Tag Archives: kansas city

kansas city

A couple weekends ago we went down to Kansas City for a couple of days to spend some time with Kevin’s parents. We kicked off Saturday morning with a long run (16 miles for me, 13 for Kevin) and despite super hot and humid temps and the fact that it was raining the majority of the time, we got it done. I always think it’s going to be such a bummer to run when we’re out of town, but usually I really end up enjoying the sights and sounds of running in a new place. Our route in KC took us along a trail in a really pretty park and also up some pretty killer hills.

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After getting back from our run and a delicious lunch with Kevin’s parents, Kevin and I decided to head down to the Plaza for some shopping and walking around. We scored some awesome Lululemon items on sale. Earlier in the day, I’d see this delicious concoction on my friend Ruth’s instagram and knew we had to have one, so we made a stop. Yep, it’s as good (better?) as it looks. And who doesn’t love a pink drink?!

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We had our fill of the Plaza after awhile and headed over to Fervere, a small bakery in the Crossroads District. On Saturday nights in the summer, the bakery opens up for a couple of hours and exclusively sells their cheese slippers (ciabatta bread stuffed with various cheeses) topped with ingredients from local farms. The events have become rather popular, and the other time we tried to get one, they ran out before our turn in line. We got there much earlier this time and got in line with the rest of the crazies.

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Thank goodness Little Freshie is just a couple shops down. Their blackberry lavender and mango ginger snow cones really hit the spot while we waited…and waited…and waited in line for our bread.

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Finally we got closer to the entrance and it seemed pretty likely there would be enough for us to get a couple. They had run out of one of the types we wanted, but we were able to snag two others – an heirloom potato, and a peach. There’s no seating inside the bakery so we followed suit and did what the locals do — found a spot on the sidewalk and ate them right then and there. Totally worth the wait, and I think heading here at least once each summer is going to become a tradition. I mean, just look at those things!

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Still on our cheese slipper high, we decided we’d check out a couple of breweries on our way back to Kevin’s parents house. First up was Cinder Block Brewery. It was in a weird industrial area so we didn’t expect much but when we got there, there was a food truck outside, a band playing inside, and the place was packed! We shared a flight here and really liked their Weathered Wit and the champagne cider.

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Next stop was Big Rip Brewing Company, not too far down the road from Cinder Block. A much smaller, calmer feel here, but we were able to talk to the bartender a bit about their beers and also catch the end of the Royals game on TV. We shared a flight here, too; we really liked the Sweet Brown and ended up getting a mini growler of that for later that night.

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Sunday morning we got up early for a recovery 5-miler before church, followed by mass and brunch. Then we headed home to get changed and headed out to Kauffman Stadium for the afternoon Royals-White Sox game. My first time seeing the Royals play at home!

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It was raining up until the game started but cleared up just in time and eventually the sun even peaked out. We enjoyed a giant bucket of extremely salty popcorn, a couple of hot dogs (a must for any baseball game), and a few $11 craft beers (I know, so painful, but you have to have a Boulevard at the Royals game!). I always tell Kevin that I will sit with him at a baseball game as long as I get my hot dog and remain sufficiently buzzed on overpriced beer, so he did his job and we both got our way.

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Overall a really fun weekend visiting with the in-laws, eating lots of delicious food, checking out new breweries, and of course, seeing a Royals game!

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oklahoma joe’s.

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you guys. i’m not sure how we’ve lived so close for so long and visited kansas city fairly frequently without ever having gone to oklahoma joe’s before just a couple weeks ago. i mean, it’s on anthony bourdain’s “13 places to eat before you die” list. and as he says, “it’s the best BBQ in kansas city, which makes it the best BBQ in the world.” i have sadly not tried all of the BBQ in the world, but i’ve tried a fair amount, and oklahoma joe’s (currently rebranding as joe’s kansas city bbq) is the very best i’ve had, hands down, and i’m happy that i ate here before i died, and plan to many more times.

also, you guys, we’ve become those people. you know, the kind of people who walk up to a food establishment, see a crazy-long line, and don’t walk away. in fact, we get excited. long lines equal food that’s worth the wait. i love standing in line in the cold with the rest of the crazies, listening to the regulars telling the first-timers what they’ve absolutely got to order (burnt ends, the z-man sandwich), overhearing hardcore parents telling their kids “just a few more minutes” (liars).

