This is kind of a milestone post.  With these three items, we’ve broken into the top 20.  The end may be in sight!

No. 23: Egg salad sandwich from You Say Tomato

We started 2014 with a visit to Kansas City hipster staple You Say Tomato. This place is best known for their brunch, particularly their BLT (at least in our circles, anyway).  As a staunch supporter of egg salads, I was interested in what YST had to offer.

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Hmmm.  Not impressed!  Our directive from the Pitch was to order this on the croissant, which while a croissant is always delicious, just made the sandwich even messier and harder to hold.  It was extremely onion-y and just not what I look for in an egg salad sandwich (probably because my ideal egg salad sandwich is 60 percent Marzetti’s and mustard).

Karen’s reaction was a solid “shrug” and we both agreed the pineapple on the side was probably the best part of the whole ordeal.  The ultimate verdict: we wouldn’t order it again.

We’d be remiss to not mention world famous guest start Laura, who accompanied us and ordered the grilled cheese.  I think we spent the majority of our lunch longingly looking at the grilled cheese, which turned out to be the MUCH better ordering option that day, and probably most days.  Stay tuned, there is more grilled cheese in our immediate future.

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No. 22: Waldorf Salad from Bloomsbury Bistro

Our notes from this visit to Prairie Village begins with this question for the ages: “Who had the idea of a Waldorf Salad?”  A valid question, once you consider truly what a Waldorf Salad entails.

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Apples, celery, walnuts, mayo-based dressing. Who comes up with these things?  Wikipedia doesn’t even have a good rumor for us to circulate about HOW these ingredients came together.

The Bloomsbury Bistro is smack dab in the middle of an antiques store…

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…which makes for some interesting people watching.

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We ordered our salads with quiche (Meagan) and grilled cheese (Karen) and it really did make for a nice little brunch on a chilly February day.  Karen said the grilled cheese reminded her of grilled cheeses from her childhood, and the quiche was really top-notch, A+.  But we aren’t here to talk about those things, are we?

The walnuts were good. But really, is this one of the TOP best food items in Kansas City?  We think not.  It was almost a little too sweet, which seems like an interesting criticism when we straight up went and ordered this for dessert:

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It’s how we do.


No. 21: Pork tenderloin sandwich from Kitty’s Cafe

As a child of the Middle East, I think Karen’s exact words were, “I was so not looking forward to this one.”  As the child of the midwest, my exact words were, “OMG I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ONE.”

This visit to Kitty’s Cafe included a cameo by international guest star Kelly, who really should tag along on all these excursions because she provided actual sentences in terms of a review and not shrugs and yums like Karen and I have been providing.

Kitty’s is not a place where you think you should stop for lunch, but when the Pitch tells you to go there and order a pork tenderloin with hot sauce, you say OK.

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We were lucky to snag three open stools at the counter inside and dug in to our sandwiches and tots.

These are not your normal pork tenderloins, they are battered differently and you get three smaller pieces of pork rather than one huge tenderloin the usual midwesterner might be used to.  We only had a five minute wait, and you could tell these were made to order and fresh.

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First, Kelly’s take, because she is far more eloquent than we are.  Kelly said the hot sauce helped cut through the greasiness and it was almost like an Asian fusion version of a pork tenderloin.

"I feel like I could get this in the streets of Vietnam and not be surprised," she said.

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Halfway through the sandwich, Kelly and I started to feel the heat of the hot sauce, but Karen says we are amateurs and it was not that hot.  The lightness of the breading made the sandwich not as heavy as we expected and Karen said she was pleasantly surprised.  Would she crave it though? No.  Would Meagan? Maybe.

Naturally, our most compelling review note was: “Good radio station.”

No 24: Farmer greens salad at The Farmhouse

We decided as soon as we saw this item that we would split it and also order our own breakfast each.  Because we just don’t get enough to eat.

This salad is available on their brunch and lunch menu — and in our opinion it works out better as a lunch salad.  The star of the salad was the polenta croutons: they weren’t hard and crunchy like the croutons we come to expect — they were soft and warm and made me second guess not ordering the Polenta Napoleon for my entree.  Regrets.

Karen agrees and said, “I could eat a whole plate of the croutons.”  There wasn’t as much bacon in the salad as we thought there would be (good thing my BLT took care of that), but it was a perfectly serviceable salad. My BLT and Karen’s Eggs Benedict were also standard, but delicious, brunch fare.

