’m here to say publicly that Kansas City exceeded expectations. Count me among the many from our group that were pleasantly surprised. There were lots of sites I wanted to visit but couldn’t fit in since I was there for work, but we did make it out for a few dinners and a ballgame too.
Jack Stack BBQ at the Freight House
101 W 22nd, Kansas City 64108
My friend Sarah Kim grew up in KC and suggested this place. I had the “burnt ends” brisket and sausage (so I could compare to the Salt Lick from Austin) and thought both were tasty. I also had to try their “famous” carrot cake and thought it was great. My server wasn’t too great (bad attitude, forgetful, no follow through), but the meal made up for it. I was lucky to go solo on Sunday when I was able to get a table without reservations and without a wait. My friends who went on Monday and Tuesday arrived to find 1-2 hour waits. Popular place! Combo platter with two meats and two sides was $14.
The Flying Saucer
101 E 13th St, Kansas City, MO
We were in town during Craft Beer week, so this place seemed like a good option. They had lots of local beers available, as well as tons of cider, beer sampler flights, etc. Dinner was sandwiches or German brawts (gluten free!). Was jealous of the gluten eaters who could do the giant pretzels or pretzel sandwiches that got rave reviews from our crowd. Reminded me how affordable the midwest can be… entrees were under $10 and my cider was only $3! Huge props to our fantastic server who dealt with our very large group (30+ people), did individual bills without hesitation, and was friendly and efficient throughout.
Silver Spoon Cafe
120 W. 12th St. (Entrance on Wyandotte between 11th and 12th St.)
The Silver Spoon Cafe has two locations in downtown Kansas City and they offer a variety of breakfast and lunch options for dine-in or carry-out, all meals seemingly under $5. The women on staff were quick, friendly, and knew almost all clients by name. By my second morning there, they even knew my order without me having to say it. :)
Cosentino’s Market Downtown
10 East 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2924, (816) 595-0050
We got lunch daily from Cosentino’s Market Downtown. It was really terrific to have a grocery store right in the middle of downtown, complete with a huge hot buffet line, hot sandwich line, salad bar, espresso, gelato, fruit, etc. It was fast, affordable, tasty, and easy to take “to do” so we could eat outside in the park.
Gordon Biersch Kansas City
On Tuesday we decided to wander down to the newly renovated Power and Light District. It seems to be lots of chain restaurants and bars and it was happening. The Gordon Biersch menu looked the same as it does in Seattle. Their fish tacos, homemade veggie burger, and burger with blue cheese and bacon all got rave reviews from our table. Props to this chain for offering low-cal menu sections and low-cal drinks (even if we ignored them!).
1111 Main St Kansas City, MO 64105
ingredient restaurant boasts fresh ingredients and custom made salads, sandwiches, or salads with a sensitivity to food allergies. I had their gluten free pizza of the day + half salad for $8. Hooray for their good GF pizza crust that was soft (hard, brittle, or crumbly like many)!
Kansas City Royals baseball at Kauffman Stadium
We had great tickets for the Royals vs Baltimore Orioles… $29 tickets for $15 (group rate, no fees). We were very near the field, the stadium had entertaining food options (like the brisketacho!), was nicely renovated with LED lit fountains, etc. I also enjoyed their on-screen antics like the Kiss Cam (which resulted in lots of cuteness and only one eager dude who publicly got the hand) and crazy hair cam (which was a little questionable if feelings might be hurt, but did find lots of awesome hairdos, including the super smiley guy with awesome mullet who won a free haircut from a sponsor). Also, showed a video of Garth Brooks playing “Friends in Low Places” which got the whole stadium to it’s feet dancing and swinging beers from side to side (including yours truly). :)
Kansas City Marriott
The hotel has two historic properties connected by a skywalk, both overlooking a downtown park. We stayed here for work and was impressed by their super low rates, nicely updated guest rooms, huge high ceiling lobbies, great fitness center with pool on 22nd floor, nice views of downtown, etc. They gave us all of our meeting rooms for free (since we had so many people in guest room). Only downsides were, like many big chain hotels, they charge $10/day for in-room internet and didn’t offer free continental breakfast.