Hot!Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City

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ScreamingChicken
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2014/05/05 10:26:53 (permalink)

Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City

Last month Mrs. Chicken and I ventured to Kansas City to see the White Sox and Royals play.  We'd never been to Kauffman Stadium before and since the Sox have only 1 weekend series in KC this season our schedule was determined for us.
 
Thursday, April 3
 
The game wasn't until Saturday but since Kansas City is over 500 miles from home we decided to break the trip down into 2 segments, to keep from being cold and tired and all alone.  We have a friend in Iowa City so we spent Thursday there and went out dinner at the Iron Hawk, a downtown bar and grill.

 
We started with a basket of pork bites, which are pieces of loin that're breaded, deep-fried and served with a really good chipotle aioli.

 
Nick liked his Cuban sandwich.

 
Mrs. C chose the pulled pork wrap and sweet potato fries.

 
It's a state law that when there are more than 2 people at a table at least 1 pork tenderloin sandwich must be ordered, so that responsibility fell to me.

It was pretty good but I think I would've liked it better had it been pounded just a hair thinner.  Yes, a BPT that was too thick.
 
After dinner we took a walk around the pedestrian mall and downtown area, which includes the Englert Theatre.

 
It was a chilly, damp evening so we decided to wrap things up at the Sanctuary Pub, a 40-plus-year Iowa City institution that Nick describes as "a bar for grownups".  It was dark inside and despite being a Thursday night it wasn't overwhelmingly busy.

 
The menu had some interesting offerings but I really didn't feel like eating, so Nick and Mrs. C chose to split an espresso creme brulee while I nursed a glass of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.  They liked the dessert so much that I felt obliged to take a small taste, and it did have a rich flavor with a definite coffee presence.

 
After that it was time to call it a night, as Friday was going to be fairly busy and we wanted to be well-rested for the 300 miles ahead.  We stayed at the Brown Street Inn, a b&b on Iowa City's north side and slept well.
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    trzhotel
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 15:12:15 (permalink)
    Were you playing Royals by Lorde?
    #2
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 15:40:29 (permalink)
    Did you take in the phillip glass concert?
    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 15:43:39 (permalink)
    Playing what by who now?
     
    I suspect Phil and I might not travel in the same musical circles.
    #4
    love2bake
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 15:57:37 (permalink)
    Old Rasputin and espresso creme brûlée?!?  Yes, please. 
    #5
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 19:14:00 (permalink)
    Friday, April 4 (lunch)
     
    We got an early start from Iowa City and before long were on I-35 and closing in on the state line, so that seemed like a good reason to stop near Lamoni and stretch our legs.  And since rest areas are prime locations for historical markers it was a chance to stretch our minds, too.
       
    My friend Nick is from southern Iowa (Cambria) and actually has some Mormons in his family.
     
    A couple of hours later we were closing in on Kansas City and the Oak Ridge Manor location of Stroud's.  Coincidentally, it was also lunchtime.

     
    Even though it was 1pm the dining room was still packed and we were given a table pretty much in the center, so no inside atmosphere shot.  I'd been visiting Stroud's website for months and knew exactly what I wanted.

    The chicken lived up to expectations with its crispy skin and moist meat, and while I would've liked the gravy to be maybe just a bit stronger the sides were excellent as well.  However, if we ever return I think I'll request half orders because we wound up with a lot of potatoes and beans.
     
    Mrs. Chicken went a different route with the chicken sandwich, and what was set before us was somewhat unexpected: a big sandwich and an order of onion rings.  I was a bit surprised that I didn't have to help her too much but after tasting it I could see why.

    It appeared to be deep-fried instead of pan-fried like the regular chicken dinner and the breading was a little bit different, but it was still very good in its own right.  Unfortunately we didn't realize the rings were part of the standard order so we had some fries as well...
    #6
    lleechef
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 20:01:55 (permalink)
    It all looks wonderful!  I have never seen pork bites......I would definitely try them.  I am a lover of fried chicken so one day I have to make it to Stroud's.
      