This was certainly not the best salad in Kansas City, as that distinction is probably held by something at The Mixx.  One thing that did have us taking a second look was another patron’s breakfast burger.  Good job lady.  

Our brief, and verbatim review? “Good, but not like mind blowing.”

As an aside, after this meal I went home to take a nap and had a dream that Jennifer Lawrence (with her current short hair) and I were hanging out in Kenan Thompson’s house - and when he showed up he did a stand up routine for us. That bacon has magic powers.

No. 25: Classic Cookie’s herbed-potato-and-sausage casserole

After we spent some time discussing how this particular list item just always made us think it was actually a Classic Cup item and not a Classic Cookie item — we are proud to announce that this is the first dish that we both have deemed “craveable.” It only took us 25 tries!

Our food blogging/food reviewing skills are obviously still rusty, since one of the four bullet points we noted for this meal was “Meagan was hungry, so was Karen.”  Good analysis, guys!

But here’s what we really thought.  This casserole is a unique item on what for many places can be the tried and true breakfast/brunch menu.  It tasted homemade, which is a huge perk and the portion wasn’t so enormous that it actually felt manageable.  Karen was unimpressed by the orange slice on her plate, naturally.

A hearty recommendation for the Classic Cup Cookie’s casserole and for the ambience, which when we were there, featured an old couple possibly ordering somewhere between three and six orders of pancakes, to be shared.

(Wipes cobwebs off blog)

Hello! Hi! It’s been almost a year and a half since we’ve blogged our Pitch exploits?  Hahahaha, let’s just get right to it.

No. 26: French fries from LC’s Bar-B-Q

Maybe the reason it took us 17 months to get started on this list again is because good ol’ number 26 was a) in a part of town that isn’t super convenient to get to and b) has mildly odd hours (open on Sundays, but only if there is a Chiefs/Royals game) c) featured french fries, which when you mention where the best fries are in KC, your first thought is Oklahoma Joe’s right? RIGHT?  They have the best fries in Kansas City, let’s just be clear about that.  So, driving out of our way to sample what we were certain would NOT be the best fries in Kansas City just seemed like a hassle.  But we are Americans and we did our duty, and ate fries and barbecue on a Saturday like the law says.  Here’s what we thought!

OK, these fries were good. It was a substantial size fry. It was crispy and hot and some of them nestled underneath the beef barbecue sandwich we also ordered, making them softer and saucy and yummy.  But right off the bat, we confirmed our suspicions — not as good as OJ’s.  Myth busted!

We did both think this particular sauce was some of the best we had tasted, which required some Wikipedia-ing on what exactly it meant when something was a “Kansas City sauce” (tomato-based with molasses, for the fellow ignorants).

The ambience was actually not bad for a small building off Blue Parkway with bars on the windows.  Karen was particularly impressed by the bottle of “fancy” ketchup on the table.

Almost as soon as we sat down, a line formed that snaked to the door, and a couple large to-go orders made their way out, which proves this is certainly a popular joint.  Anthony Bourdain even stopped here during his tour of Kansas City. So that’s alright company to be in.

Let’s just ignore that this blog went from January to June, with nary a post in between.  Agreed?  On to the food!

No. 30: Goat korma at New Cafe Tandoor

This was a bust.  We met up with Guest star Josh Ridgway at the midtown location for lunch.  None of us wanted to eat goat. No one was in the restaurant, and we ordered the lunch buffet.  A quick perusal of the buffet revealed no goat korma.  When we asked, we learned that was a dinner item that takes a long time to cook.  Bullet dodged. No questions asked. NEXT!

No. 29: Lemon cake from Café Europa

I’ve known people who can handle going to a restaurant, sitting down, and just ordering dessert.  Our waiter at Cafe Europa must not know any people like that, because when we ordered one slice of lemon cake and water, he looked at us like he was wearing leather pants.  Oh wait, he WAS wearing leather pants!

We got the last piece of cake at 2:14 on a Saturday, so it was a little dry.  The cake had a good balance of tartness and sweetness.  Karen deemed the lemony filling the best part, and one of us noted that we “could probably eat this filling with a spoon.”  I’d support getting this cake again, leather pants optional.



No. 28: Chocolate Mousse Torte from Napoleon Bakery

Closed before we could get to it!  Casualties of doing a food list IN TIMES LIKE THESE.

No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe

The description of these in the Pitch said they were perfect for a summer day.  SEE, GOOD THING WE WAITED UNTIL JUNE TO START THE LIST AGAIN! (I almost said, “to start eating again,” which lololololol).

