Kansas City, opinion, cocktails, snark.

April 27, 2008

Justus Drugstore: a reason to go to Smithville.

Filed under: Food, kansas city, Local Restaurants — Tags: — akcb @ 6:40 pm

I’m not a food writer; bear with me.

Ladybird & Maureen have been going on and on about Justus Drugstore in Smithville for a couple of months now. So it was with much excitement that we packed provisions and saddled up the horses last night for our dinner club’s excursion to the Great White North.

While we had 8:30 reservations, we weren’t seated until nearly 10 as other diners lingered over dessert & coffee. This was to our benefit for two reasons. It gave us ample time to thoroughly sample the cocktail menu (the Sazerac d’Oise & the Silver Elder Fizz receive my highest recommendation). Also, it gave our Baldwin City stragglers, LAB & Joe ample time to put the pedal to the floor and show up just as we were being seated.

Here’s the thing about the food at Justus. It’s amazing. It’s some of the best food I’ve ever had in this city. As a first course, I ordered the Foie Gras Terrine. The terrine is chock full of pecans & figs and served with fresh pear slices, a ginger pear port syrup & cinnamon brioche french toast. While excellent, it was my least favorite dish of the night. I had a chance to sample Mo’s Crawdad Cakes with a delicious remoulade and they were a revelation. Even LAB, who can’t stand the thought of mudbugs, gave them a rave review.

For my salad course, I ordered the Curly Endive Salad. It’s a bed of curly endive with a mustard vinaigrette, bacon lardons, smoked trout roe, truffle oil and a terribly beautiful breaded soft-boiled egg. It is heaven on a plate. The helpful waiter explained that its meant to be eaten with a bit of everything in each bite. I don’t think I’ve ever had a better salad. The interplay between the salty bacon, the creamy egg, the crunchy breading, the sharpness of the endive, the sweet smokiness of the roe and the tart vinaigrette…beautiful. I could have ordered half a dozen more.

By the time the main course arrived, I was starting to get a bit full. I ordered the Berkshire Pork Ribeye served with a small piece of braised pork shoulder, fig sauce, green beans and a house-made pasta with Maytag blue cheese sauce. Formerly known as Pork Two Ways, this dish had been hailed by both Ladybird & Fi as the Best Thing on the Menu. It did not disappoint. The ribeye was cooked to perfection, perfectly seasoned and paired beautifully with the fig sauce. The sauce on the noodles was sublime, creamy and slightly sharp perfection. I love this dish. I want to marry this dish.

Some advice:

If you go, and have reservations, still be prepared to wait a bit. This is not a meal you want to rush through, nor should you expect others to rush.

Do not go with a large party. Stick to four or fewer. They aren’t set up anything more and the bookish hostess with the frizzy hair will not push the tables together. Well, they wouldn’t for us. They pushed two tables together for another large party, but I think the owner’s mom was in that group. So I guess it’s who you know. We finally managed to push ours together once they stopped seating folks at 11.

Go with your wallet full. Expect to come home with it empty. It’s rare that I spend $100 dollars on dinner, but it was easy to do at Justus. It’s even rarer that I feel like I actually got my money’s worth. Justus did that in spades. So put your affairs in order, hire an Indian guide and make the trek to Smithville. You’ll be glad you did.

April 24, 2008

Jeebus H. Fucking Christ.

Filed under: Uncategorized — akcb @ 11:32 pm

Just got our first estimate for putting in a brick patio. $8000. Seriously, wtf? I’m gonna find me a couple of stocky lesbians to install this thing. If I move the TV out back and run Desert Hearts on a loop and leave a few cases of Bud Light in a cooler by the back door, the sumbitch will be down in an afternoon.

April 21, 2008

And it feels like I’m 17 again…

Filed under: kansas city, Local Bars, Stuff that doesn't suck — Tags: — akcb @ 4:24 am

What an awesome week! I put in significantly fewer hours at The Work and took a break from blogging, reading blogs and other general internet shim-sham.

Wednesday night we celebrated Maureen’s Passing of the Bar at Bar Natasha. She’s an official lawya now and I couldn’t be happier. Afterward, I wanted to continue the celebration by punching a cop but nobody else was in, so I came home.

I capped off the relatively low-key week by charring & scrubbing in the house this weekend. The last few weeks of long hours and worky-weekends had taken a toll on The Residence. I swept up a couple of pounds of dog- and cat hair and scraped the first few inches of dust off our dear possessions. Saturday night we (along with Patterson & Patti) hit Sidekicks for darts & drinks after an early taco buffet supper at The Residence. Good times, somewhat mitigated by the fact that they were holding their bi-weekly line dancing classes. I find few things on this earth more dreary than line-dancing, but the two lesbians & the gay guy with a service dog seemed to be enjoying themselves, so I ordered another scotch & soda with lime and endured.

Today didn’t suck at all. Apparently spring has decided to arrive and it was absolutely gorgeous out & about. The Husband & I walked the dogs and delivered neighborhood newsletters. This afternoon I enjoyed a couple of caipirinhas and a nap before preparing a pasta supper Scoots and his lurvely wife, Mrs. Scoots. Those crazy kids arrived with salad fixin’s & a home-smoked salmon for nibbling (suck it, Ladybird!).

Dinner was a comedy of errors. As I put the first piece of garlic bread on my plate, a stray cat hair wafted in from nowhere and perched delicately atop it – a most inauspicious beginning. Midway through dinner, Beebs trotted in from the kitchen looking very pleased with herself, the remains of the smoked salmon hanging from her mouth. Then the cat took a dump on the carpet. So, just another awesome dinner party at home. On the plus side, we tried a really amazing new-to-us wine.

