Raytown Gardens Crew

Check out the new baby lettuce seedlings from our friends at the Raytown Community Gardens. Definitely check out their blog @ Raytown Community Gardens and get involved. KC Foodies will definitely be assisting in growing fresh produce with the Gardens, and using it to experiment on some amazing family style meals.

Thomas 39th Street: Part 2

So here's a review that I wrote a while back when I attended Thomas with a small group. On March 13 we went back to Thomas with the whole foodies crew and unfortunately had a much different experience, which is documented below the original.

Lately I feel there has been a shift to Asian cuisine in the eclectic neighborhood of 39th street. To tell you the truth, I don’t mind it at all. I love authentic noodle dishes from Po’s, the basil fried rice from Thai Garden, and I may partake in a little bit of Blue Koi sometimes. But this little blurb isn’t dedicated to any of the wonderful asian restaurants, but more to a locally owned, fundamentally amazing restaurant called “Thomas.” The menu at Thomas offers a beautiful take on traditional American cuisine, and the environment of the dining room gives me the feel of a small east coast eatery.

We started the meal off with some bruschetta and made our way through a beautiful green salad. For our entrĂ©e we chose the Diablo Pasta with a seafood medley mixed in. The seafood was cooked to perfection and the slight spiciness of the pasta gave a real attitude to the meal. The proportions of the pasta were perfect and the sauce was light yet packed with amazing flavor. The staff and owner are also very friendly and always looking for ways to make your experience a better one. We ended up speaking with the owner for about 30 minutes on the KC restaurant scene and how he got started with the idea for Thomas. Back to the meal!! For drinks we went with an Argentinean flight and a couple glasses of pinot noir. The culmination of the wine, food and ambiance was even further intriguing with the added element of the piano player Vince Cook. He has a booklet loaded with 100's of songs he covers, and thus, there’s a never ending mix to your dining experience. In one night we heard everything from Beatles covers to Bittersweet Symphony.

Overall, Thomas is an excellent environment to bring some friends or a date. The pricing of the menu is very decent and the wine/martini selection is impressive as well. Go down to 39th street, strike a conversation with Vince, and indulge in an amazing experience.

Thomas Site

Ok. So our foodies adventure to Thomas began with pure excitement, especially after I hyped up my last visit. First off, we made a reservation at 8:30 for ten people, and were given a table that fit eight at most in the corner of the restaurant. Not that this is a huge deal, I can sit close to my friends, but its unfortunate that we made the reservation almost two days before our actual visit. We started off the night with an interesting mix of wine bottles and various martinis, all of which were excellently prepared and extremely tasty. What was not excellently prepared or tasteful was the service we got. Now we know perfectly well that the food service industry is about the most difficult out of all other industries, especially when there's a ten top sitting in a corner booth. Well this server was just not having a good day and it was reflected in his behavior towards not only our questions, but concerns with the food preparation. Having vegetarians in the mix one must be able to probe the meals to make sure they fit their lifestyle and habits, and this was the last thing the server was willing to do.

So the night started off with good drinks that eventually went sour when the food came. Just as I expected, the food was excellently prepared and wonderful from start to finish, but we kept feeling the wrath of bad service. You know that feeling that you want to leave because you don't feel welcome? Yeah, that was the emotion lingering in the air for the entire night. By the end of the night I had to apologize to our entire group for promising them something that didn't pan out like I thought it would. I really do believe in the Thomas menu and drink lists, but I need more consistency. My first visit there was welcomed by an extremely polite and helpful waitress, even a conversation with the owner and piano player, but this visit was kind of a letdown. I don't know if I'll be able to go back unless there's something that really pushes me past the whole "not feeling welcome" taste I have in my mouth.

But with The KC Foodies we never give up on a restaurant. Sometimes a second chance is needed for a bad experience, and we're always willing to give Thomas another try, but probably not until the summer.


Town Topic (burgers)

The latest restaurant excursion was to Kansas City's favorite "after the club closes" burger joint. It was a rather spontaneous excursion. It took place at approximately 2:30am on the most recent of the Fridays in current memory.

Without much thought me and a group of 5 including myself arrived there with the late night munchies after some pretty serious vintage dancing. (Seriously, "Ice, Ice, Baby" & "Beat It" were on the playlist.) Wait, before I break into a quaint anecdote you need a Town Topic visual.

(it should be noted that the dining area is as deep as that 2nd window on the left and as long as the building. [minus about 10ft for the bathroom and kitchen entrance.])

For the sake of reiteration, the dining area is small. It fits about 10 people comfortably.

Back to our anecdote!
5 of us arrive at 2:30 am to an already half full Town Topic. There are now 10 people in the filled dining area. We are immediately accosted with a gruff, "wha d'you want!" by a lady who clearly has had a few too many burgers and way too many cigarettes. We all stare around for a second and then gradually give our orders to the grumpy, frumpy, hoarse woman. A few minutes later the most delicious egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwich sits before. I'm not really sure if the food is really the best out there, but when you're in a late night munchy craving stupor, it's pretty f***ing amazing.

Half-way through our meal the front door opens and in walk about 3 guys. The space is now a little on the crowded side. 5 minutes later, 3 more people arrive. Another 5 minutes, 5 blondes and 3 guys walk in. 24 people jammed into town topic. My group is now done with our meal and we're ready to pay and get out. But, we can't. It's too crowded and nobody can get any where. Over the course of the next 10 minutes another 10 people try to cram in, and are successful until some guy starts telling people nobody else can fit. There were now over 30 people fit into a space that really should only hold 10. I think the fire marshal would have been a little peeved. We managed to force our way to the register and pay. Overall the experience was amusing and satisfying.

The service at Town Topic has its own special negative charm. I go there to have an older angry man (or woman) make me a burger. He/She is told to do so by a slightly angrier woman (at least every time I've gone.) who yelled at me to tell her what I want. Really though, when I told her my order she added a bunch of stuff with out any indication of how much all these extras were going to cost me. (and they definitely cost you.) So effectively I pretend like I know what I want and then she tells me what I really want. For some reason this style of service works just fine at the latest hours of the night.

The food itself is about as good as any other diner burger place, but its late night service gives it an increased goodness factor. Compared to other 24hr diners, it's probably the best in KC and has it's own distinct charm.

between the hours of 10am and 10pm 6 out of 10

between the hours of 10pm and 10am 9.5 out of 10


Lulu's Thai Noodle Bar!

If you're looking to branch out and try something other than your usual french dip and fries for lunch, give Lulu's Thai noodle bar your half hour break at noon and get after it! This mid-size joint along southwest boulevard has proved to offer some great values with about 15 lunch specials all under 7 bucks! Prices don't increase too much during dinner either. Don't be scared by the "blazingly spicy" stereotype Thai food gets stamped with. Lulu's stocks a legion of ingredients to offer combinations and dishes to please all preferences along the spice spectrum. If, however, capsaicin is not your enemy but your friend: I must recommend the "drunken noodles"...absolutely delicious. Don't forget some Thai iced tea!