These were nice on a summer day, light and fresh, but really rather unremarkable.  The peanut sauce that came along was Karen’s favorite part, and they’d be rather bland without the sauce.

They were served promptly after we ordered them, which is always nice, but I can’t imagine myself ever craving them.  As is becomming the moto of this site, “I’d Rather Have Other Things On The Menu.”

The silence on the blog lately is due to the amount of food we’ve had stuffed in our mouths.

No. 34: Stroud’s cinnamon rolls

Guest star Josh Ridgway joined us for the ultimate in KC comfort food (that is, if you aren’t eating barbecue) at Stroud’s.  I was already weirded out that the cinnamon rolls were the reason for going to the fried chicken establishment, but I’d had them before and knew they were delicious.

Josh zeroed in on the need to exercise immediately following this meal, but good luck with that. “This is not compatible with Project Irresistible,” was the actual direct quote.

Josh also helped me, a good midwesterner girl, supply Karen important gravy knowledge that lead us to be dubbed the Gravy Wikipedia.  It’s important to know what white gravy is.  We also watched a swan get chased by other patrons, the same swan that mysteriously disappeared when our chicken appeared at our table.

Karen was not impressed, which means we’ll have to sneak her over the state line from now on to avoid the throngs of angry Stroud’s lovers who would burn her for not loving it as soon as she saw the bride drinking a beer in her dress at the bar.  

Here’s Karen’s soundbite “As a Kansas Citian, I think this is overrated. Good home style meal, but I don’t crave it. Cinnarom roll is good, but Clock Tower’s was better.”

My take? It’s Stroud’s, so it’s delicious. You can only eat there once every six years or so to prevent any possible heart attack lurking in your body, but that one meal will last you the six you need to wait.

No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner’s

The week we ate at Stroud’s and Werner’s was kind of like “Meagan’s Midwestern Food Tour.” We drove around Mission, Kansas on a freezing morning, craning our necks looking for the cart on the corner we were directed to look for.  

The Pitch said there would be a line, and sure enough.  We didn’t have to wait long at all, there was just consistent business at the little stand with two high school girls running the counter and the cook running the grill.

Verdict: very, very good.  I’m already thinking about next Chiefs season and packing a cooler of these guys to grill in the lot.

Karen and I both agreed there was good atmosphere, too, for a stand in the middle of suburban KC on a freezing morning.

We were told to go for the spicy brown mustard, and that was the correct choice.

We even got some samples out of the deal as we sat on the wooden picnic tables next to the grill: beer and cheese and Italian.  The real deal polish was still better.

No. 32: Burger and frites from Westport Cafe & Bar

Meh. It was good, it had a good burger crust, the fries had a good salty disposition.

Karen’s immortal words: “I’ve had better.”

No. 31: Paletas from Paleterias Tropicana

What are the chances we got the popsicles in January?  Even more so, what are the chances we’d get the popsicles on the 60 degree day in January?  So that worked out.

Featuring series regular Laura Palermo!

These were very tasty, and with a location on the Boulevard, felt very authentic.

Karen had vanilla with strawberry, which was a yummy combo of ice cream and popsicle.

Laura went the strawberry cream with strawberry route, and also agreed that these were damn good.

I had pina colada, and it made me wish it was really 80 degrees out.  There were actual chunks of coconut flake in there, which sometimes made me think I was eating paper, but overall, exceptional treat!

No. 38: Curried chicken salad from Cafe Provence

We are, I feel, mere moments away from one of these reviews just being a haiku at this point.  For the curried chicken salad, we simply made a list that I present to you here:

Filling
Flavorful
Curry wasn’t overpowering 
Good chicken pieces
Good French bread
Walnuts
Bon

Literary stunner. The owners/staff also spoke French, which was charming.

No. 37: Apple fritter from John’s Space Age Donuts

Everyone stop having goofy hours and quirky business habits so Karen and I can finish this list in peace!  After our chicken salad, we thought we’d head straight to John’s, as an apple fritter from old Overland Park is classic French apres-meal behavior.

Guess what.  They were closed.  We decided to come back the next day. Guess what. SOLD OUT OF APPLE FRITTERS.  Not like that stopped us or anything, but come on.

We finally made it to John’s, on a Tuesday morning before work, and called ahead of time to make sure they had apple fritters ready to go.  They did.  We ate them.

Karen said it was like eating apple juice in donut form, which is accurate.

They were delicious enormous nuggets of apple fried goodness.  Worth getting again, if you were ever in the old OP area.