also adding to the charm: the original ok joe’s location is inside of a working gas station mini mart. (close proximity to snacks while you wait – score!) the fact that we drove out of our way to a weird little spot in kansas to wait an hour in line to eat bbq in a gas station sounds nothing short of crazy, but it’s just the kind of crazy that we like to be.

i’m sure you can’t go wrong here, but we listened to the recommendations of the regulars and were far from disappointed. the burnt end luncheon is only served mondays, wednesdays, and saturdays, but it’s worth going on one of those days. burnt ends are a kansas city classic, and theirs were outstanding – crispy on the outside with incredibly tender meat, just like they’re supposed to be. they were great with the cole slaw. the z-man sandwich is slow-smoked brisket, smoked provolone cheese, and crispy onion rings – yes, on the sandwich – on a kaiser roll with their signature bbq sauce. i thought we might regret getting two brisket items and not trying their also well-known pulled pork, but once the food arrived, there was no time for regret and only time for devouring. the z-man was awesome with the just-spicy-enough red beans + rice.

sit inside if you can. (but if you can’t, call in your order and skip the line) the service is awesome (bonus points), and it’s fun to watch all the other food come out and dream about what you’re going to order next time. we’ll be back.  

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oklahoma joe’s | original shamrock gas station location
3002 west 47th avenue
kansas city, kansas

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kansas city caffeine crawl recap.

last weekend you may have seen our combined 1 million instagrams (sorry) from our trip to kansas city for the caffeine crawl. the caffeine crawl is basically organized bar-hopping…but with coffee, tea, and chocolate shops instead. the concept started in kansas city and has since expanded to cities all over the country. we jumped at the chance to go on this spring’s kansas city crawl, though, for an opportunity to check out a few lesser known and up-and-coming places that we hadn’t had a chance to visit before. read on for a few photos and short recap from each place we visited…


the filling station | 2980 mcgee trafficway

our first stop and where we met up with the rest of our group was at the filling station, so called because the building it’s in is a garage! we’ve been wanting to go here for awhile, so we made sure to choose a route that had this on it. they serve coffee here from some kansas city faves – oddly correct and broadway roasting – but for the crawl, they actually gave each of us a glass of one of their fresh-pressed juices, the “liquid sunshine” (carrot + strawberry + orange + lemon + apple). the juice was delicious, and a great way to start out a day otherwise full of caffeinated things. we got our goodie bags, met our tour guide, michael, heard a short presentation from one of the filling station staff, and were on our way to the second stop…


crows coffee | 304 east 51st street

crows coffee, as you can see from the photos, is not quite open yet, but will be a great addition to the kansas city coffee scene once it does. the owner left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream of creating community through coffee and the physical space of a coffee shop. we got a little tour of what the layout will look like once it’s complete, and it sounds awesome – lots of big tables and spaces to bring customers together and foster community. we also got to drink the shop’s first cups of coffee and espresso shots, provided by messenger roasting. we really enjoyed seeing crows in-process and look forward to checking it out again once they’re open.


shang tea | 2450 grand blvd. #106

our third stop was shang tea, located inside crown center. neither kevin nor i are big tea drinkers, but we really enjoyed hearing about how the shop’s owner travels twice a year to china to oversee and even help with harvesting and preparing the teas that are sold in his shop. we tried a few different teas here, but my favorite was definitely the tangerine blossom, which we were told is quite rare and therefore fairly unique to shang. in addition to having various size bags of all of their teas available for purchase, the shop also had tons of adorable tea sets, mugs, kettles and more.


little freshie | 811 west 17th street

the fourth stop on the crawl was little freshie, one of two places on the tour that kevin and i had been to before. little freshie started out as a sno-cone food truck a few years ago, and has now expanded to a brick & mortar location with a full espresso bar, sandwiches, and of course, handcrafted snow cones and italian sodas with house-made syrups. lindsey, the owner, made each of us mexican toddy (iced coffee with spices) and strawberry rhubarb mini snow cones to order, and while both flavors were delicious, the strawberry rhubarb was definitely my favorite. we were back in the neighborhood later that evening, and tried their prickly pear flavor, too, which i’d also recommend.


