Monday, November 13, 2006

Kansas City Here I Come

We had an impromptu trip to Kansas City, MO this weekend, and we had a great time. KC is only about 3 hours from us, and it’s an easy drive down there. My hubby really wanted to tour the Boulevard Brewery, but all the tours are full for the next month. We’ll have to plan a little farther ahead if we want to do that. Yet another reason to go back to KC!

Our trips seem to revolve around alcohol and food, mostly alcohol. The first thing we did was find the 75th Street Brewery and ordered a 6-pack sampler and some lunch. They had an American Pale Ale, an IPA, a brown ale, and a dry stout (they gave us 2 because they only had 5 to sample). They also had a raspberry ale that was just nasty. No fruity beers! Anyway, I really liked the brown and the stout, which was more creamy than dry. Al like the IPA—he’s such a hop-head. I want to like IPAs, I really do. They have such a unique taste, but they are so full of hops that they just taste bitter to me, plus they go to my head very quickly. Guess I’ll stick with the more malty ales.

We did the same thing at McCoy's Public House in the Westport area of KC. We even had the same types of beers, with the addition of a wheat beer, and I like the same ones I liked at 75th Street Brewery. The food was better at 75th, but the salad I had at McCoys was really good. Both places have a pub-feel, American style, meaning that they are big and roomy and the chairs don’t match.

For our last pub/beer event, we went to O’Dowd’s in the Country Club Plaza. We really enjoyed O’Dowd’s. They had Strongbow Cider on tap, so I started with that, but then switched to Smithwicks. Mmmmmmmm. We weren’t very hungry, so we split a boxty—a delectable potato pancake wrapped around Guiness-soaked beef and vegetables. Then we split the bread pudding, which was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Our main reason for going to KC is to go to Lidia’s Restaurant. We watch Lidia on her PBS cooking show and I’ve made several of her recipes. When I found out she had a restaurant in Kansas City, I knew we had to go. This was our second time. I didn’t bother to get reservations because the last time we came, in the summer, we got there at 6:00 and didn’t have to wait for a table. This time, they had reservations up until 9:00. But, they serve a full menu at the bar, so we sat there, in front of the fire place. We had the best seat in the house.

The special Lidia offers is the pasta sampler plate. For $26, you get a delicious Caesar salad, all you can eat of 3 different pastas, and any dessert on the menu. Bargain! These nice people from the kitchen walk around with a skillet of pasta and asks if you’d like more. We had a penne with tomato and vodka sauce, ravioli stuffed with lamb, and fettuccini alfredo. For dessert, I had a frozen chocolate mousse on a chocolate wafer, with fresh whipped cream and chocolate cookies on top. Al had the ice cream sampler, but asked that all 3 of them be the double chocolate ice cream, so that’s what they did. We also each had a fabulous glass of red wine.

We were so full, we were almost miserable. Miserable enough that when we put in our choices for breakfast for the next morning, we both just asked for the continental breakfast.

So, wanna know about the hotel? It was. . . interesting. We stayed at the Hotel Savoy downtown. Not in a great area, but not the worse area, either. I had looked for a hotel near the Country Club Plaza, but they were so expensive, and after driving down there, we were glad we didn’t because the traffic is crazy. And there are people walking everywhere, crossing streets from everywhere but the corners.

Anyway, the Savoy has an interesting history, with famous people such as Teddy Roosevelt and Sandra Bernhardt, and the hotel restaurant, The Savoy Grill, is one of the oldest in the city. It’s also one of the most expensive, so we didn’t eat there. However, the hotel is now a B&B, so we had great choices for breakfast. They serve from 7 to 11, so if we wanted to have lobster bisque and veal chops, we could. But, ick. I just couldn’t think about foods like that for breakfast or brunch.

The perks with this hotel were great—a 10-cup coffee maker in the room with Kona coffee, small bottles of Baily’s Irish Cream, ice in the ice bucket, a newspaper delivered to the room in the morning, free parking (a huge deal when staying downtown), plus that great breakfast. And every bathroom has a claw-foot tub.

But the hotel is a little run down and Hyacinth Bucket must have decorated the rooms, considering the flowery wallpaper. Our first room was a Victorian Suite, with French doors separating the bedroom from the sitting area. But the radiator stopped working and the wind was blowing through the closed windows.

So, they moved us to a King Victorian room. Now, this was bizarre. The theme is Victorian, right? There is flowery wallpaper on every inch of the walls, and the king-size bed is a 4-poster canopy. But there was something odd about it, then I realized—it was a covered wagon. No kidding, they built it to look like a covered wagon. Why? I don’t know, but it did give us a good chuckle.

Well, that seems to be enough for today. Next time, I’ll talk about some of the shops we went to.


Jay said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I haven't spent any real time in KC. And I didn't know there was anything cool to do there.

Newt said...

Sounds wonderful. I think an entire day of beer and food is the perfect thing.

One thing I never thought about but my book magazine keeps reminding me is that when I go to a new town I should be looking to see what their unique/famous bookstore/s is/are. My friends and I recently wandered through one in Hudson WI and it was a lot of fun. Especially when you dig through the racks/tables of featured or recommended books.

Betty said...

We found an old and rare bookstore in K.S. years ago. I could have spent all day in there. Don't know if it's still there or not.

Kell said...

Newt--We did find a local bookstore that was awesome. It's in the next post!

Peggy said...

Nice hotel there! Lucky girl!

Wookiee said...

I feel that where the Savoy Hotel/Grille is located is one of the best spots in the city. (9th and Central) I live approx 5 blocks away and couldn't be happier.