From my Table Hopping Column in TASTEBUD Magazine
Table Hopping – October 2013
“From Hand to Mouth”
307 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Executive Chef Bryan Merker and his wife Monica, or “Nica” took their extremely popular beignets from their restaurant menu on Southwest Boulevard, recently renamed Lagnaippe - Nica's Cajun Kitchen, to sell them in a separate storefront inside the City Market. The café is a straightforward affair, serving sweet and savory stuffed beignets, crepes and chicory coffee just like in New Orleans. Get the traditional beignets. You’ll get three, dusted with powdered sugar, for $3.75. For lunch, try the Bourgeois Pig with cheddar, caramelized onion and hickory bacon. GO: stand in line to order from the person standing near the cash register at the end of the counter. This is a small space with people everywhere, so it can get confusing on where to queue to place your order.
906 SW Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64108
Southwest Boulevard has a new South American family that has moved into the neighborhood, serving cuisine from Argentina, Peru and Colombia. This is traditional South American home cooking at its best. Listen as the daughter describes each dish to you, and then order an empanada for around $3, filled with beef, chicken or vegetables. It is the delicious specialty of the house. Want something more? Try the Lomo Saltado for around $10. This Peruvian dish has an Asian influence with thinly sliced beef and bell peppers and sautéed with French fried potatoes and served with a side of rice and salad. PARK: on the streets in the neighborhood behind the restaurant. Even if you score a spot in front, getting out is tricky.
25 E. 3rd Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
Owners Marco Rabello and Christian Maciel opened their Brazilian shop in the River Market only a few months ago, but buzz is building about the café portion of their store. In addition to finding Brazilian coffee and other staples, you can also order uniquely Brazilian sandwiches and finger foods. Hungry? Get the Picanha sandwich for $6.75, which is a Brazilian specialty cut of top sirloin with melted cheese on a baguette. If you just need a snack, get a can of Guarana soda and the pão de queijo, served 3 for $2, which are small snackable cheese rolls made with yucca or tapioca flour that you can just pop into your mouth. HOURS: Open 10 am – 5 pm weekdays and 8 am – 5 pm weekends.
1615 W 39th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Co-owner, Sharon Hughes raised her daughter Ashley Valverde to eat vegan, so she had plenty of time to practice her vegan baking skills as her children grew up eating that way. When Ashley, and her husband Michael Valverde, a talented vegan barista in his own right, decided to go in with Ashley’s Mom, Sharon, as co-owners of a vegan bakery and coffee shop inside of the little yellow house on 39th Street their goal was to make things that people with various dietary needs and food allergies, not only could eat, but would want to eat. Everything in this darling coffee shop is tasty, whether you are vegan or not. TRY: if you find them, their totally portable, Pop Tarty Pie Pockets and enjoy a grown-up version of a childhood favorite.