    #7
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 20:23:29 (permalink)
    I want some of those pork bites. I'd never heard of them, but now I need some.
    #8
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 22:07:03 (permalink)
    edited to return to topic- Mayor Al
     
    Friday, April 4 (afternoon)
     
    After lunch we headed down toward Country Club Plaza (suggested by WJ, The Travelin' Man, CNW, and Buddy Roadhouse - thanks!) to check in at Southmoreland on the Plaza, an excellent and Chicken-recommended b&b on E. 46th St.  We had the Gilliss Room and as it's in a 3rd-floor corner, possibly the most-removed room in the inn, it was great even though the weather prevented us from enjoying the complimentary sherry on the balcony.
     
    Unfortunately we arrived at Southmoreland 2-1/2 hours before check-in so we needed to find a way to kill some time.  Oh, if only there was someplace in Kansas City where someone could spend a little time and maybe get a bite to eat...
     
    ...and there was.  Right at 32nd and Main.

     
    Gates was on my list for definite stops and I wasn't sure when I could work it in so the unexpected window really came in handy.  The restaurant was actually a little bigger than I expected.

     
    We decided to split a short end and to be honest it seemed like it might've been left from the earlier lunch rush and a little worse for wear.  However, we did like the sauce and wound up buying a half-dozen 3-oz. bottles to hand out as souvenirs when we returned home, and I'd like to return someday when product turnover's a little faster.

     
    The Royals' home opener was on the TV in the bar so after we ate we hung out there and killed the minutes watching the game.  We wound up chatting with an older gentleman who played against Frank White "back in the day" and had some interesting stories to tell, which helped pass the time.
     
    By this time we were able to register and get our room, and after chicken and ribs we were both ready to just take it easy until we decided what to do for dinner.  Southmoreland has a late afternoon wine-and-nibbles table and on this day the offering was hummus (no thanks) and some very good water crackers, but very good water crackers are still no substitute for dinner so after walking part of the Plaza we headed east on Cleaver Boulevard to one of the Winstead's locations.

     

     

     
    Mrs. C chose the cherry limeade and against my better judgment I ordered a chocolate frosty, a specialty of the house.  The frosty turned out to be thick and cold enough to not only survive dinner but the walk back "home" and nearly an hour after that.

     
    We were still pretty full so we kept it simple with burgers and a shared basket of fries.  As far as fast food burgers go I'd put Winstead's near the top of the list; they'd probably have a tough go against a  one-off operation doing burgers to order but would otherwise hang in there.  And if the prompt and excellent service we received is typical they're already miles ahead.

     
    That wrapped up Friday but there was still one more day to go...
    post edited by mayor al - 2014/05/06 18:29:50
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 22:13:24 (permalink)
    Nice.
    #10
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 22:16:37 (permalink)
    I've never had pork bites before...would like to try them along side a basket of fried curds! 
    #11
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/05 22:56:27 (permalink)
    I don't remember exactly what I recommended about Gates, but if it was consistent with what I've written in the past, I would've told you to avoid the ribs at all costs and focus your attention on some Burnt Ends, a plate of Fries, and an order of Beans.  Maybe try the Mutton, which I haven't had, but others swear by.
     
    Almost every place in KC does something right, but very few places do everything well.  Most have one or two exceptional items supporting a menu of merely adequate dishes--or worse.  LC's is one of the only places in town where I'd feel confident ordering anything on the menu.
     
    Nice report.  Looking forward to reading more.
     
    Oh, and BTW, wanderingjew is a total Jerk!  See you at the next jerk meeting.  I'll bring the diet soda.
     
    Buddy
    #12
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/06 09:46:14 (permalink)
    Saturday, April 5 - play ball!
     
    Saturday morning dawned sunny but a bit chilly, and since the first pitch wouldn't be thrown until after 1pm we decided to take another stroll around the Plaza after breakfast.
     
    The Seville Light Fountain with the Cheesecake Factory in the background.  Perhaps the statue atop the carillon tower is of the discoverer of cheesecake?

     
    As it was Opening Week some of the Plaza's famous Easter bunnies were appropriately garbed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    At this point I have to give a big thank you to CNW, who not only provided some good info about places and things in Kansas City but who was also gracious enough to act as our chauffeur to and from Kauffman Stadium.  His generosity made things so much easier than they would've been had we been on our own for transportation.
     
