Lunches with Dad – Luna Azteca

This past week we switched up our lunch day due to both of our schedules and went for a Monday lunch instead of our usual Thursday lunch.  Dad met me at work and we went to a local place to my work that I had never tried, Luna Azteca, at  I29 and 64th Street in the Burlington Creek shopping center.

You get chips and salsa when you sit down.  The chips were good and the salsa, while it had cilantro in it, it wasn’t overwhelming and was actually pretty good to this cilantro hating girl.  We also started off with Azteca (cheese) dip because its Mexican food and why not?  We only got a half order of cheese dip and it was still a generous portion.

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For our meals, Dad chose the Pollo Asado with cheese on top and I went for the Royal Burrito with chicken, beef, lettuce, cheese and sour cream in it (you could customize it).

As far as meals go, it was a good meal but pretty common as far as Mexican restaurants go.  Dad had never had a poblano chile and wasn’t fond of it but live and learn!  My plate was very visually boring but the burrito was chocked full of yummy stuff and very good.  I couldn’t even finish it all!

I would go back and may even try some carry out some time for something different to have at lunchtime at work.  I hear they have a good Taco Tuesday special.  May have to check that out sometime too.

Scores?

Dad: 3, Me: 3.5

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Lunches with Dad – The Farmhouse

Last weeks adventure was Dads pick and we went to The Farmhouse in the City Market area.  It is on the corner at 3rd and Delaware, just a few blocks away from City Market.

It’s in cool old building (which we both love to look at the details in these old buildings) but we opted to sit outside on the patio because it was such a beautiful day!  We had a nice and shady spot on the patio and  a great view of the street car as it passed by.

They have a great menu with plenty of choices, but not too many.  Sometimes places overwhelm you with choices (I’m looking at you, Cheesecake Factory!) and it makes it so hard to decide what to get!

As we are to do lately, we started with an appetizer.  We went with the Bruschetta.  Instead of being what I normally think of when I think of Bruschetta, it was a great twist.  It was brie cheese, caramelized apples, arugula and a red wine sorghum reduction on toasted brioche bread.  It was DELICIOUS.

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For our meals I chose the Turkey Club.  Along with the regular items a club normally has on it, it had bacon cream cheese and a fried egg, both interesting and great additions.  It also featured more of the dark turkey meat than you normally see on a club.  It came with fries also.

Dad went with something completely different and that he had never even heard of.  He chose the Crispy Pork Confit sandwich.  It too came with fries.

Both meals were pretty darn tasty.  The fries were GREAT.  They were served with a side of house made ketchup that was a bit spicy but good.  My sandwich was pretty good although the darker meat was a little overwhelming for me as i’m not usually a huge fan of it.  There were also home made pickles on the side which were a nice treat.  Dads sandwich was tasty too.  It was an interesting mixture of flavors.  The roasted garlic mustard was a bit overwhelming after eating part of the sandwich.  We ended up trading second halves of our sandwiches (as we do sometimes to get to try a bit of each others) although I was full by the time I got to the second half of his.

Overall it was a great meal with decent service and I know we would both go back to try more menu items.

Scores?

Dad: 4, Me: 3.5

Lunches with Dad – The Homesteader Cafe and KC Streetcar!

Early in May Kansas City christened its new streetcar line.  We have been super excited to see this come to life and it finally did!  We started our adventure by getting on at City Market and riding it all the way around the line.  We did learn that you need to press the button for a stop, especially if no one is waiting at the stop.  The streetcar keeps going otherwise!

With the streetcar line in mind Dad picked his restaurant for the week, The Homesteader Cafe.

The Homesteader Cafe sits a block off the streetcar line so it was an easy walk to get there from the stop.  It’s a quaint place with friendly service.

They have an interesting menu of food made from local farmers.  There were lots of yummy sounding items to choose from.

Our first choice was the Baked Brie appetizer.  It was a sizable portion of brie cheese wrapped in a phyllo type dough with red wine jelly on top.  It was also served with a side of toasts.  I had tried brie before but it was dad’s first time.  We both really enjoyed it and ate the whole thing!

 

img_3553The “specials” sign was intriguing to both of us and dad decided to try one of the soups, the Beer Cheese.

Dad also ordered his entree off the specials sign, the “Chef’s Chicken” which was a grilled chicken dish with beet gnocchi in a champagne cream sauce.  I ordered the Mac and Cheese BLT that I had eyed on the menu.

