Kansas City, opinion, cocktails, snark.

August 22, 2008

Gloria, how’s it gonna go down?

Filed under: kansas city, politics — Tags: , , — akcb @ 3:42 am

Oy. The council’s proposed ordinance regulating volunteers in city offices has thrown Marky-Mark into a tailspin. He’s now vowing to ignore any law that would result in his wife being packed off to resume her doula-duties.

“I am not going to respond to the ordinance,” Funkhouser said. “I think this law is targeted at me, and I will probably ignore it.”

Well, here’s a hearty congrats to the Funk for finally recognizing something when it comes to his wife’s role as a “volunteer”. He seems oblivious to the fact that she’s a constant embarrassment to his administration, that the suit filed against her by a city employee could cost the city a buttload of money and that she’s made the city the punchline of many a local joke.

I’m of two minds about the whole thing. On the one hand, Gloria Squitiro is a distraction in getting the business of the city done.

On the other hand, I’ve never seen a soap opera in local politics play out in quite so fascinating a fashion. From the Christmas letter (seriously, if you haven’t read it, click the link) to the lawsuit, every week brings something new and hi-larious (if you’re lucky enough not to be a KCMO resident).

I feel we’re only weeks away from a skyclad Wiccan circle being held in the courtyard at City Hall to cast a protection spell on Gloria or a curse on Jan Marcason. Even better, perhaps once the ordinance passes, Wayne Cauthen will personally frog-march her ass to the ol’ Corolla and send her on her merry way back to Brookside. Either way, I’ll pack a picnic lunch; you bring your own lawnchair.

He said laws “big and small” are ignored all the time, specifically noting Jim Crow laws in the past.

As my dear friend Scoots pointed out, the smoking ban probably falls somewhere between big & small, so next time you’re at Davey’s, smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Nobody’s on this like TKC. Show him some love.

August 21, 2008

Yael Abouhalkah’s jittles must be all tingly at the thought.

Filed under: kansas city, Local Bars, Local Restaurants, religion — Tags: — akcb @ 3:17 am

KCK will be discussing the future of smoking within its own bars and restaurants. I keep trying to support local bars, but smoking outside’s a drag what with the homeless hitting you up for change and people in passing cars screaming “Queer!” as they drive by. Can’t a guy wear a kilt and platform sneakers without all the judgement? I guess there’s always Riverside.

Has anybody looked into that whole “private club” theory?

August 18, 2008

Stuff we did today.

Bought a Dyson Slim. The phrase ‘sucks like a Hoover’ should immediately be replaced with ‘sucks like a Dyson.’ This is probably the most well-designed thing we’ve ever owned. Even the box is a marvel of invention.

Hung a print I bought & framed. The artist, James Amerson, took pictures of drag queens during Mardi Gras & Southern Decadence, painted portraits from the photos and auctioned the portraits to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Now he’s selling prints. This is Fonzie Martini and she has pride of place in our dining room, just above the liquor cabinet.

I had brunch at Avenues Bistro with Leigh Anne & Joe. Wow. This place is good and provides a cheap brunch. For $12.95, you get your choice of a couple dozen entrees and as many trips to the brunch buffet as you like. The buffet is divided between an antipasto section consisting of various meats, cheeses and pickled vegetables and a section of cold salads & various breads and pastries. We had 10am reservations but didn’t need them, though it was beginning to fill up when we left shortly after 11. Of course, people were standing 10 deep outside of Sharp’s. If you’re a Sharp’s Sunday devotee, save yourself some wait time and a mediocre meal and make a reservation up the street. The food & service are way-betta.

July 17, 2008

Some stuff I found lying around on the internets.

June 2, 2008

God’s chosen lunch.

Filed under: Food, kansas city — Tags: , , — akcb @ 2:11 am

Here’s a thing you should do next year. Visit KosherFest 2009. The fine folks at Congregation Ohev Sholom are in their second year of celebrating Jewish foodways with this amazing Prairie Village festival. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s the perfect festival in that there’s really nothing to do but eat (there’s some live music & dancing and some kids’ crap sort of out-of-the-way & around the back, but food’s the focus here). And the food is glorious! We enjoyed some amazing traditional dishes: latkes; chopped liver sandwiches; bagels with cream cheese, lox, onions and tomatoes; cabbage rolls & the most amazing honey cake into which I’ve ever set tooth. I think this is my new favorite Kansas City festival.

May 1, 2008

Taco-not-so-Bueno.

Filed under: Food, kansas city, Local Restaurants — Tags: — akcb @ 1:27 am

After a repugnant “meal” at Jose Pepper’s a number of year’s ago, you’d think I’d learn not venture off the Boulevard for Tex-Mex (or away from the divine Tienda Casa Paloma for a more authentic Mexican experience…and a Google search tells me TCP has recently been sold; Lisa, what happened?), but tonight I found myself telling The Husband I wanted to try Taco Bueno near North Oak and Vivion as we made our way back from a harrowing rush-hour trip to Jos. A Bank (seriously, the suburban school districts must be amazing considering how many people are willing to put up with Broadway traffic at 5pm).

If you have the opportunity to try Taco Bueno, don’t. The food is mediocre at best and so incredibly salty that I downed three glasses of water after. While you may find slightly fresher lettuce and tomatoes than you would at Taco Bell, it’s just not worth the trip even if you live just around the corner which I don’t.

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 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 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

lidia.jpg

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.

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