    The Truman complex (Kauffman and Arrowhead stadia) has plenty of spacious parking so it made perfect sense to make a pregame stop for some food, and fortunately for us LC's Bar-B-Q was right on the way.

     
    We split an order of burnt ends and fries while CNW went with the beef sandwich.  I guess nowadays the appropriate term would be "liftgating" or maybe "hatchbacking" as the tailgate has gone the way of the automotive dinosaurs it served.

     

     

    I was expecting the burnt ends to taste mostly of smoke and sauce and was pleasantly surprised by how much beef flavor they had.  And like Gates the sauce wasn't the excessively sweet concoction I'd been fearing, but rather a nice mix of sweet, heat, and acid.  LC's is also known for homemade fries and they were indeed quite good, even after softening a bit during the drive.
     
    After lunch we headed into the park.

    Kauffman Stadium was renovated a few years ago and is very impressive, although I'm not sure why the toilet paper in the men's room is dispensed in individual squares and not from a roll.  Must be a KC thing.
     
    John Danks delivering a 1st-inning pitch.  Overall his performance was pretty good but he would be doomed by one bad inning.

     
    Paulie!  Unfortunately this was a foul ball and the best thing he did all day was deliver a game-tying sacrifice fly in the 8th.  It's going to be a little strange when he's not in uniform next year.  Wanderingjew, did you know he's a Providence native?

     
    The sad results, courtesy of the Sox bullpen.

     
    Our seats were in the shade under an overhang so despite the sun it felt more like a Bears-Chiefs game in November.  But even though the Sox lost it was a good day, the fans and Kauffman Stadium staff we encountered were all nice, and CNW didn't gloat on the drive back.

     
    I realize the Royals are a smaller-market team and fortunes haven't been good for 20-some years, but those are no excuses for the parsimonius potty paper parceling and pathetically puny pencils!

     
    We're so in the habit of tailgating with our own food at Miller Park that it never occurred to us to at least buy a hot dog; we went the entire game without eating a thing!  On the flip side, that did leave a little more room for dinner...
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/05/06 09:48:06
    #13
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/06 10:17:55 (permalink)
    I think I have a picture of WJ in front of that Cheesecake Factory. He was raving about it.
    #14
    1bbqboy
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/06 10:24:47 (permalink)
    Most places don't serve that excessively sweet goop. It was that damn Dr. Davis and his masterpiece stuff that foisted that idea upon the world.
    #15
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/08 08:01:09 (permalink)
    SC-
    So glad you made it to Stroud's.  And it is interesting to see some different menu items that I have never seen before, like the onion rings and chicken sandwich.  And why wouldn't Stroud's make a great chicken sandwich?
     
    No mention of the cinnamon rolls?  Maybe they didn't bring you any because you were wearing a White Sox shirt.
    #16
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/08 10:53:07 (permalink)
    We elected to have the rolls after the main course but since I don't generally eat things like that I'd forgotten completely about them!  I called Mrs. C to jog her memory and she said that they were very good and IIRC she managed to eat almost half of one despite being quite full from everything else.
    #17
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/08 12:13:30 (permalink)
    The remodeled Big K is a gem of a ballpark.
    #18
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/08 14:00:46 (permalink)
    Our preferred method is to eat the cinnamon rolls with the chicken.  The combination of sweet and savory is a big winner, winner, chicken dinner.  It is Kansas City's version of Chicken and Waffles.
     
    Buddy
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/08 14:06:10 (permalink)
    BuddyRoadhouse

    Our preferred method is to eat the cinnamon rolls with the chicken.  The combination of sweet and savory is a big winner, winner, chicken dinner.  It is Kansas City's version of Chicken and Waffles.

    Buddy


    That's odd,
     
    I thought the Kansas City's version of Chicken and Waffles was "Chicken and Pancakes?"
    #20
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 08:47:59 (permalink)
    Chicken & waffles, chicken & pancakes...I'll take either but hold the "and".
     
