We are headed to Kansas City for a tournament and will be staying downtown. Does anyone have a favorite restaurant? I keep hearing about the food and don’t want to end up at chains.
This one’s right in my wheelhouse, folks. I was born and raised in KC. My suggestions:
Michael Smith’s (James Beard award winner, nominated in 2009)
bluestem (best meal I’ve ever had in KC, another JB nom)
The Bristol (also in Power and Light, and OMG, the biscuits!!!)
Lidia’s Kansas City (Lidia Bastianich outpost in Union Station. So good).
Jack’s Stack (BBQ, baby. there’s one in Union Station, near you).
The Plaza is currently overrun with chains, but it’s still worth checking out. The American Restaurant in Crowne Center is also a favorite of many, but I found the dining room outdated and too formal for my taste).
I’ll let others get into the BBQ debate, if they wish (Arthur Bryants, Gates, and Oklahoma Joes are favorites). Any other suggestions?15 Comments »
Getting in and out of Nana for $20? That, friends, is a steal. This Friday, sip and nibble in the Hilton Anatole’s handsome bar 6-8pm at Nana’s new weekly Friday Night Flights event. This Friday’s pairings include marinated carrot salad/Olvena Chardonnay, mozzarella with confit grape tomatoes and olive oil croutons/Mazzoni Toscana Rossa, and white chocolate flan with mango granite and black olives/Two Hands “Angels Share” Shiraz.
A luxe car dealership workin’ Disher sends this email plea:
We are opening up a dealership in The Woodlands area of Houston and I was curious if you might have any insight into the dining scene there. We are looking for an awesome caterer/restaurant to do a welcome party for us.
I don’t know anything about Houston/The Woodlands. Help!5 Comments »
Several suburban Dishers who frequent the eateries at Watters Creek have reported almost empty restaurants at peak hours. Celebrity Bakery has closed. That makes me wonder why people stand in line to pay over $3.00 for a cupcake in Preston Center. It’s a crazy world.16 Comments »
SURPRISE, Ariz.–SideDish is a food-oriented blog, so I won’t go into the finer points of Nolan Ryan’s baseball career. The other day I sat down with the retired hard-throwing right-handed pitcher to talk about something other than baseball. We talked about cows.
The eight-time MLB All-Star has been a rancher for most of his life. When he isn’t busy being the President of the Texas Rangers, he’s moving cattle on one of his two ranches. In between, he sits in a board room, discusses global meat markets, and makes decisions for his company Nolan Ryan’s Guaranteed Tender Beef.
SideDish: When you were playing baseball, did you dream of being a meat purveyor?
Nolan Ryan: I’ve been in the cattle business for 35 years. I guess I’ve had the meat company for—hey, don’t hold me to it, but it’s been about six or seven years. I can’t say I really thought about getting into the meat business. I was much more involved on a day-to-day basis, you know all the marketing, before this job (President of the Rangers) came along. So now I head down [to the ranch] when the team goes on the road.
SideDish: So is pitching the beef business difficult?
Nolan Ryan: I really like the ranching part but when you first get on the producer’s side, you think you know what goes on in the end product. But until you get into that side of it, the marketing of the product, you find you really have to want to be in the business. You have to learn about what drives the demand for the end product. It’s a tough business. We’re going through a horrible drought right now, the worst in 35 years.
SideDish: Tell us about your cows and products.
Nolan Ryan: I’ve run personally myself 2,000 [cattle]. But the company has cattle from other programs and producers. We have five feed lots in South Texas, one in North Texas, and one in California. We use a composite Beefmaster and breed them with a red or black Angus depending on what we need. We graze on grassland and with grains harvested by area farmers and we don’t use added growth hormones or antibiotics during the last 100 days of the feeding period. We never feed meat by-products of any kind.
SideDish: I understand all of the burger stands at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington use your beef. I hear there are plans for a new, expanded concession area with tables and chairs that will feature more options.
Nolan Ryan: [Looks down at the ground, smiles, and shakes his head] Yes, they’re in the process of opening a new stand, a grill–a kind of destination type place with different products. I haven’t seen the final menu yet. I’ve got a lot on my plate.
Ryan’s beef is available at Kroger’s and other stores and restaurants in the Southwest. Here is more info on cuts and quality. Ryan’s new eatery at the Ballpark will debut on April 6th. I’m waiting for details from non-baseball PR types. (Photo courtesy of Nolan Ryan’s website.)
SURPRISE, Ariz.–Baseball’s spring training is certainly more about baseball than fine dining—at least it is in Surprise, Arizona. My baseball-writing friends have been scouring this area for a good meal for years and the other night they took me to a new find, Arrowhead Grill. It’s a steaks-seafood-cocktails kind of place about 30 minutes from Surprise. Surprisingly (sorry) the food was great—steaks are hand-cut and, like my complexion, dry-aged. The waitress, Gretchen, is the kind of server you want every night.
Perusing the menu, I was intrigued by the use of current buzzword, LOCAL. We were dining in the desert. Tumbleweed salad or coyote pot pie I could envision. But “Desert Sweet Shrimp” stopped me cold. The shrimp was described as “farm-raised and locally-grown in Gila Bend’s mineral-rich well water, drawn directly from the desert’s deep and ancient sea beds. This combination of well water and the warm, Arizona sun make for a sweeter-tasting shrimp.” Curious, I asked Gretchen. “Oh, we quit carrying it because it is too expensive,” she said. So we ate mediocre onion rings, nice steaks, delicious hominy grilled with bacon (pictured), and salad with dried dates, figs, and candied pistachios. The next morning I researched the shrimp. Here’s the website that claiming “The World’s Best Shrimp.” Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?1 Comment »