quay coffee | 412 delaware street

quay is the other place that we’d been to before the crawl, and it’s one of our favorite coffee shops in kansas city (which is saying something – there are a lot of good ones). quay, like the filling station, also serves coffee from oddly correct, plus a rotating line-up of other craft roasters. we were supposed to listen to their presentation outside, but due to an impending torrential downpour, we moved to a back room, where two of their baristas made us two coffee mocktails – one a soda brewed with coffee on the kyoto, and the other a twist on a “flip” cocktail with egg white. at this point we were kind of wishing they weren’t mocktails after all the traffic and weather-related drama the morning had brought, but they were both delicious nonetheless and i hear both drinks will be on quay’s summer menu, due out soon.


christopher elbow chocolates | 1819 mcgee street

our last stop was christopher elbow chocolates, a gourmet chocolate shop that we hadn’t been to but knew about from their collaboration with boulevard brewing on chocolate ale. we got to taste a couple of chocolates, including a coffee caramel made specifically for the caffeine crawl. we also got to sample some of their liquid chocolate, which was basically really really chocolately and rich hot chocolate – so good. we learned a little bit about the chocolate making process (like how they get those cool designs on the tops of each piece), and even got to peek at some of the chocolatiers hard at work in the attached factory. a very neat place!

we had such a great time on the kansas city caffeine crawl, and are looking forward to visiting many of these places on our next trip there. for a list of upcoming caffeine crawls in other cities, and to see shops and cities they’ve visited before, visit their website

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parisi artisan coffee.

parisi artisan coffee was our first stop on last weekend’s coffeecation, and it was the absolute perfect start to a saturday morning. parisi is located inside gorgeous union station which makes for pretty much perfect coffee shop ambiance. not only do they roast their own coffee on site, and source only the best coffees in the world to begin with, they also take special attention to how their coffee is brewed for each and every customer. they offer just two options for brewed coffee: pourover and french press.

i usually gravitate towards plain black coffee or a single origin espresso instead of milk-based drinks, because i don’t trust many places to get it right, but i ventured out of my coffee comfort zone at parisi and ordered a cappucino. k got a traditional double espresso, and when we said we were looking for a little snack, too, one of the baristas took the time to recommend which of their homemade macarons would best compliment each of our drinks. i went with the almond, and k’s was lemon. while our drinks were being made, both baristas working at the time were incredibly friendly, telling us about the coffee being used for k’s espresso and asking about how we brew at home and offering suggestions.

needless to say, both drinks were fantastic, and it was undoubtedly the best cappuccino i’d ever had. our drinks were served with sparkling water, and for a few minutes, we pretended we were in europe instead. k even said at one point, “this reminds me of paris,” to which i said, “um, you’ve never been to paris, but yeah, i get that.” and then he said, “i meant the one from las vegas.” of course.

so, the moral of the story is, if you live in kansas city, you should pay a visit to parisi inside beautiful union station or their second location in leawood. if you don’t, you can still check out their beautiful website and order some of their coffee. (we can recommend the costa rica la cruz, a medium roast that has cup of excellence certification).

parisi artisan coffee
union station / 30 west pershing road
park place leawood / 5245 west 116th place
website / facebook / twitter

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[photo: parisi coffee union station]

last weekend, we went down to kansas city on what we decided to call a little “coffeecation.” after reading this article in imbibe magazine a few months back about all the great things going on in kansas city coffee, we’ve been wanting to visit each of these places. before we left, we put together a google map of all the shops we wanted to visit. yep, we’re that crazy about coffee.

View H & K Coffee Trip in a larger map

while we didn’t quite make it to every place on our list, we did visit several each day and maintained a constant state of caffeinated-ness all weekend long. we’ll be profiling a couple of the places we visited in more detail later this week and next week, but for now, a few instagrams from the trip overall.

we pretty much enjoyed every place we visited, and met some incredibly knowledgeable business owners and baristas throughout the weekend, but i think i have to say that my favorite thing was how oddly correct served their pourover coffee – we’ll definitely be ordering some of those 250ml chemistry flasks and making our own little coffee servers for at home. aren’t they so clever and creative!?

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