After supper we watched the final two episodes of Tales of the City and enjoyed The Husbands lemon cake with whipped cream frosting. Now that Scoots & Mrs. Scoots have vacated, The Husband & I are watching the Rock of Love reunion show while I update The Blog.

Here’s why it feels like I’m seventeen again (with many apologies to Annie Lenox). I find most shots to be lousy and reeking of douchitude, only suitable for kids at high school parties and totally inappropriate for anyone over the age of twenty-one. At Maureen’s Congratulations on Not Fucking Up the Bar party, I found a shot I like.

  • Poison Apple
  • In a shotglass, put 3-4 good dashes of Tabasco. Top with Apple Pucker. That’s it. Easy, awesome & a shot I can get behind.

April 15, 2008

73 hours at The Work last week; the blog suffers.

Filed under: Uncategorized — akcb @ 2:24 am

But I did find some time to look at the internets. Here’s some stuff I found.

April 10, 2008

Walnuts & Kindasleazy: a winning combination?

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , — akcb @ 3:47 am

A new Marist College/WNBC poll suggests a McCain/Rice ticket could take New York’s 31 electoral votes.

Totally understandable. Condi’s a very big supporter of New York. After all, she was dropping major bank into their local economy buying Ferragamo’s & tickets to Broadway shows while New Orleans drowned.

Also, in McCain’s favor it’s recently been revealed that he called his wife a cunt in a ’92 campaign stop. According to my television machine, this word is very popular with New Yorkers. Plus he’s elderly and confused. New Yorkers loved this about Reagan in ’80 & ’84.


Filed under: Girlz Suck!, religion, Stuff that sucks — akcb @ 2:47 am

Ladybird, Scoots & I laughed about this all afternoon. I know I link often to TRex, but it’s his own fault for being so damned funny:

Dust Bowl Holly Hobbies

And check out Modest Apparel USA. Try not to be titillated by the occasional bare ankle or uncovered neck. They’re tramps and can’t help themselves.

April 9, 2008

Go Jayhawks! or something.

Filed under: kansas, kansas city — akcb @ 1:26 am

Aside from giving overweight white suburban men something to do during breaks from defaulting on their mortgages and hitting on adolescent girls online, collegiate sports have provided us with some of our finest car salesmen and most upstanding middle managers. Congratulations, KU. I couldn’t pick any of the Jayhawks out of a lineup if my life depended on it and I can’t say I’ve ever watched a college- or pro-basketball game on the television machine or in person, but I have to applaud anything that can pull management out of my ass at The Work for more than 10 minutes at a stretch. So hurray!

April 4, 2008

Lidia, o Lidia, say have you met Lidia?

Filed under: booze, kansas city, Local Restaurants — akcb @ 4:49 am


Prior to our near expiration from boredom, Ladybird & I decided to visit our favorite bartender at City Tavern. Unfortunately, he was not behind the bar tonight and we couldn’t find two seats together. At sixes & sevens, we decided to stroll down the way to Lidia’s. Both of us had reservations, as neither she nor I have ever had more than an average meal there, but since were just having a drink & appetizer we decided to chance it.

We walked in and found the bar in total disarray with stools scatter hither & yon and unbussed tables apparently the norm. A bored looking bartender lounged behind the bar chatting up an equally bored looking waiter. I ordered a Negroni. The bartender gave the cocktail shaker the most perfunctory of shakes resulting in an unpleasantly lukewarm cocktail. Ladybird requested a French 75 resulting in a blank stare, so she switched to a Campari & soda. After consulting a menue, we ordered a frico stuffed with sausage & chard and when it arrived it was absolutely delicious. I find most of the food at Lidia’s to be overly seasoned and generally bordering on the salt-lickish, but this was a really good appetizer & there was quite a bit of it (good, since it was 9.95).

After leaving we encountered a group of out-of-towners near City Tavern. They asked us if Lidia’s was nearby. We suggested if the wanted a really good meal and weren’t set on Italian, they should definitely drop Lidia’s and hit the Tavern instead. I hope they had a an awesome meal.

So we did a good deed and will probably go directly to heaven for it, totally erasing any past instances of sodomy, taking Jeebus’s name in vain or coveting my neighbor’s ass from the recordbooks. Hurray.

Nap at home for free.

Filed under: kansas city, theater — akcb @ 4:28 am


Ladybird & I saw the Rep’s production of “Gee’s Bend” at Copaken Stage in the P&L tonight. Dreary.

I haven’t seen a show this tedious since the Unicorn’s production of “La Cage aux Folles” last summer. The story of Gee’s Bend, the town, is fascinating. An African-American community in Alabama, it’s citizen played a key role in the civil rights movement. Local authorities terminated ferry service to the community as a punishment for the townspeople marching and registering to vote in nearby Camden. Ferry service remained absent for more than 40 years, isolating the community. The women of the town developed a uniquely beautiful style of quilting that verges on modern art. Their quilts hang in various museums and several important touring shows have been mounted.

But the play blows. The pace is plodding and the characterization weak. It could have benefited from an intermission, mostly so we could have left during it. The set design has has a vague corporate blahness reinforced by the vague corporate blahness of the Copaken Stage itself. The cast seems game enough, but the material & production are so weak they can’t overcome it (except Starla Benford who delights as the quiet matriarchal bedrock of the family). The play wants desperately to deliver a message that has been delivered hundreds of times before and in much stronger works. The struggle for equality, respect and a place in the world should never be this mind-numbing.

Avoid like the plague.

April 3, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — akcb @ 1:19 am

“Life Before Death” is a series of portraits taken of people before and after they died.

Check it out.

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