Our food came quickly and we dug right in.  Both dishes had great flavors and were interesting mixes of food.  Dad’s beet gnocchi was a little too…beet-y tasting but what can you do? I ended up taking home part of my mac and cheese and it was good the next day too.

The service was excellent and our server was very knowledgeable, friendly and efficient.

Scores?

Dad: 4, Me: 3.5

Lunches with Dad -NKC Dog and Aunt Marys

This past week I wanted to keep it simple and go somewhere close.  My BFF had sent me a picture from her lunch at NKC Dog from the week before and I decided I need to try it too.

 

NKC Dog is a tiny little place in North Kansas City at the end of Armour road in the old Bill Allen dealership building.  There are a few tables inside, picnic tables outside and the grilling station in the breezeway between the door and the parking lot.  You order at the counter then they get to work on your hotdog and will bring it to you when its ready.  They have coolers with cans and plastic bottles of drinks and a rack of chips that are self serve, should you chose to purchase them.

Dad ordered a classic Chicago Dog with chips and a drink.  He seemed to enjoy it, but pulled off the peppers.

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I opted for the (I forget the name of it) dog with candied bacon and grilled onions.  Mine was good.  The bacon added a cool twist but the onions could have been a little more cooked.

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Also, the chips I got were very yummy.  I highly recommend them.  I need to figure out where to buy these just to have.

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Over all it was a decent meal, although mostly just a glorified hot dog.  Honestly its what I was expecting when I went into it.  I would go back if I wanted another “fancy” hot dog.

Scores for NKC Dog?  Me: 3, Dad: 2.5

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A couple of weeks ago when we were down in NKC we had spotted a (new to us) bakery, Aunt Mary’s.  We decided that after NKC Dog we needed to check it out since it was just down the street.

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It is a small place with cakes in the window, some tables for dining and a case of cookies.  We were a little disappointed at the lack of selection of baked items that weren’t cookies.  There were none that we saw.  They did have a deli menu but we were there for the sweets!  In the end we both decided on cookies.  White chocolate macadamia nut for me and iced sugar cookie for Dad.  The cookies were a decent size and tasted good.

Scores for Aunt Mary’s?  Me: 3, Dad: 3

Lunches with Dad – Gus’s Fried Chicken

Last weekend my dad was talking to his niece about restaurants (I presume that’s what they were talking about…I wasn’t there) and she suggested a place called Gus’s Fried Chicken that she had visited in Memphis and just loved.

For our lunch adventures today, we had two special guests with us since our school district closed up shop for the day since it was take your child to work day.  Audrey and BFF Carrie joined us!

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It was a little bit of a drive across the state line to get there but well worth the drive.  If you know where the original Kansas City Joes (Oklahoma Joes) location is, its right around the corner from it.

When we got there we were welcomed to sit at any table we liked and our waitress was right over to get our drink orders.  Apparently they have cheap, big draw beers but that isn’t my jam and we all needed to function for the rest of the day so we didn’t partake.  They serve coke products, always a thumbs up from me, and they were well mixed from the fountain.  Dad and Carrie had sweet tea which they said was a very good sweet tea.

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We ordered an order of fried pickles first they and they came fast and were HOT!  They were served with a side of ranch.   Instead of fried “chips” they were fried spears.  I couldn’t tell you how many were in an order because we quickly descended on them and they didn’t last very long at all.  There were some extra spices in the batter, maybe dill and garlic?  They were a great addition and i’m going to try that next time we make fried pickles!  I did have the presence of mind to photograph one before I devoured it…

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This picture ALMOST didn’t happen!

When it came time to order meals Audrey, Carrie and myself ordered the same thing:  Chicken Tenders, baked beans and mac and cheese.  Dad broke the mold and ordered a wing and breast meal with beans and fried okra.

There is nothing fancy about the dishes (plastic/styrofoam plates) or silverware (plastic) but it doesn’t matter.  The chicken is DELICIOUS.  It is fried up perfectly, not leaving it super greasy.  They tout “Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken” and we may have been a little nervous at first, but it was perfectly seasoned.  It had a little bite to it but was a great addition to the flavor profile.  The chicken was super moist and had flavor all the way through the meat and not just in the breading like some places.

As for the side dishes, they were decent too.  Dad enjoyed his fried okra.  Everyone enjoyed the baked beans.  The mac and cheese was decently cheesy but the noodles were a little overcooked reminding us sort of cafeteria mac and cheese.  Still a decent side dish choice though.