    Saturday, April 5 - last meal
     
    There are a lot of restaurants in the Plaza area but perhaps not surprisingly a number of them are higher-end chains.  However, there's a Jack Stack in the former KC Masterpiece location and since it was within walking distance it was an easy choice for dinner.  The restaurant was packed and the table wait was 45-50 minutes so we chose to eat at the bar.

     
    We started with the grilled jumbo shrimp appetizer and they were really good, especially with the dipping sauce.  They weren't too spicy, either.

     
    Mrs. Chicken isn't a big eater so we decided to split the Sampler combo platter, which features chicken, beef burnt ends, polish sausage, and spare ribs.

     
    This should tell you what we thought of it.  Everything was very good and I can't honestly say I liked any particular meat much more than the others.

     
    When the person next to you takes a food photo it's perfectly acceptable to ask if you can photograph the plate as well, right?  Although this didn't sit to well with Mrs. C as  a)it's bad enough that I take photos of my own food, b)the person was a baseball-savvy Royals fan, and c)the person also happened to be a younger, attractive blonde.  But all we did was talk baseball, I swear!!

     
    That was pretty much it with only Sunday's long drive home left to do.  I had a couple of possible lunch stops in mind but after picking up some snacks during our first fuel break we decided to just push on, and wound up getting a couple of burgers at Hardee's (those baked-in-store buns are actually pretty decent) in Dubuque and that was the last stop before reaching home.  It was a very enjoyable long weekend (and remains so even though the credit card bills have started coming in) and we wouldn't mind visiting KC again someday.
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/05/09 08:49:13
    #21
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 09:14:59 (permalink)
    You know you are a serious Roadfooder when you take food photos of strangers!  It has been over a decade since my last visit to Jack Stack's BBQ, but it was excellent back then.  It may be time for a revisit.
     
    Great stuff SC!
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    ConeyIslandLou
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 13:47:33 (permalink)
    You ever make it to Bunker Hill, BB?
    buffetbuster

    You know you are a serious Roadfooder when you take food photos of strangers!  It has been over a decade since my last visit to Jack Stack's BBQ, but it was excellent back then.  It may be time for a revisit.

    Great stuff SC!


    #23
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 13:59:05 (permalink)
    ConeyIslandLou-
    No, I did not.  Was still recovering from getting sick in Cincy.  Since my flight was on Southwest, I changed it to next weekend.  Having dinner there now on the 17th.  Can't wait!
    #24
    pnwchef
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 14:26:32 (permalink)
    SC, Great report! It looks like you had a good time and had some good Roadfood.
    #25
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 14:58:48 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    ConeyIslandLou-
    No, I did not.  Was still recovering from getting sick in Cincy.  Since my flight was on Southwest, I changed it to next weekend.  Having dinner there now on the 17th.  Can't wait!

    buffetbuster
     
    Kansas would have been my over the summer fantasy trip (for some reason that just doesn't sound right) obviously this trip is not happening. Please provide a full report on Bunker Hill Cafe.
    #26
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 16:09:57 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken - Come see a real stadium and a real team...visit Wrigley Field and THE Chicago Cubs! 
    #27
    ConeyIslandLou
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/09 21:59:27 (permalink)
    Awesome - tell them Pat Peck's nephew from New York sent you - that'll make them laugh!  Also, the Hickory Hut BBQ in Salina is very good(just off I 135 on Crawford). And that Coyote (thats kie-ote) Canyon Buffet chain is not to be sneezed at - its more of a good cafeteria food place, where you happen to serve yourself. Nice, tender brisket. There are some nice eats along I-70 in Kansas! 
    buffetbuster

    ConeyIslandLou-
    No, I did not.  Was still recovering from getting sick in Cincy.  Since my flight was on Southwest, I changed it to next weekend.  Having dinner there now on the 17th.  Can't wait!


    #28
    rneiner
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/10 07:40:13 (permalink)
    What a great review of KC and Jack Stack which happens to be my favorite bbq restaurant in the city.My choice for the hamburger would have been the Flea Market maybe next time.
    #29
    leethebard
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    Re:Royal Treatment - a visit to Kansas City 2014/05/10 08:39:42 (permalink)
    Wow...I enjoyed your report. My wife worked for years in XC, and it was fun to relive the mid west....hell the Cue looked great, too!
    #30
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