No. 36: Pollo con limone e olive from Lidia’s Kansas City

We didn’t really have high expectations for this.  Chicken on a plate we thought. WE WERE WRONG. (Well, not totally wrong, it was still chicken on a plate.)

This might be the best thing I’ve had so far.  The chicken was covered in this amazing lemon sauce, with roasted pieces of garlic that literally melted in your mouth.  It was also covered in olives, which you can’t lose.

Karen agrees with the amazingness of the garlic and olives, and said it had a great lemon flavor.  We were both suprisingly full after this meal.  It was salty as hell and also had capers that I chose to ignore.

No. 35: Wedding-cake cookie from LattéLand

Karen and I were no strangers to the wedding cake cookie.

Karen says it best: “This didn’t need to be in The Pitch list for me to know it’s the best thing to eat in Kansas City.”

No. 39: Flight of Freshness from Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones 

Fresher Than Fresh Snow Cones.  Now we are talking.  This is becoming a quintessential Kansas City thing, and to get really hyper-local on you, a quintessential Crossroads/Westside thing.

Karen and I suffered (“suffered”) through a marathon round of eating to get Fresher Than Fresh on their supposed last day of the season, though their Facebook page informs me snow cones have been served all the way up to October 23. Harumph.  Anyway, we showed up in our post-Pirate Camping outfits for some delicious good-ness.

(This guy would not stop loitering near the trailer, talking to the Snow Cone Servers.  It’s not going to happen, Guy.)

So the Flight of Freshness is the 5 samples you see above, and anyone who orders a regular-sized one-flavored serving is FOOLING THEMSELVES.  Flight of Freshness is the way to go.  Stopping by the trailer on the Westside location also means you get to hang out in their fairy tale garden and sit on a stump.  Win!

We sampled blackberry lavendar, espresso and mexican cane sugar, lemon prickly pear, lime mint (more on that flavor in a minute), watermelon basil, pineapple and serrano pepper and the daredevil special.  Tragically, I waited so long to write this post that I can’t remember what the daredevil special actually was that day.  We’ll figure this blogging thing out one of these days.

So the lime mint.  Last time we had Fresher than Fresh, Karen had some sort of allergic reaction to that flavor, but powered through because they are so freaking good.  Karen’s response to this outing: “Worth getting an allergic reaction to every time.”

No. 41: Rice noodle bowl from dim sum at Bo Lings

No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee

I had never tried dim sum before, so hitting up Bo Ling’s required a little Googling beforehand so I knew what we were getting into.

The rice noodle bowl was fine, but there were far better choices to be had, including some sort of noddle situation and an entire cart of buns and pastries that managed to avoid our table the entire time.

Karen says the Bo Ling’s dim sum even stacked up to the kind she had in San Francisco.

Short story: go for the dim sum, don’t sweat it if you don’t get the rice noodle bowl.

I’ve been thinking about Hi Hat’s E-Crush since we got it.  It’s essentially a frap without the crap (whipped cream and caramel sauce).  The little building right off Shawnee Mission Parkway was adorable, and now that I know where it is, the next time traffic is a pain on I-35 and I take the Plaza route?  Stopping at Hi Hat, for sure.

The portion was also enormous.  We split one into two cups, and this was my share:

Karen’s take?  Not as impressed as I was.  She said it was a sweet treat, but she’s sticking to her iced skinny vanilla lattes.

No. 43: Gyro Sandwich from Mr. Gyros Greek Food & Pastry

We hated it.

Nah, it was perfectly delicious!  In my mind, though, nothing beats Aladdin’s Cafe when it comes to supremely awesome Kansas City Greek food.  Have you had their saffron rose lemonade?!  No?! GET ON IT.

Karen says: I think Mr. Gyros is the best Greek food in Kansas City. They definitely have the best tzatziki! This gyro is worth going back for.

No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer

As soon as I saw we were eating apple strudel, all I could think about was this scene (crappy quality alert ahead!)

So good, right?  Karen slept through that part of Inglorious Basterds at the Best Picture Showcase, so demanding that she, “attendez la creme,” would have been futile.  In this case, the “creme” was the best part of this dessert. Otherwise, this tasted like your average apple dessert.  Ambiance-wise, sitting in the bar with coffee and a strudel and bearded hipsters seemed to be more enticing than the dessert itself.

Karen says: I rarely meet a dessert I don’t like, so I’d eat it again, but I wasn’t impressed.