After the meal, we decided we needed to also try some desserts.  It’s not every time we do that, but today it seemed necessary and appropriate.  It was a very good choice.  Between the four of us we got a piece of Chess Pie – cold for Audrey and I, a piece of Chocolate Chess Pie – warmed with ice cream for Carrie and  a piece of Pecan Pie – warmed with ice cream for Dad.  They were all yummy.  I think next time I will get the Chocolate Chess Pie for myself.

It was a great meal that we all enjoyed.  Everyone was friendly there and we got great service.  Gus’s will definitely be on my radar next time I want fried chicken out.  I hope they continue to do well and add another (closer) location in town.

Scores?  Me: 4.5, Dad: 4.5, Audrey 4, Carrie 4

 

Lunches with Dad – Haywards Pit Barbeque

In the interest of full disclosure, this weeks pick wasn’t technically a new restauarnt for us.  That being said, it has been at least 25 years since and was in a different location when we last visited.

I chose Haywards Pit Barbeque which now resides in Lenexa, KS.  I barely remember going there as a kid, but seeing the hanging on the wall helped bring it back.  That I remembered once I saw it.

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When we got there we were quickly seated and got menus.  Dad had a hankering for okra so we got a fried okra appetizer.  It was a plentiful portion!

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Fried Okra Appetizer, it was packed full! (We had already started in on them before snapping this)

Dad and I both went with the lunch special which was  regular sandwich with you choice of one or two meats, your choice of two sides and a drink for $11.

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My sausage and brisket sandwich with fries and cheesy corn.

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Dads brisket sandwich with beans and cole slaw.

We both were definitely full after our meals!  The meat was good and served dry, which I prefer so I can add the sauce myself.  I thought the slaw was kind of bland.  The beans had good flavor to them as did the cheesy corn.  I am still pondering over the spicing of the cheesy corn and need to do some investigating.  I liked the spiced up twist on the usual cheesy corn.  The fries were my favorite part I think.  They were big meaty fries that were fried up perfect so they had a crispy bite but the middle was so soft and pillowy and perfect.  MMMMMmmmmmmmm!

All in all it was a great meal with good service.  While we were there, I did overhear someone (the manager maybe?) go up to the table by us to inquire about their ribs and if they were overdone and when they agreed that yes, maybe they were, she got them fresh ribs and apologized profusely.  That’s not something you usually see without the customer having to mention it first.  Kudos.

Scores?

Me: 4, Dad: 4

 

Lunches with Dad – The Majestic

As I mentioned in my last post, we hit too spots this past week and both were repeats that we wanted to introduce Grandma to.

Thursday Dad picked the place and it was The Majestic.  Its a classy old joint on Broadway in downtown.  Dad has a thing for classic old buildings and this one doesn’t disappoint.

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We were greeted at the door and sat a table/booth.  We all sat in the booth portion so we could admire the scenery 🙂

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Our server, Brandon, was fantastic.  Warm, friendly and attentive.  We all chose different things off the menu and none of us were disappointed!

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Top – My meal which was the Four Cheese Mac and Cheese with Chicken and golden beets as a side dish.  I had never had (or even heard of!) golden beets but thought I would give them a shot.  I still am undecided about them.  They weren’t bad but they weren’t amazing either.  But I did try something completely new!

Middle – Grandma’s meal.  She got the Turkey on Ciabatta sandwich that was on the specials menu with a side of asparagus.  We all tried the sandwich and it was delicious.  Both Dad and Grandma said the asparagus was good too.

Bottom – Last but not least is Dad’s meal of a soup and sandwich combo.  His sandwich is a French Dip (yes, again) and his soup is broccoli cheddar.  Both were good and seasoned well.

I was perusing the website and I didn’t really think about where they do the jazz music but apparently the downstairs of the building is the “Jazz Club” where they have local live Jazz musicians every night and you can dine down there too.  During prohibition, there was a speakeasy down there.  Must splurge sometime and go in the evening!

Scores?

Me: 4.5, Dad: 4.5, Grandma 5

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Lunches with Dad – Harvey’s at Union Station

Dad and I went to lunch twice this week, but they were both repeats.  BUT!  Grandma was up visiting and we wanted to show her some cool places that were sure bets.  Plus we went there before I was writing these little reviews so we needed another try, right?

Our first pick of the week was Tuesday was mine and we went to Harvey’s at Union Station.

When you go, ask to sit upstairs.  Since its in the “lobby” of Union Station, you get a great view of Union Station from up there!  Its a beautifully restored old building and I’m glad its part of our wonderful city.

When we sat down and was perusing the menu my eyes were drawn to the onion rings and I decided those needed to happen first.  I didn’t get a picture of them before they were devoured.  It was a generous helping of perfectly breaded and cooked onion rings with generous sides of ranch (my fave) and ketchup.  I think we all give the appetizer alone a solid 5!

There were lots of yummy things to choose from on the menu and I was struggling with making a decision.

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The top picture is my meal.  It was Panko crusted chicken with ham and cheese over mashed potatoes and served with green beans.  The chicken was great but the ham and cheese on it made it too salty so I pushed that aside.  It was a good change of pace.

The middle is Grandmas meal  She went for the baked potato soup and a house salad.  She said the soup was a bit too salty and the salad was not cut up enough (what is up with that when you order salads at restaurants these days?!?).

Dads meal was the bottom picture.  He opted for a French Dip sandwich with a side of fruit.  He’s not even a horseradish fan but said the sauce was decent.

Scores?  Last time Dad and I both gave it a 4.  This time?

Me:4, Dad: 4, Grandma: 2.5

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After lunch we went across to the World War 1 museum at Liberty Memorial.  Another great place to visit!

Lunches with Dad – The Firehouse on 20th St Bar and Grill

Lunch log: Thursday April 7 2016, The Firehouse on 20th St Bar and Grill.  Dad’s pick.

After going to another North Kansas City restaurant last week, Dad was inspired to explore NKC a little bit and came across The Firehouse (also known as Christines Firehouse) on the interwebs.  It’s in an unassuming building behind the CVS in NKC.

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Its a cozy atmosphere inside with mostly high top seating at tables.  They were busy at 11:30 when we got there and had to wait for them to (quickly) clear a table so we could sit.  There were three people rounding the room and providing quick and friendly service in tandem.

They have daily specials, which Thursday was $1.00 tacos.  I saw some come out and it was tempting to order the tacos but upon perusing the menu, the Pulled Pork Nachos were calling my name louder than the tacos.  Dad had read about the tenderloin there and wanted to try that.

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Pulled Pork Nachos

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The tenderloin…on a huge bun and plate…

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the tator tots were hiding under the cover of the tenderloin

As you can see, the portion sizes were HUGE.  My pulled pork nachos were delicious.  I have been craving good pulled pork nachos since Josh and I went to the Ozarks last year and I had my first brush with that magic.  These had lots of delicious pulled pork and cheese on crispy chips..  Yummmmmmmmmmmm.

Dad’s tenderloin also did not disappoint.  It was GIGANTIC.  They didn’t make it that  big by pounding it super thin, either.  It was seasoned well and at least 2/3 of it was left after dad was well past full.  You can even order and extra bun and condiments to share with someone else.

It was certainly a meal that surprised me for such a hole in the wall place and I will certainly be going again…maybe even later today…

Scores?  Dad: 4, Me: 4.5

Lunches with Dad – Tay’s Burger Shack

Another week, another lunch date with Dad!  Since we were playing catch up, it was my decision again.  My BFF had told be about this burger place, Tay’s Burger Shack,  in Northtown and I decided it was time we tried it out.

It’s in a tiny little building that I have always noticed and never visited.  Well, thats not true i’m told.  In 1981, a bar inhabited the building and I was in it with my dad, after he had gotten laid off from his job.  I was 5 months old at the time.  My memories of it are unclear, naturally.

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It’s a clean and quaint little place.  You walk in and order/pay at the counter then sit down and they bring your food out to you.

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Top – My double with cheese fries. Bottom – Dad’s single with chili cheese fries

At every table, along with the usual condiments, there was a bottle of house made Sriracha ketchup and sriracha mayonnaise.  A little too spicy for our tastes, but was still good.  Our food came out quickly and was clearly fresh.  The fries were hand cut with a delicious seasoning on top of them.  The cheese on mine was a yummy addition.  Dad got chili and cheese and the chili had some spicy tang to it.

After we finished our meal we were contemplating our next move when we were brought a cup of ice cream and a comment card.  When he brought it to us he said he was trying out a new flavor and wanted our honest opinions.  The new flavor was root beer ice cream.  It was pretty decent.  Our suggestions were to add more root beer flavor and maybe make it a little creamier.  I would buy it if it was on the menu.!

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free ice cream!

It is definitely a place I will be visiting again.  Josh needs to try it too and so should you! 🙂

Scores?

Dad: 4, Me: 4